Taking place from 26th September to 2nd October, National Inclusion Week is a globally-recognised event, committed to learning about and celebrating an inclusive workplace culture. We’ve got some suggestions for how to celebrate National Inclusion Week but first what is this initiative?
Designed to unite businesses around the world, the initiative began 10 years ago with the first theme being ‘Think Differently’. Each year, a theme is created to inspire people to consider the benefits of having an inclusive workplace. This year, the theme is Time to Act: The Power of Now. Simply, it’s about fostering behaviours that will make inclusion a natural everyday occurrence.
What exactly is inclusion and why is it important?
Great Place to Work defined an inclusive workplace as “one that makes everyone, regardless of who they are or what they do for the business, feel equally involved in and supported.” This means employees will feel their contributions and opinions are not only listened to but also valued.
Research has shown that an inclusive workplace has:
- Higher revenue growth
- Greater innovation
- Increased ability to recruit a diverse talent pool
- 5.4 times higher employee retention.
When employees trust their colleagues, management and business leaders, they are not only more likely to stay in their roles but they’re also more likely to have pride in their work and contribute what they can to the company. Inclusion is ensuring everyone has an equal opportunity to excel in their role and influence whatever part of the organisation they wish.
The pandemic and many social challenges that have risen in the past few years, in particular anti-racism, have had a significant impact on how included people feel. An event such as this will generate open conversations, instigating positive change and action.
How to Celebrate National Inclusion Week
Now we’ve established what inclusion is and why it’s important, read on and find out how to celebrate national inclusion week and get your 2022 plans underway!
- Attend webinar events. There’s a huge selection of webinar events taking place during the week. They tend to cover a variety of inclusion topics, such as recruitment, anti-racism, staff support networks and more.
- Share on social media. Social media’s a powerful tool when it comes to raising awareness about events. Get your people involved by sharing stories and experiences, company celebrations and more using the hashtags #NationalInclusionWeek and #ThePowerOfNow.
- Raise awareness. Simply get everyone talking about inclusion – raise awareness about any current issues in your organisation, plan to combat them and emphasise the importance of #ThePowerOfNow.
- Provide training opportunities. It’s a prime time to develop your team and have them learn new things. Training workshops can lead team members to become more intrigued with inclusion. You may even think about designing assessments, tests and benchmarks to encourage more active participation.
- Volunteer. Not only a powerful way to give back to your community, volunteering will set a precedent for the workplace and demonstrate the progressiveness of your business. As an incentive for your workers to get involved, consider offering paid days of voluntary work.
- Assess your team. Simply taking the time to reflect on your team is a great way to get involved. Consider the diversity of your team, the balance between management and how you can look to attract new talent.
- Establish safe spaces. With so many religions, identities and cultures in an organisation, it’s more vital than ever to have a safe space where those struggling can feel the support they need. Equally, recognising that some employees thrive in a dynamic office vibe while others like to put their heads down in a quiet space is key.
- Arrange company events. Start with getting feedback from internal teams to see what events they would like to see and get planning! Encourage employees to share what they feel comfortable with.
- Hear from your team. It should come as no surprise that employees love being listened to. Get their opinion on what inclusion means to them; Formula One racing team Mercedes created a video last year interviewing their employees about what inclusion means to them.
- Hire expert speakers. Booking a diversity and inclusion speaker is a great way to get your team involved. These speakers have not only experienced the importance of acceptance but have found a masterful way to convey it to audiences and how it can lead to better decision-making and beyond.
Find out more about the benefits of diversity and inclusion within your business: