Here at Whitcombe HR we strive to adapt and keep in touch with what is relevant to our clients and their businesses right now.

Anyone who owns or runs a business will know that employee wellbeing is of great importance and as part of that diversity, equality and inclusion play a huge part.

If you have been moved by the recent world events that have taken place but aren’t sure how to create change within your own workplace, then here are some practical, immediate steps you can take to demonstrate your genuine commitment to equality and diversity in your organisation.

1. Articulate your commitment to ethnic diversity
There is no better time to communicate to all staff your commitment to ethnic diversity, equality, and inclusion. Emphasise that there is no place for racism in your workplace and ensure that the importance and value of diversity is recognised and emphasised at every opportunity.

2. Include this commitment in your core values
Incorporate equality, diversity and inclusion within your core values and ensure they are reflected in your policies, procedures, and everyday practices. This will also give you the opportunity to assess staff of all levels against those values as part of your appraisal process.

3. Recognise members of staff that take action to promote your core values
Recognise, support, and reward the actions of staff members promoting ethnic diversity both in and outside the workplace. If a member of staff is taking part in fundraising activities for example, you can sponsor them to further support their cause.

4. Celebrate the Diversity of your employees
Promote and encourage the sharing of culture and traditions by celebrating on dates of significance, for example cultural festivals.
Embrace the opportunity to bring celebration into your company and allow the members of staff who follow these traditions and cultures to feel like they are acknowledged, appreciated, and respected.

5. Carry out a Diversity Audit
If this isn’t something that you have done before then now is the time for a diversity audit. This should include a breakdown of all positions held by ethnicity, and then you can evaluate and publish the data.
Based in the results you can put in place a clear strategy with measurable targets and timeframes on how the position will be improved. Ensure that the strategy is implemented, reviewed, and reported on so that you can create real change.

6. Recruitment & Promotion
Make sure that career progression in your organisation is structured and transparent. Review your recruitment and promotion practices and consider how they can be improved to facilitate a more diverse workforce.
Identify any particular barriers to progression and offer training and support to overcome them and facilitate progression.

7. Training & Enforcement
As touched upon in the last point you should provide regular and compulsory training to all staff on equality and diversity and on unconscious bias. Managers should be given specific training on such matters in the context of recruitment and promotion.
Ensure your company’s equal opportunities policy is in a prominent, easily accessible place (such as your company handbook) regularly reviewed and updated and communicated to staff.
You should also ensure that any complaints regarding racism are fully and swiftly addressed in line with the company’s disciplinary and grievance procedure and anti-bullying and harassment procedure (if you would like any advice or help regarding complaints and your disciplinary and grievance procedure then we can help via the contact details below).

8. Mentoring & Support for you employees
Have mentors and role models at senior levels of the organisation who can share their experiences of how they overcame barriers to progression and advanced their careers. If there are currently no such individuals in the organisation, consider inviting external speakers to address employees.
You can also put in place mentoring schemes in which members of senior management mentor junior employees.

9. Communication and Engagement with your workforce
We have said this many times before, but never forget to get the feedback of your team. Why don’t you create a survey so members of staff can say what they think of your company’s track record on equality and ethnic diversity and ask them for ideas on how this can be improved.
Set up a platform within the organisation which provides employees with an opportunity to come together to share their experiences and thoughts, raise concerns about inequality and provides a collective voice for and represents employees to bring about change.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the above information or would like HR support regarding this topic then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by calling 07534 359255 or emailing help@whitcombehr.co.uk.