How can I create an inclusive workplace?
This section offers step-by-step advice on the measures you can take to make your workplace more inclusive. There are five stages in this process:
1. Consider what you want to achieve and what the benefits will be.
2. Undertake an inclusion review of your workplace.
3. Decide where work is needed and create an action plan.
4. Communicate the plan with staff and put the plan into action.
5. Review, monitor and evaluate the plan's impact and use what you find to plan future action.
Consider what you want to achieve
Do an inclusion review
Create an action plan
Communicate the plan and put it into action
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4.2 Undertake an inclusion review
When reviewing inclusion and equality in your organisation, you should consider the following areas:
The demographics of your organisation and customer base.
Your formal policies and procedures.
Informal or unwritten working practices.
Arrangements for staff consultation and participation.
All organisations are different, so the first thing you will need to do is examine what the demographic make-up of your workplace is. Compiling and analysing data on your staff by age, gender, ethnic group, religion or belief, sexual orientation and disability, and noting where in the organisation’s structure employees belonging to different groups work, will help you to identify any under-represented groups and areas of occupational segregation. You should check employees’ salaries according to membership of different groups, and check rates of progression within and through the grades. It is also useful to look at retention and exit rates by these groups.
If possible, you should also collect information on the make-up of your customers. Finding out who uses your services and what their needs are is important if you are to ensure you have the right people, skills and approaches to meet these needs.
Formal policies and procedures
The formal policies and practices of your organisation can tell you a lot about how much you have previously thought about inclusion, human rights and equality. When reviewing these policies, you will find it helpful to look at:
Policies to deal with discrimination, bullying and harassment
Do you have clear and well-known policies that set out the behaviour you expect in the workplace? These should stipulate the importance of treating others with dignity and respect, set out what equality and human rights legislation says, explain what discrimination and harassment are, and state what the consequences of unacceptable behaviour will be. Are line managers clear about these policies and trained to act quickly when dealing with complaints?
Procedures to deal with tensions and difference between groups
If you employ different groups of workers who may be likely to disagree or to have misperceptions about each other, do you have procedures in place to deal with this? Do you have guidance on employing agency or migrant workers, making sure that they are not treated less favourably than permanent employees?
Disciplinary and grievance procedures
Do you have clear disciplinary and grievance procedures that are followed by all managers, accessible to employees and easily understood? Are these procedures fair to all, or could they impact negatively on particular groups of employees? Do employees have access to an independent arbitration or dispute resolution process if they do not agree with the outcome?
Policies on flexible working
Do you have procedures in place for dealing with requests to work flexibly in a fair and objective manner? Do...