An inclusive workplace in the context of upstream oil and gas is the working environment that values individual and group differences within its work force. This kind of an environment would enable your company to embrace the diversity of backgrounds and perspectives of the employees.
Oil and gas operations are global by nature, and bring together people from different backgrounds and nationalities. By promoting an inclusive workplace, an organization can increase the employee’s talent, innovation, creativity and contributions.
Therefore, an inclusive workplace makes diverse employees feel valued, welcome, integrated and included in the workforce instead of isolated.
Tips for an Inclusive Workplace
Creating diversity in the workplace is not only important in today’s world, but a success imperative.
This includes, but is not limited to such issues as race, ethnicity, age, education, geographical location and personality among others.
There are many benefits to an inclusive workplace such as increased success rates and an engaged workforce.
1. Establish a sense of ownership for your team
It is important to establish a sense of ownership to your employees for them to bring their A-game to your workplace.
This sense of belonging to the organization or people will make you see greater engagement and improved results.
2. Provide empathetic leadership
In most companies, diversity and inclusion issues are usually handled by the HR department.
However, if you want to see real change, you need to provide leadership with a dose of empathy. Your entire leadership team should be the drivers of promoting an inclusive workplace.
3. Do not use the top-down approach
Companies in oil and gas sometimes have top-down approaches to drive diversity and inclusivity.
However, this approach is good at promoting compliance, without commitment.
You will achieve more if you can be able to show or make every employee understand their role in company culture. Aim to create an experience for each employee.
4. Talent quotas don’t automate inclusive workplace
Talent hiring goals can boost diversity numbers. However, this will not create an inclusive workplace or culture.
It is common for business leaders to focus diversity and inclusion efforts on hiring diverse employees. Inclusivity should go beyond employment offers.
For you to retains and nurture top talent, it is important to take an honest look at the end-to-end employee experience.
5. Have a continuous inclusive workplace program
It isn’t enough to teach employees what it means to be inclusive.
Like any form of behaviour change, inclusion requires individuals to identify key moments in which to build new habits by daily actions that can be practiced and measured.
And when these habits are put into action in an environment that supports honest conversations and healthy tension, real change becomes possible.
6. Increase happiness joy and reduce fear
People are primed to react with fear and distrust when their beliefs are challenged.
While fear can be a great motivator, it also encourages people to narrow their perspectives. This is the exact opposite of what you want to achieve in creating an inclusive workplace.
Finding ways to frame challenges through a lens of possibility — and elevating the power of shared experiences and storytelling to do so — creates greater potential for positive change.
7. Focus on helping individuals thrive
The norms, power structures, and inequities in society can easily become embedded in an organization — optimizing to hire, train, and reward people who ‘fit’.
However, creating a culture where every individual can contribute their full potential requires investigating the systems and processes in your organization to uncover sore spots and blind spots, and then finding ways to re-imagine them.
8. Find out what your brand means
Your brand means something, and this is connected to your company’s culture.
The oil and gas products or services you put in the world reflect your values, and also your biases.
In your journey toward building a more inclusive organization, it is important to consider the relationship between what is happening inside and outside your company.
What is your brand saying about who you are as a culture? In what ways is your employee base not congruent with your customer base? What experiences are being left out or misunderstood?
These will help you to ensure you achieve an inclusive workplace.
In conclusion, you have seen that policies on an inclusive workplace will mean better engagement and talent retention in your organization.
However, making diversity a priority is very important, but now you should also consider the next logical step: creating an inclusive workplace culture.
Inclusivity is the key to actually maintaining diversity in your oil and gas business.