No matter how diverse your workforce, you’ll be stymied by inclusion if you don’t give it some love, too.
In an inclusive workplace, individuals feel comfortable bringing their authentic selves to work and don’t feel the need to hide who they really are. Since most employees look to their company to determine how authentic they should be, here are a few tips to show employees that you want them to be open and authentic:
Start Before People Apply: A lot of great candidates use social media to get an insider’s view of your company culture before they apply for a position. Sharing photos on social media of employees enjoying themselves (being silly with co-workers, enjoying hobbies, or family photos) is critical to convey a positive view of your workplace’s culture to the applicant.
Show Candidates the Goods: Find out how a candidate enjoys their free time and show them (with data, if possible) how employees in your company will embrace their passions. Whether it’s family-friendly activities, lunchtime workouts or a gaming club, make sure they know that they’ll fit in.
Make Their First Day A Hit: One of our clients found out that their newest hire loved to listen to music while she worked. When she arrived on her first day, she found a new pair of Bose headphones on her desk. This kind of targeted gesture shows an employee not only that you care about them as someone doing work, but also as a whole person.
Make Connections During Onboarding: A lot of companies match new employees up with a mentor or “buddy.” Take this one step further and introduce your newbie to a few employees from across the company who share their interests and let them pick their buddy or buddies. Maybe even pay for them all to go grab lunch together!
Support Niche Activities: Many companies try focusing on few activities that will appeal to most employees (i.e. baseball games and happy hours). Instead, try to create a portfolio of simple, cheap, and niche activities that at least a few people will get excited about (board game evening, potluck lunches, etc.). This may seem like more work...but see below.
Encourage Ownership: Since it takes more time to support niche activities than large generic ones, give employees the tools and a bit of funding to start their own groups and activities based around their actual interests.
Start Meetings with a Reveal: Most meetings start with small talk but if you ask everyone to share something specific about themselves before each meeting, you’ll learn a lot more about your coworkers. There are even card games you can leave in the conference room with questions to ease the burden.
Many of these actions are free and fairly simple for small companies to get off the ground. However if your company is a bit bigger and could use some help to get the ball rolling, let Rumblesum be your inclusivity partner.
Our mobile platform builds more inclusive cultures through competitions, photo-sharing, games, in-person activities and interest-group management.
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