5 TIPS FOR EMPLOYERS ON HOW TO WORK WITH DIVERSE TEAMS
Updated: May 5
The Advertising Industry has always acted fast when it came to global trends and changes over the years. Diversity and inclusion have been hot topics for a while now, but especially in recent years, with equality movements around the globe, such as MeToo and BLM, being a a wake-up call for many.
Because of the importance that diversity and inclusion have in the creative industry, we have prepared a few tips on how to create an inclusive workplace or how to enhance an already existing one:
First, we would like to make sure the difference between diversity and inclusion is clear. It is an immensely popular misconception that these two terms are synonyms. Diversity means people with various backgrounds, cultures, religions, sexual orientations, etc. Inclusivity means embracing and cherishing this diversity inside your workplace.
We believe that everyone is unique and should be appreciated for their individual traits. It is extremely important to form bonds with your employees to make them feel accepted. To do that, you need to be open to the idea of getting to know everyone individually and to not judge anyone prematurely.
You absolutely must not make assumptions about individuals; instead, a good employer should make them feel comfortable and value their unique point of views. This way, after a genuine connection has been created, it will be easier for both parties to open and talk about what would make them feel included for who they really are.
One of the most important steps in creating an inclusive workplace is being open and receptive. Without being open to understanding everyone’s diverse traits, you will not be able to make them feel accepted and valued. Therefore, you must leave all assumptions and stereotypes behind. With time, you will learn how to properly handle anyone’s diversity.
Open-mindedness is one of the qualities that is most appreciated in people nowadays, but especially in professionals working in the advertising industry. As pioneers for how the world is represented, we as marketers must act as an example for the people around us.
Support and Celebrate
Another impactful change you can make around the office is to arrange a shared calendar where everyone can write down notable events for their various cultures and religions (Hanukkah, the Chinese New Year, Cinco de Mayo, etc.).
By doing this, everyone can simply wish each other a good Hanukkah, Chinese New Year, or any other event. You could even organise small celebrations that will 100% be appreciated by everybody; after all, who does not like celebrating? This way, different cultures can boost both a team’s morale and bonding.
Safety Comes First
The most important thing in an inclusive workplace is to make everyone feel safe. Safe that they can talk about everything openly (as has been mentioned in the paragraph about being open-minded), but also physically safe. It might be that not everyone in a team fully embraces the idea of inclusion. Any issues in this regard should be discussed with all involved and solutions should be found as a team. However, there must not be any compromises when it comes to someone’s safety, no matter what. We believe that without a safe space to work in, creativity and ideas cannot flourish in the same way as they would in a safe environment.
Speaking about Inclusion
While the key role in creating an inclusive workplace belongs to the leadership positions, all the employees must know about the views and values of everyone around them. Therefore, it is essential to make everyone aware that inclusion is a core value of the company.
What we have observed as being widely appreciated by (future) employees and consumers is celebrating diversity on your company’s social media. Posts to acknowledge and empower everyone you have in the office. Posts that are genuine, and not there to follow trends or blend in with the current zeitgeist.
The Advertising Industry is always a strong player when it comes to trends and adapting to change, but it still needs to make sure it represents everyone equally, and not just majorities.
Diversity refers to people with diverse backgrounds, cultures, religions, sexual orientations, etc., while inclusion means embracing and catering to this diversity.
Being open minded and forming genuine connections is key to a happy and fruitful relationship between an employer and their employees.
No matter what kind of company we are talking about, everyone should be always feel supported and listened to. Celebrations for various notable events are not mandatory but might help boost the team morale.
Safety must come first. Mental and physical safety is necessary and cannot be overlooked.