Five ways to make your workplace more inclusive

In our latest workplace focused webinar 'How to excel at inclusive onboarding and induction' we shared top tips from Trevor Jennings, Risk Manager at Lloyd’s, a specialist insurance and reinsurance market, about how it approaches inclusive and accessible onboarding/induction.

AbilityNet's accessibility and usability consultants Rina Wharton and Daniel McLaughlan also shared best practices for onboarding staff with different disabilities including autism.

Below, we've picked out five of the key points made by the experts on the webinar that you can put into action to ensure an inclusive onboarding experience for new staff at your workplace.

Four poeple - two women, two men - speaking from separate screens on webinar

    You can also watch the webinar recording (and download the transcript):

    1. Follow through on the promises you made in the recruitment phase

    "Take into account all the things that you said you would do during the recruitment process. This is a good opportunity to do that during the onboarding process," said Daniel McLaughlan.

    As onboarding only happens once, here are five points to remember:

    1. Focus on the experience and the process
    2. Demonstrate your commitment to inclusion through words and actions
    3. Prepare and include the team
    4. Take time to get it right
    5. Invite regular feedback

    2. Remember that good onboarding boosts loyalty

    A survey by Bamboo HR of 1,000 employees found that they were 18 times more likely to feel highly committed to their organisation if they felt they had an effective onboarding experience. And if they were satisfied with their onboarding experience overall they were 38% more confident in their ability to do their job.

    "So the key takeaway here," Daniel said, "is that by providing that inclusive onboarding experience, colleagues will feel supported, they will feel that loyalty to the organisation."

    3. Offer induction information in various formats

    When discussing technology processes in the workplace, Rina and Daniel pointed out that some planning tools are useful for enabling visibility of a team's work and schedules.

    But they also noted that it's important to build in time for conversations and face-to-face induction, and not rely solely on technical solutions, video guides or making guidance documents available online, particularly during the crucial onboarding period.

    "Having great documentation is really useful, but it's also no substitute for having conversations. I think too often we can write something and assume that everyone will read it and understand it," said Daniel.

    4. Make your organisation inclusive by design

    When asked 'What aspects of the working environment at AbilityNet do you think are particularly inclusive by design?, Rina responded:

    "We get the opportunity to feedback, not just around working from home, but we also get the opportunity to feed back about the workload and the culture of the organisation. I feel that is putting the employees first and asking them their opinion rather than assuming that everyone is happy with the way things are and nothing needs to change."

    So, invite feedback and be transparent about how you are responding to suggestions.

    Find out more about AbilityNet's workplace resources including GAP analysis, and our workplace accessibility training.

    5. Ensure there are formal and informal processes set up

    Particularly during the pandemic, many new starters have been onboarded remotely, so it has been tricky to have informal discussions with new employees. Try to build in social opportunities as well as the formal onboarding processes.

    Trevor Jennings, Risk Manager at Lloyd’s: "One of the things we have lacked in having to work from home is that discussion in the workplace."

    "We have the formal process... through ClearTalents," he said, but "the one thing I do say to everybody is if you have an issue drop me an email, let us have a discussion." 

    His team is also developing a remote working package. "Now we have had to make it more formalised as suddenly everybody is working from home. I think we got through it [the lockdown periods] really well. We provided a lot of support, but that support now has become more formalised as well."

    Speak with us about how ClearTalents can help your organisation


    Mental health and onboarding

    During the webinar, attendees could pose questions to the expert panelists.

    Visit the webinar recording page for detailed responses to attendee questions, including information about supporting people with mental health and invisible disabilities.

    Join our recruitment and onboarding workshops


    Further resources