Tag Archive for: inclusive workplace

As business leaders take active measures to incorporate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) initiatives into daily processes, workplace inclusivity is on the horizon, but we’re not quite there yet. Aside from human bias, organizations must continuously evaluate elements like internal practices, hiring processes, and messaging so they can identify room for improvement and come up with a plan of action. 

Inclusivity is recognized as a significant driver of positive business outcomes, so these changes are worth pursuing. With a diverse workforce, companies stand to benefit from new perspectives and more engaged employees, all while gaining the opportunity to work with the best talent in the labor market. So, how does your organization stack up when it comes to inclusivity? Check out this overview of the top five characteristics of an inclusive workplace to see where your business shines and where there’s opportunity for improvement. 

Employees Feel They Belong

A sense of belonging drives employee loyalty and satisfaction, but it means more than having their photo on the team’s wall. “The only way for companies to create a sustaining sense of belonging is to really listen,” explains Sanquinetta Dover, founder of DoverSolutions.

When employees feel that their employer values their opinions and knowledge, their mindset shifts from I’m working for you to I’m working with you. One way to work toward this is through surveys on workplace satisfaction, but employees need to feel heard on a regular basis.

Including employees in meetings, having management take time to talk to them face-to-face, and ensuring that all employees can offer input for big projects and initiatives are just some ways you can show that you value employee opinions.

From there, you can cultivate a sense of belonging by acknowledging ideas, praising individuals, and consistently showing appreciation. Employers should also try to strengthen the workplace community through social events and collaborative processes.

Collaboration Is Encouraged and Facilitated 

Collaboration helps businesses accomplish more by breaking down silos and enabling different teams to work together effectively. In a truly collaborative workplace, there is little workday separation between one department and the next. All teams can communicate, share ideas, and help one another without feelings of frustration, delays, competition, or awkwardness. 

In a siloed workplace, there’s no cross-collaboration until it’s critical for a big project. Because the teams only communicate during times of necessity, the interaction feels forced, and individuals sometimes aren’t as creative or efficient as they’d like to be. Communication didn’t exist before that project, and it will probably disappear when the project is over. That is the opposite of inclusivity. 

Truly collaborative work environments don’t just enable easy communication — they encourage it. Facilitating collaboration means creating a culture where employees feel equal, valuable, and like everyone is accessible. Encouraging casual social interactions at work is one way to help melt away that awkwardness and standoffishness that can occur when teams don’t interact often.

There Are Programs to Support Growth

Inclusivity in the workplace isn’t just about whom you hire or how you treat them, but how you support people in different roles to achieve their goals and dreams. Leaders sometimes fear providing too much support for employees because they don’t want talent to grow so much that they leave the company. 

In truth, offering support for your employees will make them feel respected and valued in a way that increases company loyalty. Some employees will eventually leave if they run out of challenges at your workplace, but that’s inevitable whether you’re helping them grow or not. Ultimately, you will only benefit from employee growth.

Offering opportunities for learning and development means that you can nurture your talent to become even better. This helps individuals feel that their strengths and aspirations have been recognized and acknowledged by the team and improves their sense of individuality in the workplace. 

Each Person Is Valued as an Individual

Belonging and connection are often discussed as fundamental principles of a positive and inclusive work environment, but a sense of uniqueness is also crucial. “In an attempt to make everyone equal, companies often make the unintentional mistake of assimilation. When you fail to acknowledge and leverage each individual’s background, strengths, and goals, you devalue the entire team,” says Ms. Dover. 

Showing that you care about each employee’s knowledge, experiences, and dreams is not easy, but it’s something management should strive to accomplish with each workday. L&D resources and internal sourcing are significant steps in the right direction. You can also show how you understand an employee as a person through daily interactions and conversations. 

Inclusivity Is Part of the Business Strategy

One of the biggest mistakes companies make is failing to identify why inclusivity is so important. It’s the right thing to do, but figuring out how to strategically align it with business outcomes, both internally and externally, is crucial to success.

Inclusivity requires something different of each leader, manager, and employee. As such, each needs to understand what inclusivity means to your company and what their role is in achieving it. The question is, where do you begin? Many resources can guide your strategy and support your goals, including our full-service staffing firm DoverStaffing.   One of their many programs that is a great resource is the DoverStaffing Ticket to Work Program.  Ticket to Work Program assists those with disabilities of any kind, to receive the help they need to get back in the workforce. This can be any support they need whether it is for the betterment of their current employment or to become financially independent.  We will examine in more detail the Ticket to Work Program in a future article.

