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Create an Inclusive Workplace

Being included and feeling like you’re important to a workplace is important to most employees. Employers who pay attention to those needs and invest some time and energy in creating inclusive workplaces spend less time, effort and money filling vacancies caused by staff leaving.

Tips to Help Create an Inclusive Workplace

Here are some of the ways, you as a business owner, can help create an inclusive workplace:

  • Get to know your employees on an individual basis to determine each person’s strengths, interests, priorities, challenges and commitment to the business.
  • Acknowledge staff when they are performing well.
  • Adapt flexibility in work arrangements to the needs of individuals rather than applying one policy for all staff.
  • Link employee goals and ambitions to the goals and future plans of the business. Make sure your employees know how they fit into the big picture for the company, both now and in future.
  • Use language that is respectful and welcoming of all ages, gender, ethnicity, personal priorities and experiences. All internal and external communications such as newsletters, memos, job ads and websites should follow this guideline.
  • Make sure that work is shared fairly, and that all staff have opportunities to develop their skills, without making judgment or assumptions about personal circumstances or priorities.
  • Acknowledge and accommodate employees with diverse backgrounds and priorities.
  • Provide both positive and constructive feedback to employees on their work as soon as possible.. Praise publicly, but if you correct or reprimand, make sure you do that in private.
  • Be accessible and open to communicate. Maintain an open door policy.
  • Examine the reason(s) why people are leaving the organization. Keep track of any trends and make an effort to address any issues within your control.

Flexible Work Options 5

Some flexible work options that may help you meet the needs of individual employees:

Flexible Work Option


Flexible time

Flexible start and end times

Works well for employees not on front lines or those with independent work routines

Compressed work week

Longer days and shorter work week, e.g. four 10 hour days rather than five 8 hour days

Attractive to young people as salary remains consistent with more time off work


Various forms, e.g. shorter week, shorter days, a set number of days per month, etc.

Particularly attractive to working parents and mature workers

Job sharing

Two part-time employees share responsibility for one full-time salaried position

Appeals to team-oriented people who want a part-time schedule

Contract work

Worker is engaged on an as-needed basis

Retired workers and seasonal workers tend to enjoy the flexibility of contract work

Leave of absence

Worker takes paid or unpaid leave with the guarantee their job will be held

Leaves have wide appeal in various forms, e.g. travel, sabbatical, semi-retirement, etc.

Any of the above options depending on the interests of the individual

Phased retirement

Applies to those nearing retirement as well as those who have retired but choose to continue working