Here’s some top tips from our Share and Shape workshop that you can implement straight away.
1. Got soy milk?
Not all changes need to be landmarks. Sometimes the best way to start your journey to inclusivity is with small wins. With so many different dietary requirements in the modern workplace, an easy way to make employees feel included and acknowledged is by offering milk alternatives such as soy, almond or coconut milk.
2. Bring in a toy box
Flexible working is heralded as a great expression of a workplace’s commitment to wellbeing. One of the Diversity Agenda’s members suggests that another way to create an inclusive and welcoming environment in the workplace for parents is by introducing a toybox. Perfect for those times your employee needs to pop in for ten minutes to pick something up from their desk, have a childcare arrangement mix up, or when they bring the family in for a team get together.
3. In fact, bring in the kids!
A manager sent an email to the whole company to say they understand school holidays can be difficult to manage for working parents, so employees were welcome to bring their kids to work — with the manager going on to say they would be bringing in their own kids! The company set up some meeting rooms with simple kid-friendly activities, and it really helped what can be a tough time.
4. Don’t plan around alcohol
Many workplaces have budgets for ‘Friday drinks’ or ‘end of month drinks’. What if some of that budget was allocated to a different activity such as morning tea or bowling? Rather than putting a focus on alcohol which might alienate some staff, use those resources towards events that everyone can participate in comfortably.
5. Celebrate your differences
New Zealand is a melting pot of cultures. Each of those cultures has unique aspects, holidays and traditions worth sharing. One of our member’s said that one of her favourite workplace initiatives is the celebration of all the different New Year’s through themed morning teas.
6. Change the thermostat
Lately there has been an abundance of articles published about the unintended side effects of office climates. Most offices have temperatures that are based on research conducted in the 1960’s around men’s average resting metabolic rate. Recent studies show that even a one degree increase in room temperature has led to a 1.76% increase in female performance. In other words, higher office temperatures lead to higher performances.