A lot has changed in our workplaces lately, but the importance of diversity and inclusion remains constant. As we near the end of Pride Month, we know it is important to recognize the need for a safe place to work. Here at PSHSA, we believe in creating healthy and safe work environments for everyone, no matter how you identify.
So, how can employers (and employees) foster a genuine commitment to creating safe spaces and fostering EDI (equity, diversity and inclusion)? Creating an environment within your organization that offers employees a space to be themselves, and bring their experiences into the workplace, should be at the top of your checklist. Here are a few places to start on your path to diversity and inclusion.
Normalize Discussions on Inclusivity
Listening to your employees is a natural first step. A great opportunity to foster proactive measures is to encourage open, honest discussion so employees can voice their opinions about their work environment. Create opportunities to share feedback, things they may have learned from their networks or research they may have done off the clock. These conversations can be done during team meetings, 1-on-1’s, and especially exit interviews. When it comes to EDI, what are you doing well? How can you do better? Learnings can help identify potential initiatives for continuous improvement and can be used as growth opportunities for other managers and employees as well.
Hand in hand with communication between employer and employee is a supportive peer network. Normalize discussions on inclusivity by creating informal or formal peer support programs. Supportive programs like these help to foster trust among co-workers and create a workplace community where all feel comfortable, understood and supported, not only in their roles but as individuals.
Formalize Your Commitment to EDI
It helps to have clear policies in place to hold employers and employees accountable. Workplace policies outline your stance on matters as well as guidelines, best practices and related processes.
A workplace diversity policy sets out your organization’s commitment to maintaining a fair and equitable environment. Such a policy can also expand your recruitment processes, encouraging everyone to apply and bringing more diverse voices into the organization.
Part of a fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace is ensuring a civil and respectful work environment free of harassment, discrimination or abuse. A workplace violence and harassment policy clearly outlines how violence and harassment is defined, the roles and responsibilities of workplace parties, and reporting investigation and response procedures.
You may also want to consider establishing an EDI committee or working group to ensure consistent focus on fostering equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace. These forums provide somewhere both management and employees can discuss ideas and solutions to challenges, work together to implement changes and initiatives, and offer support and resources to staff.
Invest in Training
Educating all employees – regardless of their position – on the importance of equity, diversity and inclusion is crucial to creating a safe and positive work environment while simultaneously helping to enrich your employees’ lives as individuals. If you’re looking for help on the path to reaching your organization’s EDI goals, check out a few of our resources here:
Looking for something a little more specific to your organization? Whether you want to explore microlearning, develop custom eLearning or digitize an exam, Public Services Health & Safety Association can design a custom digital learning solution to bring your vision to life. Learn more at pshsa.ca/designandbuild