1st September 2020

Promoting an inclusive culture for true diversity

Inclusion is a natural pre-requisite to meaningful and long-lasting diversity. But how to promote a truly inclusive workplace culture?

A truly diverse business focuses not only on statistics as a measure of success, but strives to promote a culture where everyone – regardless of background – feels comfortable to be who they truly are and is awarded for their merit. 

Inclusion and diversity are, therefore, both interdependent and equally important. And a deliberate focus on being inclusive can be the path to true diversity. 

Central to creating an inclusive culture is engagement with employees – in other words, empowering each and every member of a workforce to share their thoughts, experiences and knowledge with both their colleagues and management. This will not only help to get the best out of employees on an individual level, but will have an enormously positive impact on the business as a whole. At Sir Robert McAlpine, we’ve seen that teams work most effectively when everyone feels engaged and connected to the project they are working on; ensuring that every single team member takes extra care and develops a real sense of pride towards the result.

What’s more, businesses stand to benefit enormously from harnessing the wide pool of expertise, experience and knowledge contained within any project team – yet this cultural aspect can be too often overlooked. Fostering a sense of community where employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts helps us to ensure that collaboration and innovation continue to drive our work and remain at the heart of our business.

One of the ways we have approached this is by conducting an ‘Inclusion Survey’ of the workforce. The results both highlighted the positives, but crucially also revealed the areas we need to work on. In a previous article, we highlighted the seven Affinity Networks that we have launched to shape our inclusion and diversity policies at grassroots levels. We have since introduced inclusion workshops and training, which will be rolled out to line managers. In addition, we have SRM Pulse: a weekly survey that provides employees with a platform to feedback on what it’s like to work at the firm, completely anonymously. Such an approach means we are always listening and able to make improvements that matter.

A people-centred approach is the cornerstone of any effective diversity and inclusion strategy, and will naturally lead to a more motivated, engaged and ultimately productive workforce. Now, in light of Covid-19, more people have realised the freedom of agile and flexible working, representing a potential watershed for ways to be more inclusive in the workplace. As we embark on the road to recovery, keeping the promotion of an inclusive workplace culture at the top of the agenda will be as crucial as ever.



HR Director interview with Karen Brookes, Director of People and Infrastructure at Sir Robert McAlpine

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