With the recent BLM movement, businesses have had to review their practices. Many have chosen to discuss their inclusive strategy and how they can support their customers and employees from the black community. There is no denying that we still have a lot of work to make our companies inclusive and welcoming to all, regardless of gender, race, origin, social background, ability or disability, etc. But the best thing we can do now is to try and become better for the people who rely on our companies.
Here are some more ideas to make inclusiveness a priority in all your processes: A brief review of what being inclusive truly means.
Offer Flexibility to Both Your Employees & Customers
The pandemic has forced many companies to embrace remote working arrangements for the first time. Remote work offers the safety your employees need during a lockdown. However, now that employees have proven they can safely and productively work from home, it’s likely that some will prefer maintaining their remote position even after things have gone back to normal. From a business perspective, at-home workers can benefit from a flexible solution for a variety of reasons.
However, what many companies fail to consider is that additional flexibility can create a more inclusive environment for both employees and customers. Indeed, as everybody has different requirements, some people may be more comfortable with different working hours – to look after young children, to let them attend other appointments, to account for stress or anxiety disorder, to manage sleep disorders, etc. You may find that some employees can work a lot more productively outside of regular working hours. The same argument is valid for customers who may not be ready to get in touch with your customer team at 10 am but need support at 1 am. These individuals feel left out in typical working arrangements. A remote working strategy can give people the freedom to design their working ‘day’ to fit around their lives and be there for your night owl customers.
Bring the Experience to Your Audience
More than one in four American adults have some disability, which can impact on their interaction with your business. Customers with limited mobility or who are visually impaired, for instance, can struggle to access business services and offers. However, the technology to support them is already available or in development. Offering a complete screen-reader friendly content helps some of your customers. Another example of inclusive tech is in the application of 5G wireless solution, which improves virtual reality and augmented reality to provide full immersion. For people with limited mobility, this could make remote real estate visits, for instance, more effective and accurate. Similarly, the 5G technology could also be used to improve drones for parcel delivery in remote locations.
Support Your Whole Audience Group
Lastly, we have to talk about diversifying your business team. Attracting and hiring diverse candidates enables your company to better support a broad community of individuals, responding to the BLM values, but also engaging with other audience groups with limited business representation. Indeed, you need the right people INSIDE to create a brand that is inclusive and appeals to all.
Inclusiveness has been on the business agenda for a long time. However, the road to making our businesses more inclusive is long! Many companies forget how much they could already achieve with technology and best practices.