Being in the insurance business means that risk management ranks highly with us. But while businesses are given plenty of advice on risk management for finances and cyber threats and so on, workforce risks are not always addressed.
Bullying and discrimination are a sad fact of many workplaces. Learning how to become a more inclusive employer is a positive risk management strategy for these divisive elements in a workplace.
The case for inclusion
It’s not just a matter of following anti-discrimination laws, important as this is. Discrimination, bullying and harassment can lead to poorer morale and performance, increased absenteeism and higher staff turnover.
Research by Diversity Council Australia indicates workers from culturally diverse backgrounds are three times less likely to see their workplaces as inclusive. At the same time, there are studies that show that inclusive workplaces show greater innovative abilities, team collaboration, responsiveness to customer needs and employee engagement.
This makes a good case for creating an inclusive and welcoming environment at work.
Tips for becoming more inclusive
It’s important to embrace diversity from the top. You need to communicate the message that you are an inclusive employer through both policy and action.
This could include:
- Developing an anti-discrimination policy that states bullying, harassment and discrimination won’t be tolerated.
- Creating safe procedures for reporting complaints.
- Committing to respectful and positive workplace relationships. For example, involving workers in decision making, and always promptly addressing discriminatory behaviours.
There’s a lot of benefits that can come from becoming a more an inclusive employer. Well worth the effort for any business!