So, pride month is coming to a close in a week or so. With it, brands full of rainbow designs have started packing up their bags to prepare for the next major trend. Just look at the rainbow listerine! What will they do next? Sales and Marketing teams have come to realize the largely untapped market that LGBTQ+ folks have. This, like anything else that is trending, led to many transparent, bare minimum efforts to sell “Pride Month.” But this problem isn’t just limited to LGBTQ+ members. Actually, focusing on inclusivity in the workplace helps these marketing efforts really mean something so you can sell to different audiences. In addition, greater inclusivity in the office limits employee turnover and provides work environments that help generate new, out-of-the-box ideas to push your company forward.
Communicate About Inclusivity and Mean It
First of all, having a little “inclusivity in the workplace” statement somewhere in your hiring process helps. Going with the pride theme, according to the Out and Equal Workplace Advocates research from 2006, it was still legal to discriminate on sexuality in 34 states. That increased to 44 states in terms of gender expression. These issues improved significantly within the last five years. However, inclusivity still isn’t a given in the workplace.
What you really need to do is encourage new ideas based on different backgrounds in the workplace environment. That does not mean ultimate free speech, however. Instead, it means dispelling stereotypes that make employees uncomfortable. The goal is to create a welcoming atmosphere for all of your employees. So, talk to those when offensive stereotypes or jokes come up. Likewise, listen if someone talks with you about their grievances with the workplace environment. No one wants to speak up, stay at a job, or contribute new ideas if their workplace feels hostile.
Be like Indya Moore: Understand How Important it is to Focus on Being Inclusive
This applies across the board. Having one inclusivity event doesn’t really mean much if you don’t keep up with it all-year-round. People will see right through a little PR during very select times. This is especially true in the business world now. Businesses have to maintain a sense of transparency. So, instead, make your company more inclusive by focusing on differences. The best way to do this is to focus on a team-oriented leadership style. Making everyone more comfortable lets everybody have the chance to share their ideas. This, in turn, increases the diversity of content, thereby naturally creating an environment that fosters inclusivity without all the gimmicks.
You can still have a fun, rainbow-themed banner or product for pride, but now, you actually can prove that your dedication is real. This makes people more willing to support your product or service because you’ll be practicing what you preach. In addition, you will shape a hospitable work environment. This allows for better team communication and better workplace creativity.