Importance of Diversity and Inclusion
What is the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace? According to AVMA, “Creating socially conscious educational and work environments — are imperatives for veterinary professionals.” Veterinary professionals need to be equipped with the information and capability to serve all clients that come through the door. With this and the ability to create a welcoming environment for all the workers in the workplace.
How to Create Inclusivity
Forbes has a listed article outlining different things that help bring inclusivity to the workplace. We have modified their topics to fit into the veterinary profession, and hope you find them helpful.
Give Access to Resources
Employees should have access to resources available. These resources could include different groups for them to attend about specific topics. It also could be newer or upcoming technology that is available if they need it. To individuals, it is easy to start with natural solutions and those that seem valuable to them. An example would be to ask for materials ahead of a meeting start. Send out a portal to get notes from team members not able to attend the meeting. It will enable the employees that cannot be at the meeting to feel included.
Having a Voice
It is pertinent that employees feel that they have a voice. It has been increasingly more important that employees impact the decisions that may affect their work. There has been extensive work done with leadership types and communication studies that have helped progress the workplace.
Different examples of this would be to talk freely and be open with employees. Communicate informally with them. Instead of having formal meetings weekly, have focus groups. Sending out monthly surveys or newsletters to make the employees feel included. It may be cliche, but stating that the door is always open is one of the best policies to have. Having this policy allows your employees to see that you are not closed off.
Get to Know Your Staff
One of our previous blogs talks about efficiency in the clinic. It has insight into the hiring of employees with great attitudes. The knowledge can transfer to getting to know your employees. Knowing your employees makes them feel comfortable and connected. It also shows them that you know they are unique. Not just another employee. Meaningful conversations with your employees to recognize the work that they are doing are important. Explaining why you value them is also something that should be acknowledged. Showing care for employees small wins will show that you care for their success and not just that of the business.
Barriers of Diversity
We all would like to assume that every workplace is welcoming for all people. However, there are barriers that some businesses have. Recently in the veterinary industry, significant gains have been made for women. Dr. Risco stated in the dvm360 article to increase the members of the URVM in veterinary medicine – we need more members in the applicant pool. The individual colleges should be expanding their efforts in recruitment.
Also, it stated in the article that members of this community typically drift towards careers that directly impact the social issues facing their communities. While they do this, they may not know the impact that they could have on the veterinary profession. Entering this profession could impact positively on their community by helping food security through livestock care.
How can this help?
Both inclusion and diversity are important factors in the workplace. If you have diversity in your clinic, making staff feel included is important. An increase in diversity would increase healthcare accessibility where there are disparities both ethnic and racial. This shapes the critical thinking of researchers because of the diverse backgrounds and experiences the staff brings.
“Diversity also encourages active thinking,” says Dr. Rico from dvm360. The engagement is intellectually stimulating and allows for students to become culturally aware and competent. With the population increasing, it is also important because it will meet the needs of the professionals’ clients.
Inclusivity is important and allows for everyone in the workplace to feel needed and appreciated. No matter how diverse the environment. Following simple steps like the ones listed above can help. They will allow your team to feel comfortable. It will also allow them to feel like they are contributing to decision-making.