How To Build A More Inclusive Employee Value Proposition
25th May 2023
Inclusion is more than just a buzzword—it's a fundamental principle to creating a positive work environment that drives company success and the happiness and capabilities of your team.
Gone are the days when candidates simply sought a job purely for salary. Today’s employees increasingly seek companies that embrace diversity and flexibility, cultivate inclusion, and create a sense of belonging - it’s about how you make potential candidates, and employees feel.
Plus, by being an inclusive company that works on actively communicating your values, you’re able to open up the doors to a wider, more diverse pool of talent from different backgrounds, cultures, lifestyles and perspectives.Do you know what that means? Innovation, creativity, fresh ideas, problem-solving approaches, groundbreaking solutions and ultimately, company growth. Now, who doesn’t want that?
The strategic way to being inclusive
First things first is understanding what inclusion encompasses, and it’s more than you might think; it includes everything from:
- Different backgrounds (ethnic, racial, economic, social)
- Disabilities and conditions (both visible and invisible)
- LGBTQ+ individuals
- Religious or spiritual beliefs
- Neurodiverse individuals (e.g. Autism and ADHD)
- Individuals with caring responsibilities (children, elderly family members, etc.)
Flexibility is a powerful tool that can open up opportunities for a much more diverse group of individuals, showcasing your company as one that genuinely cares. Rather than attempting to accommodate everything and everyone, flexibility is about being strategic, purposeful, and staying true to your company's identity, values, and business objectives.Embracing flexibility means your company can create an environment that welcomes and supports individuals from diverse backgrounds and experiences. This approach aligns inclusion with your company's purpose and establishes clear goals.
Understanding how inclusion fuels company growth
When you have an inclusive EVP, it allows you to build a stronger reputation that makes candidates go, “Wow, I really want to work for them!”
When potential candidates see that your company embraces inclusivity, they are more likely to view you as the progressive, forward-thinking company that you are.It also allows you to align with the expectations of socially conscious consumers. Customers are increasingly looking to steer clear of companies that aren’t morally driven and instead support businesses that champion diversity and inclusion. Showcasing your commitment to these values can boost your reputation with more than just your team and potential employees!
3 steps to assessing inclusion in your EVPKnowing what you currently offer will allow you to define what you need to change and/or improve within your EVP - below are 3 steps that you can take towards assessing your inclusivity efforts. Want to assess your EVP in more detail? Get started by downloading our free project plan template for developing and measuring your EVP.
1) Kick-start your EVP assessment process
You'll first need to thoroughly review your current EVP. Consider how it reflects your company's commitment to inclusion and look at key elements such as your messaging and values.
- Is your EVP inclusive? Does it demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, and belonging? Use examples to help you!
- Does it highlight the value that different perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences bring to your teams?
- Are there any instances where the language or imagery excludes certain groups?
- Does your EVP reflect the diverse talent you aim to attract and retain?
2) Identify the potential gaps around inclusion
After assessing and reviewing your EVP, focus on identifying potential gaps. This step involves taking a deep dive into your content, messaging, and how you present what it’s like to work at your company.
Look for areas where you can improve and areas where you can celebrate success:
- Evaluate if your EVP genuinely addresses the needs and aspirations of a diverse workforce.
- Consider if there are any unintentional biases presented in your messaging or imagery that may deter or exclude certain groups.
- Identify any underrepresented or marginalised groups that may not feel adequately represented.
- Assess if your EVP clearly communicates the inclusive policies, benefits, and opportunities available to employees early enough in the process.
3) Gather feedback from current and previous employees
Collecting and analysing feedback from employees is invaluable. You can do this through anonymous surveys, exit interviews, and focus groups, and you can even use our handy employee satisfaction measurement tracker for survey question inspiration and measuring the satisfaction of your employees.
Once you’ve gathered this data, make sure to look out for feedback related to inclusion and diversity, and consider the following:
- Common themes or concerns raised by employees associated with inclusion in the workplace.
- Assess if there are any specific areas where employees feel the company falls short in offering an inclusive environment.
- Pay attention to suggestions and ideas provided by employees on how to enhance inclusion within your company.
- Take note of any positive experiences or success stories shared by employees that reflect a strong culture of inclusion.
- Make a note of whether you received a representative response rate of employees, e.g. if you employ 50% women, but the survey responses were only 10% women - this is something to look into.
Top strategies for building a more inclusive EVP
Define your commitment to inclusion
Begin by defining your company's inclusive values and mission statements. These serve as your guide to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace and should be visible to everyone who works with or considers working with your company.
