Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging

6 ways to create a more accessible and inclusive hiring process

Diversity matters. It matters so much that 37% of candidates want to know what a business is doing about diversity. If you can’t answer that question, you risk losing out on talent. One of the first steps is to ensure that you have an inclusive hiring process.

So, what can you do to make your hiring process more accessible and inclusive?

Use clear language in job descriptions

The clearer your job description is, the better the fit any candidates who apply for the role will be.

Think of your job description as a way for candidates to self-select. They can use it to decide if it’s exactly what they do—or don’t—want from their next role.

Also consider the fact that most people applying for a job will look at multiple jobs in multiple places.

This can be tiring and stressful.

If you cut the fluff and tell candidates exactly what they need to know in easy-to-understand language, they’re going to associate you with a better experience from the get-go.

This means they’re more likely to apply, and be enthusiastic about working for you.

Be inclusive in your language usage

I was reading a job description the other day that listed the company’s brand values. The first was “diversity.” The third was “craftsmanship.”

While it’s only three letters, the use of “man” inside of the word does influence the connotations of the role—and the company.

Sometimes it’s better to use a few extra words and be more inclusive over choosing the shortest phrase.

HBR found that 40% of employees don’t feel they belong at work. If you want to make them feel like they do from the start, the language you use matters. This is true on both a conscious and subconscious level. 

There are lots of tools out there that you can run your job descriptions through to ensure that they’re aligned with an inclusive hiring process.

Nobody is perfect when it comes to this stuff. What matters is that you’re open to improving and adjusting based on feedback.

Make the application process easy and accessible

The clunkier or more confusing your application process is, the more candidates you’ll lose in this early stage.

And this won’t help you weed out candidates from the start, it’ll just annoy everyone who might be interested. Meaning many will take their valuable time and skills elsewhere.

Does your application process require a resume, a cover letter, and candidates to manually enter their job history? This unnecessary repetition could be losing you candidates. If you have their resume, you have their job history. They shouldn’t need to give it to you twice!

To make for an even more accessible and inclusive hiring process, consider optimizing your application form for mobile. 

If you’re not optimizing for the mobile experience, you’re probably missing out on people. For instance, the ones who may be casually browsing on their morning commute or during a break. 

If they can’t apply on their phone, it may make them question your commitments to accessibility. They may also question how modern and forward-thinking your business is. This could ultimately put them off the role and your business as a result.

Ask for what you need and nothing else

If you’re not interested in someone’s gardening adventures, don’t ask for information on their personal life in the application process. Make sure that in the application, you’re asking for exactly what you need and nothing else.

Almost 60% of job seekers will quit an online job application halfway through if it’s too long or complicated. That’s a lot of potential hires you risk missing out on from one step.

Say you’re hiring a copywriter. Is it more efficient to ask for samples of their writing that you can analyze to see if they can adapt to your company’s tone of voice, over asking about their formal qualifications?

What about some statistics about results they’ve helped businesses achieve in the past?

Sometimes these things can get lost in favor of more obvious criteria that don’t matter when you’ve got proven experience. For instance, someone’s educational background is a big one.

Many people I know who now work in marketing don’t have a traditional marketing background or marketing degree (myself included). Those things can be nice to have but don’t guarantee someone will bring you the results that you want.

Ensuring you’re not eliminating people based on irrelevant criteria is a key factor in building a more inclusive hiring process.

Make the assessment process inclusive

One of my pet peeves is when businesses say they’re inclusive but don’t have evidence to show that they are. More and more people are starting to see through this tokenism.

Saying that you’re inclusive, and actually being inclusive, are two very different things and require two very different approaches.

My friend is job hunting right now, and they were given a choice between an initial phone call or a video interview during the early stages.

In a later stage, the hiring manager sent them the interview questions in advance so that they could prepare.

The company even sent over a flyer explaining their process and sharing tips like how to handle interview nerves.

In the flyer, they also shared that some of their best employees didn’t get the job the first time around!

How can you make this level of inclusive hiring a reality at your organization?

To find ways to implement more inclusive hiring practices, it’s important to consider how other people—including people you haven’t met yet and who have a different background/worldview from you—experience the world.

