In Indian context, workplace inclusivity is often more layered and complex than explained from the western philosophical viewpoint. It demands us to look at what years of cultural domination and colonialism did to us. It demands us to explore what our diverse tapestry of languages, religions, and traditions has shaped over centuries. In a nation that boasts of unity in diversity, the concept of inclusivity takes on a profound significance, one that transcends mere rhetoric- one that challenges us to find solutions that are rooted in this knowledge.
In our workspaces, starting from small scale industries to corporate houses with thousands of employees, it is important to design and implement strategies that make room for inclusivity in all its senses. Be it the cause of gender or of inclusivity for individuals with disability, it is definitely on us to redefine how our workplaces are.
But how can we ensure that your workplaces are inclusive?
As a first step, ensure that diversity and inclusion training programs are implemented for all employees. These programs help raise awareness about biases, promote empathy, and provide tools to the team to address discrimination. It is also important to include blind recruitment techniques to reduce biases during the hiring process and build an inclusive workspace. Remove names, genders, and other identifying information from resumes to ensure that candidates are evaluated solely on their qualifications.
It is also important to train people in leadership roles to actively support diversity, equity, and inclusion in their teams. Encourage them to lead by example and champion diversity efforts. Also, conduct regular surveys to gather feedback from employees about their experiences and perceptions of inclusivity in the workplace. Use this data to identify areas for improvement.
Another great way to make workplaces inclusive is to make it accessible for all people, which includes people with disabilities and invisible illnesses. In a country like India, we need to make accommodations for people coming from diverse economic scenarios, difficult family situations, and sometimes challenging mental health crises. It would be a great question to ask an employee who might be coming late if they have a reliable mode of transport. It would be a great intervention to ask a new mother if she is able to manage the workload with a newborn at home. Apart from this, we also need to make our workplaces digitally accessible to all employees, including those with disabilities. It is important to provide accommodations, such as assistive technologies and accessible facilities, as needed.
Implementing flexible work policies that accommodate diverse needs, such as remote work options, flexible hours, and parental leave are also key steps. This allows employees to balance work and personal responsibilities more effectively. Only a happy individual can focus on work!
Workplaces need to offer a range of benefits that cater to the diverse needs of the work force, including healthcare options that cover a variety of family structures, mental health support, and wellness programs. If your workforce has individuals from trans and non-binary communities, ensure that they are provided with necessary support systems to enjoy the benefits of inclusivity. Enforce strict anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and procedures, where employees feel safe reporting incidents and that appropriate action is taken in response.
To learn more about Stalwart’s inclusive workspaces, reach out to us.