Ask DoverSolutions for help in making your workplace more inclusive and unlocking the benefits of an effective DE&I strategy. 


When it comes to workplace diversity, the numbers tell the story. According to a report from Fundera, 57 percent of employees believe that their company needs to do more to increase diversity, while 41 percent of managers claim to be “too busy” to implement diversity and inclusion initiatives. With numbers like these, perhaps it’s not surprising that, according to the same report, African Americans are 50 percent less likely to get second interviews compared to white candidates, and fewer than 8 percent of Fortune 500 company CEOs are women.

Yet the same research also reveals that an impressive 85 percent of CEOs who do practice recruitment diversity are seeing increased profits, while companies that hire equal numbers of men and women are earning 41 percent more revenue. Despite this proof of profitability, however, many companies still aren’t getting the message; and it’s not only affecting their profits, it’s also hurting the community at large.

Businesses and recruitment diversity 

It’s an unfortunate fact that cultural and gender bias — whether conscious or unconscious — is prevalent in all walks of life, including recruitment and hiring practices. That’s why it’s vitally important for employers to take active measures in combating this bias by implementing more inclusive procedures in hiring and recruitment.

A survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reveals that 87 percent of participating businesses say that they track workplace diversity at least once annually. But the question remains: Are they using the resultant data to create a more inclusive workplace? The same study shows that a staggering 58 percent of these businesses still don’t recruit from non-traditional colleges or culturally diverse geographic locations, and 32 percent of these companies won’t even encourage open conversations about recruitment diversity. Clearly, there’s a certain level of awareness about the importance of inclusive hiring, but this awareness is coupled with an even larger degree of inaction and indifference for many businesses.

How you can create a more inclusive workplace

If you’re a CEO, business owner, manager, or HR professional, here are five ways you can make your company’s recruitment and hiring practices more inclusive. 

  1. Post recruitment ads in culturally diverse demographic areas 

By posting your recruitment ads in areas where a more diverse population can see them, you’ll be reaching out specifically to groups that you’ll want to include in your workplace. Target areas for recruitment diversity can include: 

  • Black colleges and universities 
  • Women’s colleges and universities 
  • Local retailers and other businesses in diverse neighborhoods
  • Cultural organizations (such as arts, entertainment, and educational centers) that celebrate diversity 
  1. Create job postings with inclusive job descriptions

The language you use in your job postings can significantly impact the diversity of the candidates who apply. Your job postings should include language that clearly outlines your commitment to inclusive hiring practices. In addition, each job description should avoid gender-based terminology, including nouns and adjectives that are typically perceived as resonating more with one gender or the other. According to augmented writing software firm Textio, when Expedia posts jobs written entirely in gender-neutral language, those jobs are filled eight days more quickly.

  1. Set up at job fairs in culturally diverse locations  

Local job fairs in more inclusive neighborhoods can be a valuable resource for qualified new hires who can diversify your workplace.

  1. Post relevant examples of diversity on your company website

Ask your staff members if they’ll allow you to take their photos while they’re on the job, and place these where they can be seen on your web pages. Be sure to include images that showcase employees of different races, genders and physical abilities performing in responsible positions.  

  1. Standardize your job interviews

Research conducted by the Harvard Business School shows that a standardized interview, with the same questions presented in the same order for everyone, reduces bias and directs the focus where it belongs, on qualifications and job performance.

According to Dover Solutions founder and CEO Sanquinetta Maria Dover, an all-encompassing job placement plan that includes diversity is key to professional success. As a career training and staffing entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience, Ms. Dover believes that workplace diversity is more than just a discussion — it’s a vital practice essential for every company. It’s also a critical part of her “positivity approach” that embraces the uniqueness of every job candidate. 

“It’s so important to look for that ‘seed of positive’ because it is there waiting to be nurtured and watered, so it can grow and blossom into its full potential,” she says. 

Toward that end, Dover Solutions is dedicated to training employees in advancing their skills to achieve better career opportunities and goals. “We place people in great jobs and look for great earning opportunities so that they are positioned well,” Dover says. “I’m happy that my company is a part of that.”

Dover Solutions can provide your company with qualified staff to meet your workforce needs. Each candidate is thoroughly screened and prepared to bring optimum efficiency and workplace performance to your business. Plus, Dover Solutions can train and up-skill your current workforce so you can achieve more productivity and success.

If you’re ready for business solutions that can take you to the next level, contact Dover Solutions to learn about our comprehensive roster of advisory and staffing services. Be sure to look for our next feature in this series, where we’ll discuss what business leaders can do to assess and promote more workplace diversity.

