How to Create an Inclusive Culture at Work with Technology

Building an inclusive culture at work is necessary to ensure motivated and productive employees. Here’s how you can use technology to establish it in your organization. 

If you’re in the HR or comms space, you’ll agree that your leaders no longer treat Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) as buzzwords. They recognize the role of inclusivity in creating a fair and grounded organizational culture. But how do you translate that into reality for your organization? 

For starters, simply chalking out inclusivity plans rarely works. You need to go deeper into your daily employee interactions and operations. This is necessary to identify gaps and ensure everyone feels united, heard, and respected throughout their employee lifecycle. Technology can be an excellent enabler for implementing this exercise in organizations with distributed workforces. This blog explores how you can use inclusive technology solutions to build an inclusive culture at work.

The critical role of inclusivity in the workplace

Building a culture of inclusion at work ensures every employee, regardless of origin, race, sexual orientation, or identity status, feels included, welcome, respected, and safe. Successfully doing so helps attract diverse talent, avoid conflicts, reduce bias, and increase worker accountability. This benefits the organization with improved motivation, reduced attrition, and overall productivity and growth.

Employees in an inclusive work environment are 5.4x more likely to remain at the same job and 9.8x more likely to feel motivated

However, most organizations struggle to create an inclusive culture in the workplace. The more diverse the workforce, the more tricky getting inclusion right can get - inclusion requires a constantly ongoing effort to address any unconscious bias, ensure equitable opportunities and celebrate a variety of perspectives. For example, also language barriers can stand in the way of creating a culture of inclusion - if someone doesn't fully grasp the information due to language difficulties, they may be hesitant to participate or ask questions. Leaving them feeling excluded and disengaged.

How the right technology enhances workplace inclusivity

Using appropriate technology unfolds a solution to many of the common inclusivity challenges.  As we just discussed, language is one common barrier to inclusive communication. So, deploying an internal comms app with translation features lets you empower workers to communicate in a language of their choice.  Result - nothing gets lost in translation 😉

Similarly, implementing training tools with multi-device access helps include everyone in accessing these resources. For example, desktop-based training often fails to reach frontline workers effectively. The nature of their jobs, which often is characterized by limited computer access or requiring them to be on the floor, can make it difficult for them to participate. This can leave them feeling left behind in terms of learning and development opportunities. 

Truly, simple tech interventions are all you need to create a welcoming environment for all! Now, let’s explore exactly what kind of technology can help you foster workplace inclusivity.

An introduction to inclusive communication technologies

Inclusive communication technologies are tools with features that ensure users can communicate, collaborate, and feel heard without unconscious biases, regardless of their abilities, sexual orientation, disabilities or socio-economic backgrounds. These tech tools can help you personalize communication, increase accessibility, and measure impact. 

Let's understand how they work by taking the example of Speakap, an employee experience platform, which comes with inclusive features like:

  • Multi-language support: Speakap allows employees from different linguistic groups to communicate efficiently. Its built-in translation features let employees easily converse with each other in a language of their choice.
  • Accessibility: The platform is intuitive and mobile-first by design, making it accessible to even the less tech savvy. Moreover, its intranet software setup enables employees across locations to collaborate and provide feedback easily in a way that works for them.
  • Inclusive communication channels: The platform ensures communication channels are accessible to all respectfully. For example, an excellent inclusivity feature is the option to specify one’s pronouns and feel respected for that identity.  Find out how Basic-Fit uses this.

The best part about using Speakap is that the platform is customizable and user-friendly and works excellently across in-office, remote, and even frontline employee groups. Everyone using it can connect easily, engage, and develop a sense of community. 

Want to know how to make it work for your organization?

Here’s a step-by-step guide to implementing technology to boost inclusivity

  1. Evaluate your employees' identities: Start by understanding your employees. Speakap can help you conduct surveys and collate demographic and psychographic identities. This will give you a starting point for identifying people who tend to feel they’re not included or valued, and they should be your focus.

  2. Develop and implement an inclusivity strategy: Establish strategies and tactics to address potential problem areas.  For example, research shows that 48.8% of women and 49.3% of workers of color in a survey say they feel less valued at work.  So, if that’s the case in your organization, build a strategy to address the gap. While you incorporate specific tactics, conduct training and awareness to encourage and instill inclusive behavior in your culture. The app is an excellent means to disseminate this training to everyone.

  3. Monitor progress and iterate approach: Measure your inclusivity progress regularly. KPIs such as absenteeism, employee net promoter scores, and engagement with content can give you an idea of what’s working. If you discover gaps, get to the problems and address them. 

In addition, maximize the day-to-day operational impact of your inclusivity efforts with these best practices:

  • Get leadership buy-in to promote your efforts and defeat initial resistance. It can be an easy intervention, like posting about this on your employee app and denoting the seriousness of inclusivity. 
  • Leverage personalization to ensure your communications are targeted to establish a more profound sense of belonging.
  • Empower employees to share anonymous feedback. This will ensure employees who face abuse or bias have someone to report it to safely.
  • Encourage and recognize individuals performing well to encourage others to follow suit and build a greater sense of inclusivity. 

Enhancing inclusivity starts with using the right toolkit.

Creating an inclusive culture is necessary for a productive and happy work environment. For it, you need a multifaceted approach in which the right technology plays an enabling role. 

Inclusive employee apps like Speakap can help increase your organization’s sense of belonging and boost inclusivity. Its features foster seamless communication and collaboration, ensuring everyone feels respected and included. To know more about how to make Speakap work for you and boost your organization’s inclusivity quotient, speak to our experts for a demo.