Why workplace inclusion benefits everyone: advice on embedding inclusion into the workplace and the benefits of doing so

By Abby Wilson, Communications & Engagement Specialist 



Most will know that equality and diversity in the workplace is important, not only from a legal compliance perspective but also from an ethical standpoint.  


We often see equality and diversity mentioned synonymously with inclusion. Inclusion is about practical application and the ongoing commitment to ensure that a diverse range of perspectives, backgrounds and experiences are represented within the workforce.  


There are many reasons why taking proactive steps to be more inclusive is beneficial for businesses and colleagues alike. Diversity leads to greater creativity, innovation and problem-solving capabilities. Different viewpoints foster more comprehensive decision-making and can drive the development of new ideas and approaches.  


Some organisations may be hesitant to engage in an inclusivity agenda out of fear of criticism or getting it wrong. Particularly in smaller businesses like MIH, it can be hard to decide what takes priority and which particular causes to support. It’s OK to focus on a small number of changes at a time, in order to ensure the change is impactful and meaningful. It’s also OK to get things wrong. By fostering an environment of honesty and self-reflection, both internally and with customers or clients, your organisation can share these learnings. 


This does not mean businesses should shy away from outward displays of support and inclusion either, but rather focus on your capacity to take actionable steps to make a difference. Inclusion in practice benefits everyone in the workplace, not just those in underrepresented groups. 


Here are some strategies and practices that can help foster inclusivity in the workplace: 


  • Encourage open dialogue, ask clarifying questions and seek to understand different viewpoints without judgment. Practise active listening by giving your full attention to others when they speak. Avoid interrupting or dismissing their perspectives.  
  • Implement flexible working policies where practicable, to accommodate the diverse needs of employees. This may include options for remote work, flexible hours, job sharing or other arrangements that promote work-life balance and account for personal circumstances. 
  • Actively seek out diverse candidates during the hiring process. Broaden recruitment channels to reach underrepresented groups. Use inclusive language in job descriptions and implement blind-screening techniques to remove any bias.  
  • Try to make time to stay updated on best practices, attend workshops or training sessions on diversity and inclusion, and be open to feedback from colleagues. 


Remember, creating an inclusive workplace is a collective effort that requires continuous learning, self-reflection and active engagement from everyone.  


For more information, visit the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) website, which provides a wealth of resources on diversity, inclusion and equity in the workplace: www.shrm.org