Here are some elements to think about:
- Engage stakeholders - involve employees at all levels and from all backgrounds to collectively define the inclusive values that reflect your company.
- Emphasise respect and belonging - make sure that your values emphasise respect for all individuals and create a sense of belonging for all employees.
- Include diverse perspectives - encourage diverse voices and perspectives in the development of mission statements to make sure they reflect the experiences and aspirations of your teams.
- Align with business objectives - integrate inclusive values and mission statements within your company's broader objectives to demonstrate how inclusion supports overall success.
Remove bias from job descriptions
Job descriptions and messaging should attract a diverse pool of candidates and promote a culture of inclusivity and equal opportunities. Regularly reviewing and updating your job descriptions to make sure they align with evolving best practices and promote diversity and inclusion in your hiring process is key.
Here are some key tactics to consider:
- Use gender-neutral language - review job descriptions to make sure the language used is gender-neutral and inclusive. Avoid using masculine or feminine pronouns and terms that may unintentionally deter or favour certain genders.
- Focus on essential qualifications and skills - clearly identify the core qualifications and skills necessary to perform the job effectively. Avoid including unnecessary or excessive requirements that may unintentionally exclude potential candidates.
- Avoid biased language - be mindful of using language that may carry bias or assumptions about certain groups. For example, avoid words or phrases that may imply age, race, gender, or other protected characteristics.
- Use inclusive job titles - choose job titles that are inclusive and reflective of the actual role. Steer clear of titles that may be gender-specific or have cultural or demographic connotations.
- Provide a diverse representation of employees - consider showcasing a diverse range of employees in your job descriptions, such as through images or testimonials. This can help potential candidates see themselves represented and create a sense of inclusivity.
- Emphasise equal opportunities - clearly state that your company is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Reinforce the message that all qualified individuals will be considered for employment without regard to their background or demographic.
- Carry out training - provide bias training to those involved in writing and reviewing job descriptions. This training can raise awareness about unconscious biases and help them make more informed decisions when crafting inclusive job descriptions.
- Get external feedback - consider seeking input from individuals outside the immediate hiring team or company to review job descriptions for potential biases. An external perspective can provide valuable insights and help identify any unintentional biases that may have been overlooked.
- Test job descriptions - pilot test job descriptions with a diverse group of individuals to gather feedback on their perception of the language and any potential biases. Use this feedback to refine and make improvements.
Introduce flexible work policies and company perks
Being inclusive through your flexible work options and company perks is a fantastic way to be more inclusive. It involves designing policies and benefits that cater to the diverse needs and circumstances of your employees.
Here are some ways to achieve this:
- Offer flexible work schedules - provide options like flexible working hours or alternative work arrangements, such as part-time or compressed workweeks. This accommodates different lifestyles, from caregiving responsibilities to health needs and other personal commitments.
- Offer remote work opportunities - offer the ability to work remotely through fully remote work, remote-first or hybrid to support employees who may have mobility challenges, live further from your office, individuals who have children or pets, or those that simply prefer more flexibility over where they work.
- Consider job sharing and part-time options - enable job sharing arrangements, where two employees share one full-time position or offer part-time roles. This can benefit individuals who need reduced work hours due to personal circumstances or commitments.
- Build an inclusive benefits packages - regularly review and enhance your benefits packages to ensure they meet your different employees' needs. You could consider benefits like healthcare insurance, family-friendly policies like enhanced parental leave, adoption leave or bereavement leave, mental health support through companies like Oliva, sabbatical leave, Work From Anywhere schemes, pawternity leave or enhanced sick pay - the list is endless.
- Look into employee recognition and rewards - implement inclusive recognition programs that celebrate the achievements and contributions of employees. Ensure that recognition is based on inclusive criteria where all employees have equal opportunities to be acknowledged.
- Provide diversity and inclusion training - provide training to promote awareness, understanding, and appreciation of diversity and inclusion among employees. This helps create a more inclusive work environment where everyone feels respected and valued.
Showcase your culture of inclusion
If you have an inclusive culture and you’re not shouting about it, you’re missing out! Instead, consider using an Employer Branding platform like Flexa to attract, retain and engage top-notch talent; let us explain more.
Flexa company profiles are designed to spotlight a company's dedication to diversity and inclusion. These profiles go beyond traditional company information by highlighting gender demographic metrics, benefits, flexible working policies, and a designated space to communicate your unwavering commitment to an inclusive environment. With 95% of companies who use Flexa ranking at the top of search results, these profiles take centre stage in building your company’s reputation.And by being Flexified, you can be among innovative companies like Amplifi, who have seen a 65% increase in the diversity of their pipeline after using Flexa. Want this to be you?