An inclusive workplace is an organisation that prioritises the needs of its people, customers and communities. The key to getting inclusion right is making sure everyone is respected and embraced for who they are. An inclusive workplace should allow everyone to have a voice, encourage any feedback and accept diverse views to build a team of people from all different backgrounds. One of the best ways to understand and foster inclusion in the workplace is to follow the platinum rule.
To support National Inclusion Week, our Diversity and Inclusion Lead Shabana, from our parent company, Acacium Group, has written an informative article about the importance of inclusion and unity and how we demonstrate them in the workplace.
Why is inclusivity important for businesses?
Inclusivity should be the heart of every business's culture. It’s important to prioritise this to ensure your employees are heard and feel a strong sense of belonging. Doing this means you will have an organisation where everyone is thriving and reaching their full potential to be a successful business for the future.
What is the platinum rule of inclusion?
The platinum rule is ‘do unto others as they would want to be done to them.’ We all have different strengths, needs, work in various ways and walk in different shoes, and that is the beauty of uniqueness, and only an inclusive workplace will know that one size doesn’t fit all.
With remote working, what do we do to ensure inclusion is still taking place?
Remote working has brought teams closer and allowed us to be more flexible. Everyone has experienced the pandemic, so naturally, it brought us closer and created conversations about wellbeing and mental health. There is a strong sense of togetherness even without being face to face. However, when working in the offices, you will often see and speak with more people and even communicate with those you don’t work with. There is a strong social culture when working in offices as well. We have climatised to remote working and accommodated our employees needs whilst delivering the best care to our clients to ensure they have flexibility and support at all times.
To ensure inclusion remains our priority, we have taken a hybrid approach to be an inclusive business. Combining remote and office-based working, we can bring people together, create safe spaces for employees to receive support and advice and have fun, whilst ensuring their wellbeing is prioritised. We hold 'REER' lunches (Relax, Eat, Engage and Refresh) where our teams can come together, take a break from work, share pre-paid lunches and connect with their colleagues and people in the office. We also hold regular tea and chat sessions amongst many virtual games and events such as our employee mental health workshops. The regular sessions provide an opportunity to build meaningful relationships and encourage collaboration. Our senior management team has ensured our employees’ wellbeing is at the forefront and we have maintained consistent open communication and check-ins to provide employees with a safe space and someone to talk to.
What is the one way we demonstrate unity?
At Acacium Group, we have a diversity and inclusion journey that each business within the group is part of. We have several networks that contribute to this journey. Within the networks, there are multiple members from Thornbury Community Services who play a significant role to help create and support an inclusive culture. There are currently over 100 members across our networks. In total, we have five networks that cover equality, diversity, and inclusion. Our five networks are:
● Unity (LGBTQ+)
● REN (Race and Ethnicity)
● GAP (Gender Advocacy Partners)
● Unique (Disability)
● Body Image
In a recent network meeting, we were gifted with a quote from one of our members, ‘Don’t be afraid to get it wrong, just be in the right environment to correct it.’ Our networks not only help us to create communities but a culture of belonging and safe spaces. Our five networks are continuously developing, but they offer the opportunity for everyone to share their experiences, learn from others and contribute to our equality, diversity and inclusion growth and awareness journey.
Why do we need to grow awareness around inclusion and unity?
Growing awareness around inclusion and unity in the workplace is a journey that never stops. It’s about building a culture that incorporates your company values and follows the platinum rule of ‘Do unto others as they would want to be done to them.’
Building awareness around what it means to be inclusive in the workplace helps to foster a culture of respect, fairness and belonging. It will enable strong team relationships and embrace and celebrate people’s differences. At TCS, we grow awareness around inclusion and unity to create strong partnerships with our healthcare professionals and clients, develop an understanding of their needs and provide our clients with bespoke care that enables them to live a fulfilled and happy life.
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