Improve Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace with Collaboration Tools and Continuous Insights
by Aware HQ
All employees deserve to feel safe and comfortable at work. That's the bare minimum. Yet, according to a 2019 study, 3 out of 5 employees struggle with workplace discrimination.
Don't wait to confront bias and discrimination at work. Establish strategies to support underrepresented voices and involve others when implementing change. Focus on building a more diverse workplace as an ongoing, long-term initiative.
Diversity brings many benefits to the organization:
- Inclusive teams make better business decisions up to 87% of the time.
- Inclusive companies are 7 times more likely to be innovation leaders in their market.
- Diverse teams see a 60% improvement in decision making abilities.
Growth requires time, education, authentic feedback and a commitment to change. Are you ready to transform your enterprise?
Proactively Give Underrepresented Individuals a Voice in the Digital Workplace
Diverse companies see less turnover and report higher employee satisfaction. Yet, more than 2 million employees leave their jobs each year due to repetitive instances of unfairness or unconscious biases.
Give your underrepresented employees a voice and a safe place to share their knowledge, ideas and unique experiences with these simple tips:
- Encourage diverse thinking. Be aware of instances of groupthink. Create open discussions and create space to include all backgrounds and perspectives.
- Promote and hire unbiased leadership. Give your leaders the tools and training to and promote unity across all teams. A great place to start is this piece from SHRM: How Managers Can Overcome their Personal Biases.
- Draw out suppressed voices. If there are underrepresented members of your diverse team, speak to them in small groups or one-on-one to understand their feelings and ideas. Involve staff members in decision making that affects them, their teams and their jobs overall.
- Create safe spaces for affinity groups. Collaboration tools are a great place to host small group discussions and give employees a place to connect with like people. Employees often use affinity groups to build community and share resources in a more intimate, safe space.
Collaboration platforms offer an arena to showcase your team’s points of view, opinions and ability to create change. Make your digital workplace more inclusive by standing next to underrepresented voices and giving them the platform and audience they deserve.
An Inclusive Digital Workplace Takes the Entire Organization
In order to effectively drive change in an organization, leaders must demonstrate their own personal commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Create a more inclusive environment on your digital workplace with these practices:
- Offer channels for managers on Slack, Teams, Yammer and other platforms to share new ways to cultivate a diverse and inclusive culture.
- Educate your managers on the importance and benefits of diversity. Share thoughtful content on platforms like Workplace or Slack and foster valuable conversations around diversity and inclusion topics.
- Invite external speakers to educate employees on different perspectives, outlooks and backgrounds. Give your employees access to these training resources when you share in your digital workplace.
- Inspire your managers to lead. Give them permission to hold special events, talk more openly about certain topics or advocate for critical issues in your organization.
Make your managers and executives your loudest cheerleaders in order to create real organization change.
Surface and Respond to Incidents of Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination in the Digital Workplace
While the digital workplace is an incredible venue to foster organizational change, organizations must proactively determine a response plan for employees who do not act appropriately on company-sanctioned tools.
Every year, 60.3 million Americans report being bullied at work. You can’t be everywhere at once, but you can proactively reinforce desired behaviors (and coach unwanted actions) within collaboration tools. One of the worst things an enterprise can do in this situation is nothing at all. So, first and foremost: stay calm, gather the facts and remain unbiased.
Some things to keep in mind when handling reports of harassment, bullying or discrimination include:
- Document all incidents, no matter how small. Something that may seem trivial in the moment may carry huge weight in the future. Be detailed and thorough in your documentation.
- Treat the victim with compassion. It takes a lot of courage to come forward.
- Learn how to help. Research laws and your responsibilities as an employer to best prepare yourself for these kinds of situations.
Keep an eye on employee wellbeing within the digital workplace and protect your community from bad actors in order to build trust and psychological safety for employees.
Evaluate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Metrics Over Time
Harvard Business Review suggests using long-term data trends in order to gauge progress over time. Instead of waiting for your annual employee survey results to learn about your workplace’s opportunities, lean on real-time diversity and inclusion metrics to do the talking.
Measure, Understand and Improve Your Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives with Aware
Gain knowledge of the inner workings of your collaboration spaces when you pair your enterprise collaboration tools with a qualitative insights tool, like Aware. Understand the Voice of the Employee, watch trends and analyze change over time with insights derived from digital conversations.
With Aware, you can:
- track keywords and topics around diversity, equity and inclusion,
- surface instances of inappropriate or unsafe behavior on the digital workplace,
- and supply leaders with necessary data to spark positive change in your organization.
Brighten your company's future when you empower your people, give all employees a voice, invest in your managers’ leadership abilities and measure your D&I transformation over time.