Steps to create a more inclusive workplace.
Here are 10 ideas that you can use to celebrate diversity in your workplace throughout the year and to create a more inclusive workplace. Honouring other faiths and beliefs can help to bridge the gap between us and those who are different from us. Trust is built when respect is felt.
- Hang a world map in your main office/hallway and have each staff member pinpoint their birthplace.
- Organize an intercultural potluck and invite everyone to write a short description of the food they contributed so that others can learn about the dish and the culture.
- Create a Learn at Lunch Day/Series where those who wish can share an aspect of their culture not usually known. Include Canadian-born staff as well!
- Honour religious differences by learning something about the faith practised by each member of your staff. Acknowledge major religious holidays and celebrations, perhaps combining with learn at lunch.
- Count the number of languages spoken in your office/department and post next to the world map.
- Invite your diverse staff to a focus group on how they have adapted to the work culture in your organization. Use their feedback to help new immigrant staff feel welcome and integrated.
- Organize a book group or movie day where either a book or film from another country is shown or discussed.
- When you interact with others, remember that immigrants and refugees carry an invisible backpack of history that we cannot see. Invite one of your diverse staff members to share their story in your company newsletter or bulletin.
- Ask if diverse staff members would like to organize a cooking demo at lunch and prepare a traditional or common food from their country of origin.
- Include intercultural elements into your coursework or other office initiative (for example, if you work in a counselling centre, organize a day where diverse staff members can share how counselling is practised in their home country) to increase understanding.