Why Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace Matters
Many workplaces that have a diverse team seem to have a better and more motivated working environment.
One study found that diverse teams are better at innovation and problem solving. Companies with a culture that practices diversity and inclusion can create a respectful and safe workplace that attracts and retain top talent and inspire productivity.
A diverse team is a great starting point for creating an inclusive workplace.
What's the Difference Between Diversity and Inclusion?
Diversity focuses on the makeup of your workforce. It is the practice of including or involving people from a range of ethnic backgrounds and of different genders, sexual orientations etc.
A diverse workforce means having a good mix of people from various racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds, and with different lifestyles, experiences, and interests.
Inclusion, on the other hand, is about the creation of a work environment and culture that enables all employees to participate and thrive. It is a set of behaviours (culture) that encourages employees to feel valued for their unique qualities and experience a sense of belonging.
In simple terms, inclusion is getting the mix to work together.
What Is Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace, and Why It Matters
In the workplace, diversity is seen through the acceptance and inclusion of employees of all backgrounds with differences in race, ethnicity, gender identity, age and more. A diverse workplace is an important asset as it acknowledges the individual strengths of each employee and the new perspectives they bring.
Inclusion is the practice of ensuring that people feel a sense of belonging and support from the organisation. It means that everyone in the diverse mix feels involved, valued, respected, treated fairly, and embedded in your company culture.
At Babilou Family Singapore, we practice diversity and inclusion as part of our company culture. Our team of teachers and staff cultivates a setting that is multi-cultural with a set of diverse abilities. This helps to foster deeper levels of connection, community and belonging for all team members.
We encourage our staff to learn and support each other, resulting in the fostering of deeper connections and gain motivation to provide better academic environment for our children.
Diversity in the workplace has been shown to boost creativity, creates greater opportunities for professional growth and allows for better decision-making. Because of our diverse and inclusive company culture, our educators are inspired to create an inclusive environment for our little ones and nurture them to be accepting, respectful and open to diversity.
What Does an Inclusive Workplace Looks Like
An inclusive workplace provides each team member with equal access to opportunities and professional resources regardless of race, age, physical abilities, or gender.
At Babilou Family, we prioritise the importance of cultivating positive relationships for our employees and the children at our centres to nurture inclusive behaviours at our workplace.
Here are some examples of our practices:
- Respect and appreciate all team member's backgrounds and cultural values. We celebrate the important cultural celebrations and practices of our diverse team members.
- Organise team building activities. To help our staff interact and know each other better, we hold internal trainings and celebrations to encourage better understanding and relationships.
- Foster a culture with authentic greetings. We encourage our teachers and children to start the day with a genuine smile and greetings such as “hello” or “good morning”. This helps to encourage a sense of recognition and stimulate rapport building.
- Equal access to resources. Our educators and staff have equal support from team leaders and access to company resources.
- Be open to different viewpoints from team members. Babilou Family cultivates an inclusive work environment by having an atmosphere where employees feel comfortable to share and express their curiosities without judgment. We encourage open and honest conversations to demystify unconscious bias and habits.
- Safe work environments for all team members. We listen to all voices during meetings and encourage the use of inclusive languages to convey respect and is sensitive to the differences of others.
Making everyone feel welcomed and included marks the starting point of building a workplace culture that focuses on diversity and inclusion. This then leads to greater workplace happiness which then translates to better productivity, as we work towards touching the lives of families through quality education.
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