Diversity in the workplace isn’t just desirable – it’s essential for businesses that want to succeed. In our second article exploring the many facets of workplace diversity, we’ll examine some of the key benefits of employing people from a wide range of backgrounds. Filling your company with similar perspectives from similar roots only creates an echo chamber. Here, we’ll look at how different voices empower your business to deal with future challenges, plus some of the positive financial implications such as diversity incentives.

Here are the top five reasons why that process is vital for modern businesses that genuinely want to create an inclusive and profitable workplace.

  1. Increases Creativity and Problem Solving

Whether your company creates mobile apps or designs clothes, creativity can only go so far without a variety of different perspectives. An inclusive workplace that encourages hiring from all backgrounds means you’ll have a range of points of view for all situations. Sometimes employees from diverse backgrounds will look at an idea and say, “No,” or, “Maybe it will work better this way,” — and that’s great. People from different cultures respond to things in different ways. Women may notice sexist language that men may have missed. Trans individuals often have a unique perspective missing in workplaces that don’t often have trans employees. Autistic employees can help ensure products are suitable for neurodivergent people, while employees with a range of disabilities can fight ableism and ensure accessibility for all. Hiring more Black, Latin, or Asian employees doesn’t just hit diversity targets; it brings a wealth of experience from potentially vastly different backgrounds and upbringings.

Why is this important? Because without all these different voices telling a business how their product or service will be received, the audience for that product cannot grow at any speed. A varied panel can help tailor products to be more appealing to a much wider demographic and market.

  1. Creates a Great Place to Work

If businesses want their employees to enjoy coming to work (which is key for productivity), they must ensure their workplace is inviting and feels safe. That means addressing issues like sexual harassment and casual, everyday sexism, ensuring racism is dealt with, and creating a welcoming environment for all employees. Inclusive hiring practices promote workplaces that work for everyone. That might mean settings aside space for a prayer room for religious employees or a quiet room for autistic employees. The more preemptive, positive adjustments an employer makes, the more employees will share their stories of how great it is to work there.

  1. Fosters Better Business Decisions

According to research by Deloitte, businesses that actively support creating an inclusive workplace could increase their innovation by 83%. Similar research by Cloverpop backed this up with an apparent direct link between geographically diverse people and decision-making. In other words, hiring people from different neighborhoods across a city or state vastly improved businesses’ decision-making abilities. In fact, companies with employees from a diverse range of age, gender, and backgrounds made better decisions about business matters up to 87% of the time.

  1. Improves Brand Reputation

Having an inclusive workplace doesn’t just keep employees happy. It improves a business’s reputation among its consumers and stakeholders, too. It’s vital for companies to remember that they exist in a global and digital market where everyone has access to news, facts, and figures about any company they want to research. A new report from PRI, the Principles for Responsible Investment, suggests that diversity and inclusion are human rights issues and encourages investors to focus on diversity when choosing a company in which to invest. Embracing inclusion and diversity as core organizational values creates a positive ripple effect into all aspects of business life.

  1. Financial Diversity Incentives

Employers who keep their fingers on the pulse of hiring policies should already know that the American government offers some significant financial diversity incentives. While our other reasons are compelling from the point of view of business longevity and growth, immediate financial rewards could encourage many businesses to review their hiring processes immediately.

Businesses could be eligible for tax credits for hiring veterans who have served in the armed forces or hiring people with disabilities. Each of these types of tax credits comes with various exemptions. For example, a veteran must have been unemployed for over four weeks but less than six months at the time of hiring or in the year preceding that. Disabled access credit applies to businesses that actively provide access to work for people with disabilities. The work opportunity tax credit applies to companies that hire qualified employees from particular groups, such as those who have previously experienced long-term unemployment.

There’s a misconception in some businesses that hiring returning citizens or those with a criminal record is a risky idea. However, many people who have been through the justice system have numerous skills to offer employers, including creativity, problem-solving, or an in-depth knowledge of underserved communities. Likewise, other members of disadvantaged populations such as those with no formal qualifications could bring intuition, instinct, and determination to roles where on-the-job training is more vital than academic accolades. 

Now you know the top benefits of diversity in the workplace, but how do you go about ensuring your hiring policy is inclusive and up to the challenge? That’s what we’ll be exploring in our next article, to help your business make the right hiring choices every time. As Dover’s founder, Sanquinetta Dover, says, “Diversity and inclusion in any workplace isn’t a clear-cut destination. It’s an ongoing process that employers have to commit to.” If you want more information on making your own commitment to this process, reach out to Dover Solutions.