An inclusive work environment is one wherein individuals and variances among inter-groups are actually valued and used by the employees. When such an environment exists there is cooperation with and contribution toward the rest of the society. Collaboration exists among the individuals and groups, as well as companies across traditional and domestic confines (Barak & Levin, 2002). An inclusive workplace can only exist in the case of an organization giving importance to diversity. Diverse talents and abilities need to be accommodated and there has to be proper communication and knowledge management.
An inclusive workplace environment is important since it provides several advantages to the organization. For instance, with such a workplace there results increased participation at workplace. The organization is able to attract and retain a diverse workforce which may comprise of racial and cultural diversified employees having the best of talents available. Employees themselves are more desirous of having inclusive workplaces as that reduces stress at work and allows for them to be accepted. Organizations are able to compete within the marketplace and their corporate culture enhances through diversity programs and inclusive work environments. Recruitment is also enhanced along with such programs facilitating highly efficient client communication.
Examples of an organization having an inclusive work environment can be when there are support networks within a company. An organization can also apply employee resource groups or affinity groups. There can be the provision of opportunities within the training and career development areas.
Diversity, Inc magazine had voted The Bank of America the number three company in committing totally toward diversity and its CEO, Kenneth Lewis says:
“Our commitment to diversity is a commitment to individuals and to the team. It’s about creating an environment in which all associates can fulfill their potential without barriers, and in which the team is made stronger by the diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives of individuals. It’s about giving all of us – individually and together – the best possible chance to succeed” (Anonymous, 2008, p. 56).