Many business owners now understand that developing diversity in the workplace can provide many standout benefits, such as higher innovation, increased retention rates, and better problem-solving. With those advantages in mind, they can be eager to make significant changes like honoring and celebrating different cultures in the workplace.
While you might be excited about adopting new business policies to benefit yourself and your team, it can be challenging to get started. Thankfully, if you begin with the following simple changes, you’ll be on your way to a more diverse and inclusive business that stands out for all the right reasons.
Create a Safe and Open Environment
Embracing the rich tapestry of cultures within the workforce entails fostering open communication and genuine cultural appreciation. This can be realized by cultivating an environment where employees are encouraged to share their diverse backgrounds and traditions, fostering an atmosphere that celebrates and respects diversity.
By hosting multicultural events and offering comprehensive diversity training, you can forge a harmonious and thriving workplace. By nurturing a culture of inclusivity and mutual respect, you’ll unlock the potential for enhanced collaboration and productivity.
Recognize Religious Holidays
Despite there being dozens of religious holy days in Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and other religions, the federal government only recognizes Christian holidays like Easter and Christmas. This means that even though a particular holiday is important to an employee, they won’t always be able to take time off work to celebrate it unless their employee approves an annual leave request.
Buck the trend and be a more diverse workplace by celebrating the holidays of your employees of different religions. For example, if your team members are Sikh or Hindu, you might offer paid time off to celebrate Diwali.
Becoming a more diverse, accepting, and inclusive workplace can involve education, and where better to receive new knowledge than from your own team? While you can’t ask questions about someone’s religion before you’ve hired them, it’s generally appropriate to discuss such topics once they’re a valued part of your team and they’ve proffered information.
The more you can learn about your employees’ cultures and religions, the easier it might be for you to provide accommodations that make them feel more welcome and included.
Prioritize Diversity Training
All cultures, religions, and backgrounds haven’t always been welcomed with open arms. It’s only been in recent years that we’ve realized the importance of creating diverse teams with people from all walks of life.
Being new to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) can mean you don’t have all the answers – and that’s okay. By undertaking diversity training, you’ll put yourself in a much stronger position to provide your employees with what they need. Diversity training will teach you strategies to enhance communication across diverse groups and appreciate team member differences.
Providing Team Building Exercises
Having your employees working together doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll learn more about each other and build strong professional relationships. Sometimes, it takes a few team-building exercises to help things along.
Don’t underestimate the importance of bonding exercises to help your workers appreciate each other’s differences. Culture-based activities are worth exploring, such as diversity potlucks with food prepared from each employee’s culture and events with DEI guest speakers.
Even if you haven’t actively promoted inclusivity and diversity in the past, that doesn’t mean you can’t start now. You can honor the different cultures in your workplace by prioritizing diversity training, asking questions, and recognizing and celebrating holidays.