As companies continue to expand and hire employees from around the globe, the need to foster inclusiveness in the workplace takes centre stage.
Research shows that companies that implement inclusion and diversity (I&D) strategies are more productive, efficient and profitable, making I&D a source of competitive advantage and a key enabler of business growth. Therefore, ensuring a diverse and inclusive workplace should be at the top of every company’s list of priorities.
But what exactly do the terms ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusiveness’ mean, and why are they so relevant in the localisation industry? What role do HR managers have to play in fostering a culture of diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace?
These are the questions we will take a close look at in this article, so let’s start with the basics.
What does a diverse, inclusive workplace look like?
Diversity and inclusiveness are inextricably related but fundamentally different concepts. A diverse workplace is composed of employees who vary in characteristics such as age, race, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, physical ability, etc. Having a diverse workforce is incredibly important on so many levels, but it is not enough on its own.
Inclusiveness, also referred to as inclusion or inclusivity, means that those employees are actively included and supported in the workplace. Instead of feeling that they are at a disadvantage, their differences are welcomed, accepted and appreciated.
The concept is captured perfectly in this quote from Kadia Tubman:
“Diversity is having a seat at the table.
Inclusion is having a voice and having that voice be heard.“
This is particularly relevant within the context of the localisation industry since diverse workforces are the norm.
However, inclusion does not happen just because you have a diverse team. Creating an inclusive workplace takes work and dedication, and this is where HR managers have a hugely important role to play.
How can we create a workplace that is truly inclusive?
As we have seen, diversity is about differences and inclusion is about embracing those differences. Inclusiveness helps to foster employee engagement, employee productivity and overall business performance.
Here are some key strategies for fostering an inclusive workplace:
- Create an inclusion and diversity (I&D) strategy with clearly defined and measurable goals in place
- Ensure that I&D principles are incorporated into the company’s values, mission statement, policies, and procedures
- Create, implement and actively enforce anti-discrimination policies
- Issue a public I&D statement
- Provide I&D education, training and workshops for all employees
- Demonstrate the company’s commitment to diversity both internally and publicly
- Ensure the representation of diversity at all levels of the organisation
How can localisation help to foster inclusiveness in company culture?
Language affects how we view and understand ourselves, others, and the world around us. To create a truly inclusive culture, organisations should ensure that everyone’s native language is welcomed and catered for.
People are generally better at understanding and retaining information in their native language, rather than having to translate it first.
Employee onboarding processes, eLearning courses and training programmes, therefore, present a key opportunity to build an inclusive company culture. By localising policies, protocols and training materials, the content becomes linguistically and culturally fitting for all employees.
Adapting company documentation and signage to be more inclusive is a simple yet effective strategy for creating an inclusive company culture.
Employees should also have the option to give feedback in whatever language they feel most comfortable with, further empowering them to participate and make meaningful contributions in the workplace. This helps everyone to feel included and demonstrates that the company is invested in its employees’ growth and wellbeing.
How localisation industry HR can foster inclusiveness and diversity
HR professionals play a pivotal role in creating an environment where everyone feels welcomed, included, appreciated and respected. Because language is at the heart of localisation, companies in this industry have a crucial part to play in creating both multilingual and gender-inclusive content across the board.
Our use of language reflects and influences perceptions of gender roles and dynamics, so it is important to recognise biases that may be operating at an unconscious level. HR managers can help employees to understand what biases are, how to recognise their own biases, and how to move forward in a way that fosters a more inclusive company culture for all.
HR managers can also lay the groundwork for an inclusive workplace by prioritising diversity at every stage of the hiring process. Here are some practical tips for attracting diverse talent from the get-go:
- Post vacancies on diversity job boards
- Approach your local university’s diversity association and ask for candidate recommendations
- Attend diversity-focused job fairs
- Encourage your employees to refer candidates from diverse backgrounds
- Ensure diversity on the interview panel
- Arrange diversity training for hiring managers and the entire HR department
Localisation goes hand in hand with inclusiveness, and International Achievers Group goes hand in hand with localisation recruitment.
We are an industry leader that specialises in matching top talent with employers in the localisation industry, so whether you’re looking to start your career or explore your options, you’ve come to the right place.
Localisation offers so many opportunities for building a diverse and inclusive team, so get in touch with us today to discuss your HR department’s next moves.