When your employees feel included, they produce better work and maintain positivity in the workplace says Peter Decaprio.
The following strategies can help foster an inclusive environment:
1. Let Employees Speak Their Minds
The best way to get a sense of what matters most to your team is to ask them. Getting out from behind your desk and speaking to your employees face-to-face is one of the easiest ways you can show that you care about their thoughts and ideas. You should also consider giving employees space for anonymous feedback, such as suggestion boxes or online surveys, so everyone feels comfortable expressing themselves without fear of repercussion. When people know they won’t be judged or punished for speaking up, it’s much easier for them to share their thoughts.
2. Take Your Employees’ Feedback to Heart
Once you have collected your employees’ thoughts, it’s important to consider them carefully. Only implement changes that are feasible and beneficial for the workplace as a whole, because if you don’t follow through on your promises, employees will stop taking you seriously. It can help to ask yourself why feedback was given in the first place before moving forward with any actions; this will allow you to better understand what lies at the root of ideas or complaints that may not seem immediately relevant to you personally.
3. Give People Opportunities for Growth
Every person should feel like they are growing within their position—if not, they will likely grow bored and seek out other opportunities elsewhere. Bring your employees’ attention to any relevant training, courses or workshops you have available and look for ways they can improve their skills. Encourage team members to take the time to work on improving themselves by assigning side projects and giving people greater responsibilities explains Peter Decaprio.
4. Promote a Culture of Transparency
It’s important for everyone in the company to understand how it works so that no one feels confused or left out. When your company has transparent practices, people feel more invested in what goes on because they have a better idea of how what they do contributes to the workplace as a whole. If you are new, introduce yourself and get involved with your community outside of work—you never know what opportunities will arise! Keeps an-door policy with your managers so employees feel more comfortable approaching higher-ups when they have a question or need clarification on a certain matter?
5. Show Appreciation
A little appreciation goes a long way, and it can be as simple as acknowledging your employees in front of their peers, complimenting specific work done by team members or thanking them for putting in extra effort to get something done. It’s also important to recognize people outside of the workplace—when you write personal thank-you notes for birthdays, anniversaries or even just everyday kindness, it encourages people to do the same for their colleagues at work. Make sure you take the time to sincerely appreciate your staff—it can make all the difference when it comes to feeling valued.
6. Invest in Training
Consider bringing in outside help to train your staff on areas where they could improve. This will allow you to spend more time growing the company while empowering your employees with new skills that can enhance their job performance and benefit the workplace as a whole. Be open about what is being taught during training sessions so everyone knows what topics are on the agenda, especially if some of them might be uncomfortable or unfamiliar says Peter Decaprio. These resources may include people who do not work for your company (e.g., guest speakers), so make sure you share any relevant information before hand (e.g., speaker bio, topic outline).
7. Equip Employees with Technology
Please don’t spring technology on anyone; get everyone’s input first! There are many ways technology can benefit your company, but it can easily overwhelm. Frustrate or alienate people who aren’t used to using computers or smartphones. Share the types of technology that will be made available. And what each is intended for so employees can prepare themselves. Keep in mind that some people may not have the same level of technological literacy as others; those who are more adept at utilizing new tools should help those who need extra assistance getting a start. It’s important to make sure everyone feels comfortable. With whatever changes are being implemented, however small they may be.
8. Let People Work from Home
Letting team members work from home once a week or even just a day here. And there can give them a much-needed break from commuting, reduce expenses. And give people time to catch up on errands or personal business. If you notice someone’s morale is dipping. Letting them work from home could do the trick. It will certainly be a nice surprise for employees who never expected to have the option.
9. Actively Listen and Communicate Openly
Don’t expect everyone in your office to be mind-readers; each person’s communication needs will vary based on personality, job function and other factors. Specific to their role in your company explains Peter Decaprio. Make yourself available if an exceptional amount of face-time is necessary (e.g., through email). And actively listen when team members speak so they know their opinionshave value and respect. This positive reinforcement can make a world of difference when employees know you care and are willing to listen.
10. Give Regular Feedback
Not everyone is a mind-reader, so make sure you give regular feedback —positive and constructive. So employees know how they’re doing in their current roles or any upcoming changes. That may affect them or the company as a whole. Make sure you actively listen when people speak so they feel validated, and be ready. With suggestions on how to improve if someone isn’t cutting it. Be open about what is being discussed. Even if it might not sound flattering (e.g., lack of progress on a project). Don’t leave people waiting around with no explanation—it can make for an upsetting work environment.
I have always believed that employees are the backbone of an organization says Peter Decaprio. They are your biggest asset, so it is important to take steps to foster a work environment where they feel respected and valued, while also providing them with opportunities for professional growth.