The need for inclusion and trauma-informed workplaces is growing and apparent. Becoming aware is compelling, but there is so much to be considered before integrating these realities into the fabric of our companies.
There are nuances to successfully integrating inclusion into the daily functioning of your organization, but the benefits are worth embracing the change. Fairness, belonging, openness, and individual confidence can all be achieved through the careful integration of trauma-informed inclusion practices.
When done cognizantly, embracing layers of inclusion will improve the culture and functioning of your workplace.
Why Create Cultures of Inclusion
Communities are begging for organizations to embrace diversity and inclusion. If we’re trying to break down the systemic challenges, working toward inclusion is a smart place to start.
Integrating levels of inclusion into your workplace:
- Establishes Safety. Safety in the workplace is not just physical. It’s psychological too. Placing focus on trauma-informed inclusion is an effective way to create a space that allows each member of your community to feel safe and heard. People are more likely to express their needs and feel content in an inclusive environment.
- Promotes Diversity. Injustice and discrimination will affect your community, whether historical or lived experience. It is crucial to recognize the level of stress this may cause for people you interact with. Cultural and gender diversity in the workplace are simple ways to begin embracing inclusion. Diversity focuses on changing demographics, so a wider population is represented. Inclusion is how we embrace that diversity.
- Reduces Stress. The workplace doesn’t have to be stressful. Levels of inclusion may not take away deadlines and improve time management, but they will certainly make everyone in the community feel like they are part of the conversation. Non-violent communication of needs will lead to more effective problem-solving and reduced stress in voicing those ideas.
- Cultivates Trust. Open and honest communication at every level of your organization will create a culture of trust in your community. Transparency, wherever you can provide it, encourages members of your organization to trust you and one another.
Challenges of Implementing Inclusion
It takes significant work to investigate and recognize where change needs to happen. Just like any major redesign, the redesign of your inclusion programming won’t be quick or easy, but it’s necessary.
When you open the floor for communication, you may not like or understand everything you hear. Specific needs and fully inclusive nuances for every individual in your community might seem daunting, so remember it doesn’t have to happen all at once. You don’t want to burn yourself out trying to prevent burnout in others.
While you want to pay attention to everyone’s needs, you won’t be able to please everyone. Ensure what they’re asking for aligns with your core values and those of your organization. This alignment will help keep your intentions clear for those involved.
Realize where implementing inclusion won’t be helpful for your organization right now. Owning your own capacity for change is not exclusionary. It’s necessary for continuing to function.
Moving Through the Layers of Inclusion
Improving your organization’s layers of inclusion will take time and concentrated effort. Be patient as you approach these changes, and be aware of the areas where you might need an outside opinion.
To begin the journey of incorporating levels of inclusion:
- Be a Learner First. Your organization won’t change overnight. The most important part of embracing inclusion is listening and learning. People in your organization will have something to say if you’re willing to listen. You can learn from anyone’s experience to improve your community for everyone involved.
- Invest in Training. You can’t do it all yourself. Be willing to learn from people outside of your organization. Experts in creating a trauma-informed environment will have specific recommendations to improve your community and create equitable stress levels.
- Recognize Your Limitations. You know where changes won’t make sense for your organization. Limitations might not be obvious right away, so this goes hand-in-hand with the idea of being a learner first. Learn from your limitations. Own your capacity for change and recognize where you need external help.
- Establish Systems of Support. The people in your organization are there for a reason. It’s not unreasonable to expect them to understand and support one another. Doing so will keep them engaged and invested in your organization’s goals.
Modern workplaces require updated practices, including how we approach diversity and inclusion. An inclusive workplace will be safer and less stressful for members of your organization. Adding layers of inclusion to your processes will inherently promote diversity and trust among the people involved in your community.
Change will take time, and it’s imperative to recognize where you can’t make changes now or where you might need to take advantage of external resources.
Invest in implementing layers of inclusion and structure in support systems for members of your organization to lean on.
We always have more to learn. If we recognize this when we open the door to improving inclusion, we can create radical and lasting change.
Resources for Implementing Layers of Inclusion
Feeling like you don’t know what you don’t know? Ready to dive deeper into inclusion and its importance in the workplace? Here are some resources we recommend.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training
Connect with DEI trainers in your area who each have a specific specialty. There also are leadership training opportunities on DEI from national organizations. If you can’t find the resource you need, message us. We’re happy to make a warm introduction to someone in our network.
If you want to learn more about creating an inclusive workplace for persons with disabilities, contact the board at the North Texas Disability Chamber. They are happy to share resources and insights from personal experiences.
Look to the U.S Disability Chamber to support disability-owned and disability-confident businesses.
If you’re looking to hire qualified candidates on the spectrum, Easter Seals can help. Here’s the North Texas chapter, but there may be a chapter near you.
And if you’re interested in taking a data deep dive, take a look at this study on Supporting and Hiring Individuals with Disabilities and Neurodivergence.
Nomi Network works to end human trafficking by helping girls and women provide safe employment and breaking cycles of slavery within families. Nomi Network hosts a Corporate Summit for corporate leaders and survivor advocates to discuss workforce development and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) guidelines. This event provides excellent resources from speakers and the opportunity for corporate sponsorships.
Before hiring people who’ve experienced severe trauma, consider if you have a trauma-informed team and a trauma-informed specialist to assist with your needs as a business owner. Our intentions to do good must also come with the proper understanding and preparation.
While building a trauma-informed workplace is important for those who have suffered unimaginable circumstances, it’s also beneficial for your entire team.
Connect with trauma specialists in your area who can provide you and your team with the necessary training to meet these teammates with understanding and compassion.
Let CauseLabs Improve Your Nonprofit’s Inclusion
CauseLabs believes in embracing inclusion within and outside of our organization. Contact us today to help you discover where you can improve your technology or your organization to promote inclusion.