Fostering Inclusion : Work Environment | 12 Ways to do it

Fostering inclusion has been an ever-present ideology for the workplace environment. Since there is always an ongoing dilemma of trying to create a diverse and inclusive environment in workplace settings. That is, there is the quest to ensure that all employees are treated with respect, and valued regardless of their differences.

Thus, fostering inclusion, according to Working IDEAL Teams, is a culture that is consistently seen in a workplace environment to foster engagement regardless of differences (such as race, religion, ethnicity, sex, national origin, age, and disability), ensure productivity, and also respect individual opinions and contributions.

Fostering inclusiveness, therefore, is a practice that ensures or provides equal access and regards for people, especially in the workplace environment. It is an ideology that practically snubs marginalization, but rather treats everyone as equal. In fact, there are many benefits to hiring people with disabilities.

Is your company offering inclusive jobs for people with disabilities? As an employer, you can publish your job offers on MyDisabilityJobs and reach thousands of qualified candidates.

12 Ways to foster an inclusive workplace

According to’s article, inclusion is very important, especially in a workplace environment because it builds a strong sense of connection and belonging. Thus, for any organization that wants to have a culture where all are fully engaged, connected, and equally appraised, inclusion is an important aspect to look into.

Further, that, Deloitte, in its article and research on diversity and inclusion reveals that the team-centric model of the workplace environment which comprises of diversities may not perform well if a strong culture of inclusiveness and flexibility is not put in place.

In light of that, it simply means that when employees have a sense of belonging because they feel included, expectedly what comes out of this is increased positive performance and more collaborative and engaging teams in the workplace. 

1. Good Leadership

Man in black suit jacket sitting beside woman in brown long sleeve shirt
Man in black suit jacket sitting beside a woman in brown long sleeve shirt

To foster inclusion, leaders of organizations must portray and model good examples which include modeling respectful characters or behaviors, adhering to and practicing organizational values. 

Fostering inclusiveness has to begin with leaders and managers taking up responsibilities to promote and demonstrate inclusion or inclusion behavior at all levels and across all the departments in the organization. 

2. Educate staffs and Leaders

To foster an inclusive work environment, leaders need to communicate, in clear and precise words, the principle of inclusiveness.

Hence, as a leader or employer, you need to help your staff and leaders understand your inclusion stance, principles, or values. This will help get everyone informed and promote a uniform comprehension of what inclusion means. 

3. Seek Contributions and input from a diversity

diverse people looking at a laptop
Diverse people looking at a laptop

This is another way of fostering inclusion in the workplace environment. It is not just about employing a diverse workforce, it is about ensuring that all of these people have a seat at the table.

This is because when you seek out diverse opinions and perspectives, it helps to strengthen marginalized voices, thus fostering inclusion. This is actually what inclusion means, to allow for respect for varied opinions and diversities.

Also, in seeking input and contributions from diverse talents, you need to be mindful of who is dominating the conversational space or who is getting interrupted.

You need to figure this out and ensure all is being carried along and all opinions are treated with respect.

4. Engage in a regular survey and accept critical feedbacks

To foster an inclusive environment, you can consider engaging in things like anonymous surveys, informal discussions, and focus groups.

All these are geared towards helping you to identify what the workplace climate is like and at the same time also identify potential solutions.

Further that, employers and managers have to ensure that there is a diverse cross-section of the workforce that is directly involved with creating a system that helps to identify problems and also implementing feedback. 

5. Make use of informal Settings to foster inclusion 

woman serving beer at a bar
A woman serving beers at a bar

Usually, employees or workers may feel left out in social situations such as at happy hours, lunch tables, or even in informal conversations.

However, this is also an opportunity for employers and organization leaders to break the office cliques by ensuring and creating team-building platforms.

This way, inclusion can be fostered amongst the workforce and eventually in the workplace environment.

The fact is that inclusion is an ongoing conversation, and employees need to have a safe space through which they can voice their ideas or thoughts or even engage with the leadership and other employees. 

6. Make use of inclusive languages

Since inclusion speaks the following languages respect, acceptance, value, hence, employers must update and review their policies such that it includes equity for all employees and employees that are a societally marginalized group like the LGBTQ (to name only one).

