Inclusivity and "inclusive language" have become buzzwords in business, but what do they mean in practice? And why should you incorporate inclusive language into your business?
Inclusive has a crucial impact on well-being and a feeling of belonging in your workplace. This sense of belonging is the key to improving your inclusivity, as it directly impacts your organization’s success and performance.
According to Deloitte's recent Human Capital Trends research, 79 percent of organizations say belonging in the workplace is essential to their success. However, only 17 percent of organizations have processes to improve this element.
A crucial part of a sense of belonging is inclusivity and diversity, which significantly impact your workforce. Employees are more likely to stay, more likely to work at their best, and ultimately more likely to improve your organizational success if they feel your workplace is inclusive.
According to a 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey, a "very strong correlation exists between perceptions of workforce diversity and loyalty." This shows the importance of diversity in your organization and your outward appearance of being diverse.
Inclusivity Affects Hiring, Too
This is where inclusive language comes into play. Inclusive language within your organization and your marketing materials directly impact- the perception of your organization’s diversity.
Inclusive language goes beyond just being inclusive for your existing or long-term employees. Inclusivity also means ensuring your recruitment materials are diverse and welcoming to all applicants.
First Steps Toward Inclusive Language
The question you are most likely asking is, what can I do? Here are some initial steps that can go a long way:
- Ensure your recruitment posts and copy are as neutral and accepting of all applicants as possible. It's easy for unconscious bias to come into play. Use an online service to check your language for gendered or otherwise biased language that might discourage certain applicants. This can even help you get more applicants, as Zip Recruiter found that job listings with gender-neutral wording get 42 percent more responses.
- Limit your acronyms to the bare minimum or make an easy-to-understand guide. This will help new employees learn the ropes faster and feel more confident speaking their ideas. As the mental health charity Mind promotes, using acronyms sparingly can also ensure that content and discussion are as accessible as possible.
- Ensure that all staff actively use inclusive language. This must be incorporated by senior staff and managers first, which will trickle down the organization.
- Consult one of the many inclusive language guides when writing anything for your organization. This can have beneficial information on how to improve and common words and phrases that shouldn't be used in the workplace.
Speaking Multiple Languages
Did you know that one in five U.S. residents speaks a language other than English at home, or that within 25 years America is expected to be the second-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world?
This begs the question: How diverse is your workplace when it comes to language and culture? If your organization is like most, it could benefit from communicating internally and externally in more than one language.
Multilingual communication has practical applications in terms of creating mutual understanding. It also symbolizes to your internal and external stakeholders that you go the extra mile to create an inclusive atmosphere.
Working with a language service provider like LanguageLine® gives your organization the best chance to thrive. We provide real-time, on-demand interpretation in more than 240 languages, as well as translation of the written word.
Please contact us today to begin a discussion of how inclusive language might benefit you and those you serve.