Inclusion is an incredibly important factor for companies operating in Singapore – one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world. In a survey conducted in October 2020 by Kantar and Campaign Asia-Pacific, 64% of the respondents stated that they did not receive the same level of respect from the management because of gender, and 57% stated that their race was a contributing factor. How can we ensure inclusion in our workplace? Here are a few tips to create an actively inclusive workplace:
Provide Quality Time With Senior Leaders
Providing employees face-to-face time with senior leaders is a great way to kickstart inclusivity measures – it breaks down barriers between bureaucratic hierarchy and reduces perceptions of elitism. Moreover, senior leaders are people who can actually affect the changes that lower-level employees want. However, make sure that all employees regardless of gender or race have equal access to senior leaders. According to research conducted by McKinsey, women are less likely to have substantive interactions with senior leaders compared to men. It would also greatly benefit senior leaders to have access to a full, diverse spread of their employees – they’ll have a better sense of what to tailor within company culture to foster better employee satisfaction, and thus productivity and efficiency.
Listen When Your Employees Speak
Just as important as giving employees a chance to speak is giving them a proper listening ear. Just being listened to helps to empower people. For managers, listening help you to understand your team better. A company with a culture based on merits is 1.3 times more likely than others to feel inclusive. How can your employees help you in creating an environment that feels organically multi-faceted? Give them a chance to let their voices be heard in a safe environment.
Celebrate Your Differences
Every employee is unique in their own way, bringing unique experiences from their various walks of life. It is important to show them that you respect their backgrounds and traditions. Invite them to share about their beliefs or cultural practices with their fellow colleagues. Find out how you can accommodate certain religious necessities, such as Friday prayers or wearing religious headdress. It goes without saying that you should throw some commemoration of festivities – Hari Raya Puasa, Deepavali and Chinese New Year for starters! Gestures such as these show your willingness to connect, boosting sense of belonging within your organization.
When you implement these steps in your day-to-day actions in the office, employees will notice the repeatable behaviours that influence and mold the culture. Don’t let your employees feel left out from the team – make inclusion feel real to them. It might be a lot of hard work, but having an actively inclusive workplace will be greatly beneficial to your organization.