Jobstreet by SEEK shares four practical ways to become an inclusive co-worker

Times are changing, and so is the world of work. Employees are now more driven to embrace progressive ideals to improve their experiences in the workplace further. With people spending more than half of their lives working, it is just imperative that every employee is heard and accepted no matter their race, gender orientation, religion, disabilities, and the like. 

Inclusivity encompasses many aspects, all of which boil down to valuing the uniqueness of each individual, ensuring that everyone has equal access to opportunities and is treated with respect and dignity. According to Jobstreet by SEEK’s Decoding Global Talent report, 68.7% of candidates prefer to work in companies that advocate diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. While employers are the first ones to foster an inclusive environment, active participation from employees is equally essential.

Leading online job portal Jobstreet by SEEK shares top practical ways to become a more inclusive co-worker and contribute to a healthier workspace. 

Show empathy and understand differences

The first step to advocating for any important matter is having awareness and understanding that people have diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Hence, it is important to be wary of making stereotypes and using language that may demean others. Do not be afraid to ask someone’s preferred pronouns and learn unfamiliar offensive slurs you should avoid speaking. 

Intentionally making such efforts will make others feel more valued and will also help you not walk on eggshells when you are working with them. Ultimately, the goal is to lead by example, so that everyone else will follow suit.

Support professional and personal development 

Healthy conversations around inclusivity can spark interest and better understanding within the workplace. Knowing your teammates’ background and preferences can help you provide equal opportunities for professional growth and development.

For example, if you are a manager who has a staff that was not able to finish their studies, instead of limiting their potential, you can help them explore options for upskilling so they too can reach greater heights with you.

Moreover, you may seek support from the management by suggesting an allotted time for town halls. Topics can include microaggressions, gender sensitivity, and other related matters.

Welcome opinions and collaborations

Differing ideas often come from widely diverse groups of people. In order to deal with this, Jobstreet by SEEK suggests using phrases such as “in my opinion” or “based on what I have read” or “according to my experience” when you wish to also raise your own thoughts. 

Involve quieter colleagues as well during discussions by giving them enough time to share their ideas without talking over them.

This makes any discussion more productive as it encourages people to contribute their point of view knowing that they will not be dismissed even if they are contradicting. It’s also less likely to cause heated debates or unresolved conflicts between you and your teammates, as it allows you to be heard as well.

Celebrate individuality

When all is said and done, inclusivity should lead to a celebration of individuality and diversity. Some things you can do: offer to hold special gatherings, encourage self-expression through clothing or other means, scheduling outings with colleagues who have different backgrounds.

For example, you may schedule coffee or lunch hangouts and show interest in their lived experiences in and out of the office. Initiating such will in turn boost everyone’s morale and ensure that they feel heard of and therefore, psychologically safe within the team. 

“Being in an inclusive workplace brings forth increased satisfaction, improved productivity, and better working relationships. While employers may have the power to cultivate that, we believe that it also takes some effort from each employee in order to successfully establish and sustain it,” shares Dannah Majarocon, Managing Director, Philippines, Jobstreet by SEEK.

These may all seem to be mere acts of selflessness, but these small actions can make a huge difference not only in the growth of each employee but also in the entire organization itself. 

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