Explain your interview process upfront

Interviews can be stressful. If you can explain to people what your interview process is upfront, it can alleviate some of that stress.

Another thing you can do to lower interview stress and be more accessible to neurodiverse employees, is provide interview questions before the interview.

Needing extra time to prepare isn’t a reflection of someone’s intelligence, or even how fast their brain works.

Providing the questions allows candidates to find relevant achievements from previous roles, statistics that show what they’re capable of, and anecdotes that showcase their skills.

This extra time to prepare means you’ll get better quality answers and can make a more informed decision. 


Some of the things on this list may seem insignificant or finicky, but they’re small things that help you stand out from your competitors as a better place to work.

It’s embracing things like inclusive language that will help you achieve your diversity and inclusion targets. You’ll also reap the benefits that you get from having a more inclusive working environment.

Aside from a bit of effort to get there, there’s essentially no downside to transitioning towards a more inclusive hiring process.

If you’re looking for ways to extend your inclusive hiring practices through into your employee experience, Workrowd can help. With a one-stop shop for all your employee groups, programs, and events, it’s easy for everyone to get fully immersed in your company culture from day one.

Plus, with automated data collection and analytics, you always know what’s building real belonging for team members and driving ROI for the business. Check us out online or write us at to learn more.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging

10 more ways to support parents working in your organization

In part 1 of our series on how to make life easier for parents working on your teams, we looked at some of the changes and accommodations you can make, such as updating your policies and using inclusive language.

In part 2, we’re exploring some of the day-to-day things you can do to support parents working while juggling childrearing.

Create a group for working parents to connect and share advice

ERGs are one of the best ways to foster a sense of belonging in the workplace. 

Setting up an ERG where parents and caregivers can share their experiences and get advice takes some of the stress away from being a parent working a full-time job. It also means they have people who understand what they’re going through. 

Sharing problems with people outside of a situation can be a great way to work out our problems and feel calmer. That makes us better able to focus and get on with other tasks.

Offer a remote work stipend

Remote working is more challenging for parents working every day as it’s easy to get distracted. This is especially true in a house with lots of other people—or children who may not understand that you’re on a call and shouldn’t be disturbed. 

Remember that professor on the BBC who went viral because his children interrupted his interview? Everyone thought it was cute and could relate.

However, the reaction for women who face similar challenges is often different. Colleagues can perceive it as them not taking their work as seriously. Ultimately though, it’s not their fault and men in the same situation don’t experience the same stigma. 

If parents working at your organization work remotely some or all of the time, offering them a stipend to improve their environment helps them perform at their best. Ensure that their setup isn’t a further challenge they have to contend with.

Introduce parental leave care days

There are some days when a child is sick and there’s only one parent who can look after them. 

It’s important to provide leave where employees can stay with their children without eating into their own wellness or vacation days. This allows them to take care of their child without worrying about work or losing out on time for themselves because of something that’s out of their hands.

Remove the stigma around mental health/sick days

Sometimes people attach judgments to mental health, sick, or wellness days.

Whatever you call them, it should be acceptable for an employee to use the days that are available to them when they’re not mentally or physically able to work.

We all have days where we’re overwhelmed. Offering mental health days where employees can recover makes it clear that you prioritize mental health.

It also means employees don’t sacrifice their health for the sake of their job. Over time, this can lead to burnout and cost you even more than a wellness day or two.

Provide financial support

What financial support could you offer parents working for you? Subsidies, backup childcare assistance, flexible childcare spending accounts?

Including these in your benefits packages not only shows you’re serious about supporting working parents. It also gives them more options for how they spend their paycheck.

Taking these payments out automatically reduces their mental load, giving them one less thing to plan for each month.

Support education

Education can be one of the most expensive parts of being a parent, especially when it comes to college tuition. Or, sending a child to private school to provide them with new opportunities or more help with different ways of thinking, for instance if they’re neurodivergent

You could enable employees to use some of their paycheck toward their own tuition fees, their student loans, or even their child’s current or future college tuition. 

Host family-friendly activities

You can support your working families by hosting family-friendly activities like parties with bounce houses or children’s entertainers. These are great opportunities for colleagues to network, children to socialize, and for everyone to get a break from work.

On-site childcare

If you have an office, providing an on-site daycare where parents can leave their children takes a huge weight off them. 

