Diversity and inclusion are good for both people and business.

Aside from simply being the right thing to do, creating a diverse and inclusive workplace has many benefits to organisations.

It improves the whole employee experience and brings a diverse range of thoughts, viewpoints and ideas which leads to higher levels of creativity and innovationbetter decision making, and can even result in more profit for organisations.

However, it’s not enough to hire a diverse workforce, it’s about creating a culture of inclusion where everybody feels welcome, valued, safe and free to be themselves.

When employees feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work, they are more likely to contribute new ideas and perspectives that can drive business success.

Although equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) is now at the top of the agenda for most organisations, many just aren’t sure what practical steps are needed to promote workplace diversity and create a culture of inclusion for everybody.

The key thing to remember is there is no one size fits all solution to EDI, however it takes more than just paying lip service and requires practical action.

So to help you, here’s a few things you can be doing right now to promote diversity and create a culture of inclusion in your business.

1. Make it a continuous process

EDI isn’t a tick box exercise or something you can write a policy on then leave to gather dust. It’s a continuous process that requires consistent effort and attention.

To ensure it remains a top priority, it needs to be a part of the business strategy and actively reviewed, developed and adjusted where needed to ensure you have created a safe and fair environment for all your people. You need to be communicating it regularly, providing regular training and asking your people for feedback and suggestions on how to improve moving forward.

Times change and your organisation needs to change with them if you want to remain diverse and inclusive.

2. Give every person a voice

Inclusive organisations listen to everyone and value their thoughts, opinions, complaints, questions and feedback. Make sure you’re giving employees multiple ways to share their voice and provide feedback. Anonymous surveys, employee feedback, regular check ins and focus groups are a few ways you can provide opportunities for people to express their views.

The only way you will truly know if you have an effective EDI strategy in place is by asking your people. They are the ones that are living and breathing your culture every day and if they aren’t implementing the right steps or feeling the right results, you need to make some changes.

However, for this to be truly effective, you need to create a psychologically safe environment and make sure people feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and opinions without fear of judgement, punishment or retaliation.

3. Review and revise your policies and practices

Before you can move forward, you need to look at what you currently have in place that will help – or may be hindering – diversity in the workplace.

All of your policies and practices need to be reviewed to ensure they are inclusive and free from bias. Language needs to be inclusive and equitable to all employees to ensure everybody feels recognised, welcomed and valued in the workplace.

Start at the beginning with your recruitment process. Is there any language in your job description that might deter or exclude qualified candidates from applying? Is your shortlisting and selection criteria free from any potential biases?

You should also review all your policies to ensure they are in line with your EDI goals. Things like flexible working arrangements, parental leave, and career development opportunities should be accessible to all employees regardless of their gender, race, or disability.


4. Promote pay equity and ensure equal opportunities

A crucial step towards improving diversity and inclusion in the workplace is promoting pay equity and ensuring equal opportunities. The gender pay gap especially is a huge barrier and will currently take 132 years to close if the current rate of progress carries on.

It shouldn’t take legislative change for employers to do the right thing when it comes to equal pay and pay transparency. It’s so important to be open and honest and make sure that discussions around pay are the norm in your organisation and you’re taking the practical steps needed (like regular pay audits) to rectify any imbalances in your own business.

Alongside equal pay, employees – regardless of background, gender or ethnicity – deserve access to the same opportunities for growth and career progression. Creating a culture of inclusion means providing all employees equal opportunities and giving them a clear understanding of the requirements and opportunities for promotion and growth within the company. This allows individuals to develop their skills and gain the necessary experience to advance in their careers.

5. Ask for help

Improving your current EDI strategy, or developing one for the first time, can be overwhelming. Aside from getting input from your people and allowing your employees to share their voices, there are a number of experts who can help you promote workplace diversity and create a culture of inclusion.

My team and I are happy to have a chat and find out if there’s anything we can do to help you. From training sessions to policy reviews, there are a number of steps you can take right now to create a more safe and inclusive workplace where your people feel valued and heard.

Just drop us an email at hr@pennyjoneshr.com.

Become an Evolved Manager

In the Evolved Manager Free Resource hub there’s a range of webinars and articles to help your managers develop their skills and gain the skills they need to create a diverse and inclusive workplace, where everybody can thrive.

Sign up to the Evolved Manager Free Resources Hub here.

You can also join The Evolved Manager Community here – my free group for People Managers and HR to connect, share their values, experiences and support each other’s development.

Registered Address

2 Bradshaw Close, Standish, Wigan, Lancashire, United Kingdom, WN6 0RG

Follow Us

Contact Us