Establishing your inclusive team

In Diverse Company helps organisations consider how to best invest time and energy into creating inclusivity within teams, because it has shown that people perform best when they feel included, valued and empowered. The recruitment process is the starting point in establishing inclusive teams, as the expectation and culture is created from the outset.

Having a diverse team means you have people from different backgrounds who can offer different perspectives. We consider diversity to mean more than purely a person’s age, race, religion etc and believe that everyone brings unique qualities that contribute to organisational success and growth. An inclusive team is one where an individual’s uniqueness is known about, accepted and incorporated into the work and daily life of the team. Each person within the team feels like they belong and their uniqueness is an added value. The recruitment process starts with:

Creating a job description: When creating inclusive job descriptions, considering the language used is crucial.  Without realising it, it is very easy to use words and phrases that might unconsciously play to our biases. It is good practice to share a job description with someone else to look over who is from a different background to ourselves. There are also a number of tools that can check for any counter-inclusive words or phrases. Before launching the job description, put yourself in a number of different personas to consider if it’s appealing to you.

Advertising for the role: Achieving a diverse workforce is dependent on helping professionals from a range of backgrounds find your company. However, many employers focus their recruitment activities on platforms and channels that are likely to deliver candidates from similar backgrounds. Job advertisement are often written with lots of industry jargon. In order to attract neurodiverse candidates use plain English, focussing on essential skills and experience. In the advert, make it clear that you are inviting application from people of all backgrounds and be clear about your commitment to inclusivity.

Interviewing: Even before the interview happens, ask the interviewee about any accommodations that can be made to help them in the interview process. This might include performing the interview in a space accessible to someone in a wheelchair, adapting a test in an interview for someone with dyslexia, or offering an informal conversation in advance for someone with an anxiety condition. Conduct interviews with more than one person on the panel, this can help reduce potential individual biases and preconceived ideas about a candidate.

Onboarding: Onboarding is not the same as Induction. Onboarding is a holistic process that starts from when the candidate says ‘yes’ to when they feel comfortable in their surroundings and are performing to their own expectations as well as yours. This could be anywhere from 90 days to 6 months. There are so many questions that go through the mind of a new employee, such as ‘will I fit in?’, ‘will they like me?’, ‘what will my relationship be like with my manager?’. Onboarding is about integration and setting the expectations from the beginning. Get feedback from recent starters to understand what went well and what could be improved, ensure line managers are fully equipped to support new starters both professionally and personally to integrate, and ensure that there are processes in place such as a buddy/mentoring arrangement, new starters lunch, information about clubs and groups to join.

In Diverse Company offers programmes to support organisations in increasing inclusive teams, from recruitment through to helping teams understand the business case for D&I, engaging global teams in D&I, and building habits for inclusion in teams. We use a variety of methods to engage participants, ensuring that their engagement and interests are met in the content we have developed. We want to ensure that everyone understands the importance of having inclusive teams and the impact this can have on individuals, team effectiveness and organisational success.

What we’re talking about

Johanna launched In Diverse Company in 2019 out of a strong belief that there was a better way to create and measure inclusive cultures.

We live by our values, and our approach to our own recruitment policy, team and purpose reflects this. We are a tech company driven by a senior team that are experts in people, with one of the only female CEOs of a HR tech platform across the world.

Our Learning Platform, Include™ is the only LXP that combines Learning and Engagement. Include aims to create more inclusive working cultures and is underpinned by social and behavioural psychology principles.