Diversity is always an important point of concern for any modern organization. But hiring people with different nationalities, races, genders or sexual orientations is not sufficient. It’s all about making your employees feel truly welcomed, safe and free to express themselves in the workplace. Cultural inclusion not only makes your company a comfortable workplace but it also enhances its productivity. This results in higher retention rates. Beyond retention, talent acquisition process becomes less complicated, employee referrals increase, employer brand is improved, and candidates are more likely to accept offers as results of engaged employees, therefore improving candidate experience. Every organization is unique, so the content and framework of a new inclusion program needs to be customized according to environment of your organization. Below are few practical strategies to create a welcoming workplace sparking innovation and cultivating a culture of accountability. Data Driven Reports to determine current workplace culture Before you start customizing new program, it’s important to get a real-time pulse of your current workplace culture which includes the behaviour of people and people management practices. These reports can help you gain distinct insights into how your employees think and behave in different situations, and draw a more comprehensive sketch of what practices needs to implement to make everyone more comfortable. Integrate your employee’s value Your employee’s values and beliefs collectively results as the foundational values of your workplace culture. In order to make your work culture diversity and inclusivity centered, it must be amalgamated into your company’s belief system. This will give all the people in a workplace a broader perspective to see every situation. Allowing the organization to be more responsive, innovative and easily adapting to constantly changing challenging needs. Start from the top level of hierarchy Leaders are the company’s face to represent company culture. The experience created by your leaders is going to add value to your diversity and inclusivity efforts because it’s the leaders who interact with employees on day to day basis. Many believe that a healthy business is a result of healthy work culture. Once the leader’s sets into the mould, it becomes easy to extend this throughout the organization. Utilizing and inclusive recruitment strategy amplifies your efforts and cultivates your workforce. Forming an Inclusion and diversity Cabinet To achieve your D&I goals you can consider forming a cabinet of dedicated and influential leaders who are driven by passion and commitment to achieve set goals. These cabinet members should be involved in developing recruitment and retaining strategies. They can be the voice to address and troubleshoot employee engagement problems of underrepresented employee groups. Hence while forming such a cabinet we need to make it as diverse as possible with leaders representing different genders, sexualities, religions, caste, creed and also geographic locations. Arguments that arise in among the cabinet members can alert you of issues evolving within the company. Giving equal opportunities to all One of the best ways to build inclusiveness in your company is by giving equal opportunities instead of people you know the best. Also respect people’s background and traditions. Also welcome them to share those in the workplace. Give credit to original ideas. Welcome healthy debates and provide healthy space to share thoughts. Diversity in teams results in enhanced decision-making, greater innovation and ultimately higher revenue. Having common goals Creating inclusive mindsets is not an easy process; it will take time and continuous efforts to achieve. But is becomes much easier with having a workforce working to achieve a common goal. Leaders should inculcate the common goal in fellowship every now and then. This builds team spirit and makes the workplace feel safe avoiding unnecessary misunderstanding. A company’s goals and tactics must evolve consistently along with the needs of current workforce. Effective communication can close gaps so that everyone feels the sense of belonging. Conclusion To achieve an inclusive and diverse work culture is a never ending process. The inclusion program should be constantly tailored to create a more liberal and diversified work environment. It requires involvement and participation of leaders at every level. Leaders should communicate a clear vision and take new initiatives to inspire employees to work towards a more diverse and inclusive culture. The consistent efforts not only result in employees performing at a higher level, encouraging new ideas with fresh perspectives but also increased employee retention, committed workforce, and improved employer branding leading to improved business outcomes.