This allows them to get on with their job while knowing their children are in safe hands. 

It also prevents the children from being in the office itself, where they risk distracting other employees from their work.

Implement a happiness fund

A happiness fund shows your employees how much you value them and their mental health. 

Parents working for you could use it to pay for a nanny or babysitter for a few hours so that they can relax. 

Non-parents, meanwhile, could use it for attending a yoga or cooking class. 

Whatever they need to do for their mental health so that they can keep performing at their best.


Supporting working parents and caregivers creates a happier, more diverse working environment.

It discourages a culture of people being superglued to their desks at the cost of their mental health. Instead, it focuses on employees leading balanced lives where they don’t neglect their families for their careers. 

This sets a better example to the next generation, too, about not being stuck to their desks. It is possible to have a balance of work and family time without damaging one’s career prospects or work quality.

Once again, if you’re looking to better support parents working on your teams, equipping them with the right tools can help. Workrowd makes it easy for caregivers to connect with what’s important to them at your organization from day one.

If you want to level up your employee experience and better support both parents and non-parents alike, drop by our site to learn more. Or, feel free to send us a note directly at We’d love to hear from you.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging

7 ways employers can make life easier for working parents

Recent figures show that 96.5% of married-couple families with children have at least one parent who is employed. In 62.3% of these families, both partners are working parents.

McKinsey estimates that global GDP could grow by $12 trillion if women were able to engage in the paid labor force at the same rate as men. But, due to family commitments and the cost of childcare, they’re often unable to do so.

A part of this support has to come from governments willing to subsidize childcare. That’s not to say there aren’t things that employers can do too, though.

Working parents can bring huge strengths and benefits to your business, regardless of your industry. This includes the people management skills that come from dealing with children, and the diversity of thought that it can provide.

Here are just some of the ways your organization can make life easier for working parents:

Talk openly

Previously, and perhaps still in more old-fashioned businesses, some working parents might’ve felt unable to talk about their home situation. It would be hard or impossible to ask for accommodations to help them better manage their family responsibilities. 

Hiding this huge part of their life from colleagues can be emotionally draining. That’s especially true if it means missing out on family events because of how it would look at work. 

Women, in particular, experience more judgment when family demands conflict with work expectations. At the same time, they’re often seen as bad parents if they prioritize work over family. On the flip side, males are typically seen as better providers for doing the same thing. 

Talking openly about their personal lives and interests is a good way for employees to bond. It’s important for them to understand each other’s perspectives as working parents.

Use inclusive language

The language we use is hugely reflective of our mindset and beliefs. The nuclear family may have been normal decades ago, but we live in a world that’s more diverse than ever. 

To ensure your organization benefits from the knowledge and skills that diversity brings, you need to use inclusive language, too.

For instance, saying ‘maternity leave’ only reflects the needs of the mother. 

What about the father and if he becomes the primary caregiver? 

What about LGBTQ+ couples or non-binary individuals? 

Using terms like ‘parental leave’ instead is more inclusive for all working parents.

Update your parental leave policies

Do your parental leave policies use inclusive language?

Do they include adoptive or foster parents?

What about non-binary folx?

Or equal time for parents of any gender, regardless of if they’re the one who gave birth? 

Sometimes the parent who gave birth isn’t the primary caregiver. That doesn’t mean they don’t deserve plenty of time with their new child to adjust to their new situation, though. 

Big life changes are challenging. Having more time to get used to them without the stresses of work boosts new parents’ wellbeing. It also means they can be more present at work when they do return.

Consider your pregnancy and healthcare policies

What are your policies for employees when they need to visit the doctor? 

What about medical emergencies? 

These should clearly be in place so that if something happens during working hours, employees know how to respond. They need to know what’s expected of them. 

For instance, if a pregnant employee takes time off to visit the doctor, do they need to make it up? 

Or do they have a set amount of time they can use for doctor’s visits? 

Likewise, what are your policies on employees going with their pregnant partner to appointments?

The clearer your policies are, the more you reduce your employees’ stress and anxiety. That way, they know how to navigate being working parents at your organization.