The use of inclusive language would also mean that the employers would offer opportunities for employees to make use of inclusive pronouns. For employees and managers, you will be mindful of the language used when addressing your team. 

7. Consistent implementation of inclusion standards

Man and woman in wheelchairs at work
Man and woman in wheelchairs at work

This step involves leaders being consistent with emphasizing inclusion standards by facilitating the behavior of employees.

Leaders will need to send strong signals to employees’ inclusion behaviors so that they can develop a precise understanding of their role in shaping and ensuring inclusion in their workplace. 

8. Build access for employees with disabilities

To foster inclusion in a workplace environment, employers should build access for employees or applicants with disabilities.

They should have access to essential things needed in the workplace like technology or accommodation. Waiting to be asked about this is not a good trait for inclusion. Thus, employers and managers need to make accessibility a constant part of workplace practices. Read our guide about developing accessibility in the workplace for more tips.

9. Appreciate, embrace, and celebrate differences

Fostering inclusion is a key component and a vital process in the success stories of organizations.

And one of the ways to foster inclusivity in the workplace environment is for employers to find ways of celebrating the differences of the employees in their workplace.

The fact that we have varying cultures, perspectives, and experiences is what makes our lives and the things we do more interesting and colorful. Therefore, embracing these differences would make employees in workplaces feel valued and appreciated. 

10. Expand your trusted few 

people doing brainstorming in the office
Coworkers doing brainstorming in the office

Of course, it is a normal thing to have a “go-to” group of people that you can rely on when poised or confronted with a challenge. However, the fact is that if we can look past our usual circle of trusted few, we become open to gaining new perspectives as well as gaining creative solutions.

Therefore, you would have to seek opportunities to get engaged with different colleagues on any projects or you may even ask any of them for suggestions in their area of expertise. 

In the light of that, if you are a manager or a leader, expanding your inner circle has the potential to help you guarantee that all of your employees get equal promotion and development opportunities.

Therefore, for you to foster inclusion, you may need to start getting to know the goals, and strengths of all your employees, not a few, but all. This will help you think beyond just a trusted few when opportunities arise. 

11. Practice Structured Team Building

Of truth, informal conversations and interactions are important to fostering and building relationships among employees, however, engaging structured team building is also crucial to fostering inclusion.

If a company engages in structured team building, it encourages employees to connect and also brings together employees who barely interact with one another on a daily basis. 

12. Model Empathy

woman having coffee while working on laptop
Woman having coffee while working on laptop

For us to have a sense of belonging at our workplace, we want to feel needed or we need to feel like we matter to our colleagues.

More often than not, in a normal office environment, connections with one another are still quite easy to form, unlike in today’s world where we have many people working remotely. Forming these connections may take a little more deliberate effort.

Thus, if one must foster inclusion, you may have to run a virtual chat with a coworker you haven’t been in touch with for a while, or you could even do a skype chat.

The crux of all of these is to make an effort to have a personal connection with people around you and also check in on how they are feeling. This is very crucial for leaders, supervisors, or managers.

Constant check- ins can allow you to know early enough if someone on your team is going through difficult situations, thus enabling you to support and cater to them effectively.

Is your company offering inclusive jobs for people with disabilities? As an employer, you can publish your job offers on MyDisabilityJobs and reach thousands of qualified candidates.


In a world with diversities such as varied cultures, languages, belief systems, religions, different sex, it is not gainsaying that fostering inclusiveness is an ongoing conversation.

Thus, in the challenge of diversity in the workplace environment, there is also a quest to foster inclusion and it has to be because inclusion is very important to the ultimate success of a company.


What does it mean to foster an inclusive work environment?

This is to ensure that individuals in the workplace, regardless of their differences are valued. Hence, in the workplace, leaders, managers or supervisors would put in place necessary elements that would ensure that everyone has a sense of belonging, and that everyone’s opinion is treated with respect. 

Related articles

Diversity Recruiting Strategies and How to Recruit Diverse Candidates

Managing Diversity in the Workplace: 10 Strategies

Diversity Management: What is it and Concept

Fostering Diversity in the Workplace : How to Do it in 10 Ways

Diversity and Inclusion Topics for Discussion: 9 Talking Points

Inclusive Behaviors in The Workplace | 15 Ways to Promote it

Benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace

DEI Training & Topics: What is it & Implementing Strategies

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