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How Business Owners Can Help Create an Inclusive Culture

Starting a business is something to be proud of. Whether your focus is on products or services, it’s still good to show your support and appreciation for the diversity of your workforce. Beyond speaking about inclusivity, you should also make a point of living by example. These are some ways you can make positivity a key point of your company as a business owner.

Make Expectations Clear

You could be contributing to prejudices against race, gender, and sexual orientation by not reprimanding employees who engage in hostile behaviors. For example, someone can be part of the LGBTQ community and still act inappropriately toward others in that group. This includes using slurs towards someone who is gay or intentionally misgendering someone who is transgender. Don’t treat intolerance as something that’s swept under the rug unless it’s declared heinous enough. Spell out your expectations and make the consequences clear.

Hire Smart

Hiring law prohibits questions about one’s sexual orientation or gender identity. However, some candidates may disclose this in interviews, and their bieng part of the LGBTQ community might influence your desire to hire them. Be accepting of those who are different than you. It can actually lead to greater productivity to have more diversity on your team. A positive company culture can be fostered by asking the right questions about teamwork abilities and eagerness to work on a team. When it comes to specific personality traits there are even some you can test for, including motivation, work ethic, and integrity.

Follow New Developments

Understanding new social norms can take time for people, but the sooner you tell them, the better. If a certain terminology or line of discussion has been deemed inappropriate, you should have your employees briefed on it. It could be something that one employee brings up and requests not having discussed in the workplace, for fear of feeling discriminated against. No one can determine what is and isn’t offensive to another person. If you want your workplace to be truly inclusive, you need to let your employees know that you’re looking out for them.

When companies talk about being positive, they need to be talking about more than just having employees plaster smiles on their faces. Your business should not only be a way to make you a living, but also a way for people to see what inclusivity and acceptance looks like when put into practice.

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