Inclusion Tips for HR Professionals

This resource forms a part of Illuminate Opportunity: Equity in the Workplace, a set of HR tools developed by EHRC for Alberta electricity and renewables employers.

 

Be intentionally inclusive and a champion for an inclusive organization

Challenge each other’s thinking

  • Listen attentively and probe to uncover assumptions that might be affecting decisions.
  • Use constructive dialogue to continuously refine your and others’ thinking.
  • Question assumptions and challenge snap decisions.
  • Encourage a practice of seeking good evidence for judgments we make about people and situations.
  • Be open about your own unintended biases. Reflect on your experiences and keep a journal of examples to share when helpful.

Be an active advocate

  • Sharpen your skills at giving feedback that is specific, honest, and objective.
  • Openly address concerns associated with developing inclusive practices.
  • Understand common myths and misconceptions and be prepared with responses. For example, clarify that inclusion supports – rather than undermines – merit in hiring and promotion decisions.
  • In the early days of your focus on DEI, coach managers of select units where there might be more openness to non-traditional talent.
  • Watch for unintended barriers throughout your organization.
  • Set clear expectations for inclusive behaviour.
  • Use training, communications, and workplace discussions to build awareness.
  • Hold people accountable.

Be clear on the benefits of being bias-aware

  • Become well-versed in your organization ‘business case’ for DEI.
  • Make the unconscious conscious: if assumptions arise, reflect, and encourage others’ reflection, on three key questions:
    • Is my assumption fair?
    • What evidence do I have?
    • How can I maintain an open mind?

Use every opportunity to demonstrate inclusion

  • Model inclusive behaviours in meetings and casual interactions in the workplace.
  • Raise questions and challenge assumptions that reveal unconscious biases in a direct and kind way.
  • Get comfortable with the language and use it consistently in interactions in the workplace. Be sure you can speak in practical terms about:
    • Unconscious bias
    • Systemic barriers
    • Equitable and inclusive practices