Inclusion is not just a matter of compliance; it’s about creating a workplace culture where every individual feels valued and can thrive.

One of the crucial tools in achieving this goal is creating HR documents and people policies that are inclusive, friendly, and purposeful.

Creating more inclusive policies and HR documents is not just a legal requirement; it’s a fundamental step towards building a workplace where every individual can thrive. While these documents may seem mundane, they play a pivotal role in shaping your workplace culture and how your business functions, how your people are treated, and how values are upheld.

These documents shouldn’t just be a collection of rules and regulations, written in legal jargon and complex language that only a solicitor could understand. Instead, they need to be the embodiment of your business’s values, a commitment to your people and the assurance that you will support them in every way you can.

Whilst it might be easier (and cheaper) to find some generic policies, they need to be purposeful and relevant to your business and the people in it.

But crafting inclusive policies is not just about replacing a few words here and there, it’s an ongoing process that takes dedicated time, care and effort.

So how do you make sure your policies and HR documents are inclusive and supporting your people to thrive? Here’s 5 places to start.

1. Ask your people for their input and feedback

Building inclusive policies starts with understanding the unique needs and experiences of your people. And the best way to find out what those are is to ask them.

You need to gain their input from the beginning and ask for regular feedback to ensure that employees know their voices are heard and their perspectives are valued.

Conduct surveys, focus groups, or have one-on-one chats to gather their feedback, ask for their ideas and identify areas that need improvement.

2. Use inclusive language

Although your HR documents and policies need to provide the necessary legal information, this doesn’t mean they have to be written in legal jargon that your team won’t understand. Clarity and accessibility is key when it comes to creating more inclusive policies and HR documents.

They need to be compliant and purposeful, but they can also be friendly, easy to read and inclusive to your people. This means using gender neutral terms (they/them instead of he/she) as well as making sure that your language doesn’t perpetuate stereotypes or assumptions about particular groups.

Language is a powerful tool that can either reinforce or dismantle barriers to inclusion; make sure to choose your words carefully.

3. Align with your mission, values and purpose

Your HR documents and policies should reflect who you are as a business. They are not just a set of rules and regulations, they are a representation of your company’s identity and values. These documents need to be the bridge between your mission statement, values, purpose and everyday practices, ensuring that your actions align with your intentions.

When done right, your documents set out your expectations and provide a framework for your people to follow day-in-day-out.

4. Educate, train and live by your documents

Creating your policies and HR documents isn’t just a box you tick and then forget about. That’s just the beginning. To bring them to life, you need to educate your employees about their content, the importance of inclusivity and how they can imbed them in their work.

Offer training sessions and workshops that help your staff understand the policies’ significance and how they can apply them in practice.

5. Regularly review and update your documents and policies

Inclusivity is a journey, there’s no end goal. You have to be constantly reviewing, adapting and updating your documents and policies to reflect the evolving world of employment and employees constantly shifting expectations and attitudes.

Stay informed about changes in legislation, emerging best practices, and shifting cultural norms. Make a habit out of asking for feedback from your employees to ensure that your policies remain effective and relevant.

Need some help with your HR documents and people policies?

In the Becoming an Employer HR Pack, you get access to engaging, inclusive and legally compliant contracts and HR documents that represent who you are as a business.

✅ A checklist of your responsibilities

✅ Offer letter

✅ People policies

✅ A contract of employment that can be tailored to suit the specific needs of your business

✅ Call with me for some extra HR support to make sure you have everything in place!

If you’re thinking about hiring a new team member or just want to make sure you have everything in place to help your employees succeed, click here to get your pack.

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