Welcome flexible hours

I’ve spoken to many working parents over the years who’ve stayed at a job they didn’t necessarily like—and that didn’t pay them as well as another job would’ve—because it offered them flexible hours that allowed them to take their children to and from school. 

This saved them money on babysitters and made morning routines easier. It also allowed them more time with their families, something which is important however old children are.

Luckily, since COVID, more companies understand the benefits of flexible working opportunities.

Allowing employees time to pick up and drop off children from school, and attend sports events, plays, or other activities their children are taking part in, boosts the morale of working parents and shows how much you value the next generation.

At the end of the day, does it really matter if someone isn’t working every waking hour if they’re hitting their deadlines and their quality of work is what you expect from them? 

It’s much more productive for someone to deliver what they need, then spend time with their family, than for them to sit twiddling their thumbs at a desk just because they feel obligated to work a set amount of hours that don’t make them better at their job.

Send surveys to find out what they need

Surveys are a great way to find out what working parents need from you and what their priorities/challenges are. 

It’s important to approach these with an attitude of curiosity, not judgment. That way, parents don’t feel you’ll reprimand them for sharing their situations or suggesting ways you could support them.

Introduce checkpoints

Checking in with employees after big life changes shows that you value them and their mental health, as well as what they bring to the company. 

You can work together to find any accommodations they may need, whether that’s flexible hours, new equipment or tools, or the ability to work remotely. 

Distractions are everywhere when working from home, particularly if there are other people in the house. Maybe they need noise-cancelling headphones to make focusing easier, or a better-quality microphone so that call participants can hear them more clearly.


When an employer is willing to make adaptations and accommodations after big life changes—like a new child, a child suffering from health issues, or just the extra challenges that come with being working parents—it shows employees that they’re valued members of the team who aren’t seen differently because they have children or are about to have children.

Stay tuned for part two next week when we’ll share even more tips. That said, if you’re ready to start better supporting working parents now, equipping them with the right tools is a great first step.

Workrowd makes it easy for working parents to find the information they need when they need it. Plus, the platform empowers them to connect with fellow working parents at your organization from day one. And with real-time analytics, you always know what’s driving impact for them and where you can improve.

Sound interesting? Drop by our website to learn more, or send us a note at

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging

7 DEI best practices every company should implement

Companies with more diverse and inclusive workforces are 35% more likely to outperform their competitors. Not surprising when you consider that diverse leadership teams deliver 19% higher revenue. So, if you’re not already implementing these DEI best practices, now’s the perfect time.

Education, education, education

It’s only through knowledge and understanding that diversity, equity, and inclusion can truly grow within a business. 

You could expand your employees’ understanding through workshops, webinars, books, mentorship, or other means. 

Offering a variety of formats will help you educate more employees in a way that works for them. In doing so, you can increase the likelihood of success for your DEI program. It’ll also help with employee engagement because people will feel valued.

In addition, you have to educate the outside world about your practices. This is particularly true if you’re an older business that isn’t known for its inclusivity. Anything that gets you out into the community, talking about what you do and how you’re different from your competitors is a good idea.

Similarly, you could interview employees from underrepresented backgrounds and share their stories on social media. This gives them a voice, grows their personal/professional brands, and shows you appreciate them. Make sure it feels like an integral part of your business, though. Tokenism certainly isn’t on any DEI best practices list.

Recruiting initiatives

Over 75% of job applicants feel a diverse workforce is an important factor when deciding where to work. Being truly inclusive starts with your recruitment process.

A lot of recruiting practices just aren’t all that inclusive. They can be stressful, especially for people who are neurodivergent or who belong to a community more likely to face bias.

People who experience the world differently can lead to new ideas you may never have considered before. Not making your business attractive to them means you’re never going to benefit from those different perspectives. 

Instead, you run the risk of groupthink, fewer creative ideas for new products and services, and fewer opportunities to solve problems. 

Cognitive diversity enhances team innovation by 20%. Bringing in people from different backgrounds is key to business growth.

Some businesses have started to realize they’re missing out on a very large talent pool and have chosen to do something about it. 

For instance, extended interview processes can give candidates the opportunity to show off their unique talents while assessing the employer at the same time.

Managerial involvement

When managers actively support DEI best practices through their actions, not just their words, it can have an even bigger impact. 

