Five steps to workplace inclusion – step 1

Devise a well-documented plan

It’s all very well to aim to become an inclusive workplace. Implementing can be daunting and restricted by initial push back from staff who may not want to change. I suggest taking the following five steps to ensure you plan, implement and review a solid inclusion policy.

1.     Devise a well-documented plan

2.     Incorporate inclusion principles across all of the business

3.     Create opportunities for cross-functional interaction among the team

4.     Regularly invest in staff training

5.     Support middle management to understand, implement and assess progress.

So, first up – devise a well-documented plan.

It’s part of your overall forward plan and will include goals, objectives and small manageable tasks. In my own organisation, I’ll write a draft that includes target market and strategies for attracting them to our offering. This becomes the overarching document that I take to my senior management team, which we discuss at length until the draft becomes a solid basis from which to write steps 2 through 5, above. Responsibility for planning steps 2 through 5 is allocated to senior managers.

One of the most important aspects is a checklist for success. If at any time, these points don’t make sense to you, I’m happy to discuss how we do it at NOVA, including describing the bumps and potholes along the way. Even though each workplace is different, there’s no use reinventing the wheel when some aspects of planning, implementation and training can be copied and/or modified to suit.

The business case for inclusion has long been established. The social capital stemming from inclusion is strong. Now ‘all we have to do’ is make a plan.

- Martin Wren