5 Inclusive Workplace Practices For Your Remote Team
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Virtual DE&I strategies help remote companies create fair, equal, inclusive workplaces even if their teams work in different countries. Here’s how to follow suit:[Image Source]
Inclusive workplace practices for remote companies create a more welcoming, productive, and fair work environment.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts (known as DE&I) make sure all team members feel like they’re on a level playing field despite their different backgrounds, education, work locations, job titles, etc.
Remote companies must set the tone for DE&I success with the right strategies. And if you’re a new, remote startup, you’ll want to nail down your inclusive workplace practices before you build your team from the ground-up.
So today’s guide is here to help!
We’re sharing our best inclusive workplace practices specifically geared for remote companies that don’t get to interact with their employees in-person.
Let’s start with the crucial groundwork first.
#1. Make Inclusive Workplace Practices the Norm
Your first step to creating an inclusive remote workplace is to make sure these values are clearly expressed by your company.
Similar to having a remote work policy, your company should outline a policy about what it means to be a diverse, equal, and inclusive workplace.
Write up a short blurb explaining your company’s views on DE&I and how your company plans to embody them. This is an easy and impactful way to show that everyone is welcome and accepted at your company.
Post this policy everywhere for potential and current employees (and customers!) to see. Think about including it on your website, in your job postings, and more.
But merely stating this isn’t enough. You must also act on these values.
To start, make sure there’s diversity within your team -- and at every level. Your new hires should come from a well-rounded mix of candidates, and white men shouldn’t hold all the executive-level positions.
Since your company is remote, you can highlight your diverse crew by creating a digital wall of employees on your website’s Team or About Us page.
Ask everyone to submit their best headshot, and when people land on this page, they’ll see within a few seconds that your company doesn’t discriminate.
#2. Give Everyone a Way to Voice Their Opinion
Another simple but effective tool for creating an inclusive workplace is to encourage your team members to voice their opinions, even if they disagree with something.
Everyone should feel comfortable speaking up. So make it clear throughout your meetings and other messages that you value everyone’s thoughts and viewpoints.
Give everyone a chance to speak their mind, and make sure you and your team members genuinely listen and hear what everyone has to say.
#3. Spread Around Well-Deserved Recognition
Give your team members recognition and praise, and they’ll know that you value the unique skills and abilities each employee brings to the virtual table.
However, you have to provide recognition thoughtfully here.
If you’re only praising team members who generate the most revenue, for example, while excluding those who make up your company’s backbone, you’re going to create a huge divide.
All of your employees are valuable in different yet equally-important ways.
So it’s smart to rotate your recognition and accolades to ensure everyone feels appreciated and included, no matter how big or small their role.
This is pretty easy to practice in a remote workplace because all you have to do is send out a simple shout-out in Slack or via company email.
Keep a running tally of everyone’s latest accomplishments, and you’ll have no trouble coming up with and rotating your shout-outs.
#4. Create Space for Non-Work Chat
Slack is ideal for team members to dish about work when they’re remote. But you can also set up Slack channels to boost your DE&I efforts.
For personal development, create a channel for employees to learn more about each other and their backgrounds.
You could host cultural or other theme days in your Slack channels where team members may share more about their culture or other aspects of their life -- as long as they feel comfortable doing so.
You could also create channels that offer support.
Depending on the size of your remote workplace, you could have separate channels for:
- LGBTQ support
- Women in leadership
- Working parents
- Diversity in the workforce
These channels are a fantastic way for teammates to really get to know each other -- which is tough to do working remotely. It also helps foster personal connections and reduces the loneliness and isolation of remote work.
Again, creating these channels is only the first step. Make sure you keep them active and engaged to maximize their effectiveness.
#5. Get Involved in a Mix of Good Causes
One of the best ways to create an inclusive workplace when you’re working remotely is to get your entire team involved in causes that matter to them. Bonus points if these causes also promote DE&I around the world.
To do this, hold a virtual meeting to generate a list of causes that your employees support. Then you can rotate which causes you help each month or each quarter.[Image Source]
You can have your team drive awareness to these causes, start fundraising, perform pro-bono work -- whatever your team is best at!
Since your team is remote, each of your employees will create a global impact with their individual effort. And you’ll also have a collective win as a team.
Try These Inclusive Workplace Practices Today
These five inclusive workplace practices for remote companies will help you foster more diversity, equality, and inclusivity on your team.
Some of these strategies are as simple as updating your website; others may involve more work but also deliver a maximum payoff.
No matter how big or small the gesture, it’s essential to take the time to work on your DE&I efforts sooner than later. Inclusive workplaces breed motivated and happy employees who value being there -- and every company needs more team members like that.
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