That said, open communication is a huge part of any successful business. Holding regular check-ins with employees mean managers can deal with challenges before they arise or turn into something bigger. 

They can also learn about other ways the business can be more inclusive and accessible. Obviously, this helps the organization, and the people within it, to grow and further embrace diversity.

Employee groups

Employees who have a greater sense of belonging and inclusion at work report 167% higher eNPS scores

A strong sense of belonging also results in a 50% lower turnover risk and a 56% increase in job performance.

Employee groups are a powerful way to build these levels of inclusion and belonging. 

They empower employees to connect with people who have similar interests or backgrounds to them. 

Without these communities, it’s harder for employees to build real relationships with their colleagues, particularly those from other departments in a remote or hybrid business.

Employee groups are easy to set up but can be a challenge to manage. Incorporating some relevant tools can help make them one of the most effective DEI best practices you implement.

Mentoring and sponsorship

Mentoring can be a positive way for someone to find, and lean into, their strengths. 

We often don’t realize what or where our own power is, but it can be obvious to other people. 

Having a mentor who can nurture our skills and help us grow is a huge part of developing in the workplace. It can go a long way towards speeding up our growth trajectory.

Mentoring and sponsorship also open up opportunities to employees that they may not have otherwise had. It’s one of the time-tested DEI best practices you should definitely have in your toolkit.

Physical visibility

Seeing is believing, as the old saying goes. Employees, and outsiders, need to see you being inclusive to believe that you really are. 

If you say your business is inclusive and accessible, but your office is on the third floor with no elevator for anyone who can’t use the stairs, it sends a conflicting message that reflects badly on your business.

True inclusivity isn’t about expecting everyone to achieve the same thing with the same resources. It’s about adapting the resources so that everyone can achieve their goals.

Workplace policies

Having policies in place to deal with problems before they turn into bigger issues ensures employees know what their rights are when something happens, whether that’s a new pregnancy or a chronic illness flare up.

It also shows candidates and new hires that you take DEI initiatives seriously. You don’t just talk about DEI in your job descriptions as a way to pay lip service to a trending topic or legal requirements.

Even if you’ve never had an employee go through a particular situation—like menopause, for example—while at work, creating a policy in advance means everyone knows how to handle it when it does arise. 

This results in less stress because everyone knows where they stand. Plus, you’re not scrambling to put something together to retrospectively fit your needs.


Businesses that implement these DEI best practices are more profitable, have happier employees, and do more good in the world. There’s really no downside to creating a more inclusive business. 

So whatever industry you’re in, consider adopting these practices so that your employees know what to expect from you. New recruits will feel more welcomed into your environment, and you get to reap all the business benefits.

If you want to put some supports in place to help you achieve these DEI best practices, consider implementing an inclusive employee experience platform.

For instance, Workrowd makes it easy to manage DEI programs, groups, and events, and enables you to easily track their impact with real-time analytics. If you’re interested in learning more, visit us online or send us a note at

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging

9 ways to create an even more inclusive workplace

Building a truly inclusive workplace isn’t just necessary for recruiting and retaining top talent; it’s also the right thing to do.

Studies show that 4 in 5 workers want an inclusive workplace, and that inclusive cultures lead to higher employee engagement. Plus, anyone who’s ever experienced being excluded knows how important inclusion is to happiness and wellbeing.

In this post we’ll look at ways you can improve inclusivity in your business. These tips are designed to make your workplace more inclusive to all, regardless of their health status, gender, religion, etc.

Check out these ideas for building a more inclusive workplace, and let us know how you’re driving inclusion for your team in the comments!

Respect deep work time

Offering deep work time, where employees can really focus on producing something, instead of discussing ideas in meetings, is important. It means they can drown out external stimuli and concentrate better on their work. It also means they’ll produce something of a higher quality as a result. 

You hired your employees because they’re good at doing the job, not because they’re good at sitting in meetings

Giving them more time to actually do the work, to truly concentrate, will leave them more fulfilled in their role and mean you get more for your money.

Enabling people to make the most of their skills, working in the way that works best for them, is a great way to build a more inclusive workplace.

Create quiet spaces

As someone whose chronic pain is triggered by noise, there have been times when someone blasting music from a tinny smartphone speaker at 8am has had me almost scaling the walls, and not in a fun, Spiderman-like way.

Having quiet spaces where employees can go to disconnect in a busy office to meditate, or just grab five minutes alone, can really help anyone suffering from sensory overload to recover.

Employees shouldn’t have to hide under a desk, or in the bathroom, to find somewhere quiet and less overwhelming.

Remember that people experience the world in different ways, and one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to office design. Ensuring there are spaces to meet an array of employee needs is key if you want to build an inclusive workplace.

Provide prayer rooms

Regular prayers are an important part of some religions. Having a place for people to pray, and not organizing meetings during this time, shows you respect different beliefs.

If your team or company is virtual, you can still practice inclusion by allowing people to take breaks when it’s prayer time. Understand that they won’t respond to messages or calls during this time, either.

Offer adaptable equipment for different needs

Some people find virtual planners really helpful. Others prefer physical ones. And then there are those of us who are awkward and like a hybrid approach (yes, I’m that person).

Regardless of which camp an employee falls into, you should find ways to adapt to what they need. You can’t expect everyone to get on well with the same software. Some aren’t as versatile or user-friendly as they claim.

If there’s really no way around using a particular piece of software or hardware, make sure you offer enough training for employees to make the most out of it without it feeling like a daily chore that inhibits their ability to do their job.

Also, make sure that the desks, chairs, monitors, keyboards, and mice you provide work for each employee. Some people may benefit more from a vertical mouse or a trackpad than a traditional mouse, for example. 

A simple change to office equipment can make a huge difference to someone’s ability to do their job and their quality of life. It can also make for a much more inclusive workplace.

Have a screen-reader friendly website

You know those ALT tags on images? They’re not just there for you to stuff keywords into that help you rank higher in search engines. 

Their original purpose was to help screen readers describe images to partially sighted or blind users.

Therefore, when you’re using it for keyword stuffing, you’re actually making your website less accessible to differently abled prospects, customers, and employees. 

Sometimes it can be hard to know how to describe an image, but it’s one of those things that comes with practice. It’s also a good way to develop your description-writing skills. 

One of the best examples I’ve seen came from a friend of mine, when she wrote a guest post for my blog. She described the images in an SEO-friendly way while also injecting humor into them. This fit the tone of her article, helped with search engine rankings, and accurately described the images to anyone visiting using a screen reader.

Use inclusive language

The language you use says a lot about how you think, often without you even realizing it. 

Addressing a room full of people as “guys,” for example, subconsciously assumes the default gender is male. You wouldn’t call a single person who didn’t identify as male a “guy,” right? 

Language progresses, sure, but can’t we use something that has less gendered undertones? Folks, gang, people…there are lots of alternatives.

Disability-friendly language also plays a role here, such as referring to someone as hard of hearing instead of deaf. Be mindful that everyone has different preferences, though. For instance, some disabled people dislike the term differently abled, while others prefer it.

If you’re worried about getting it wrong, consider my next point…

Be open to listening and feedback

Sometimes you might try to be inclusive with your language, but say the wrong thing without realizing it. For example, this could happen if a trans employee or someone going through a transition hasn’t yet shared their pronouns with you. 

What really matters is how you handle getting things wrong. 

If you shut down and don’t listen to your employees’ feedback, you’re less likely to learn and grow. This will hold back your business—and employees—as a result. 

When you’re open to feedback, it helps you stay up to date and adapt to what your workers need from you. 

The more you listen to them, the more likely they are to listen to each other and even your customers and prospects. This creates a more welcoming environment for everyone, on top of fostering a more inclusive workplace.

Offer unisex bathrooms

If someone is transitioning, or considering it, unisex toilets save the awkward question of where they go to the bathroom. For some people, this makes their life a lot easier and less stressful.

These bathrooms should also include sanitary bins, since it’s not just women who menstruate. And sanitary products down a toilet don’t end well. Trust me on that one…

Give mental health first aid

Most offices have a first aider for cuts and bruises, but how many have someone specifically trained to help with mental health problems?

There are lots of training courses offering this now. 

And as awareness increases around mental health, more workplaces should offer this to help their employees feel supported and accepted.


Well, there you have it! A list of ways you can really show how inclusive your business is, for employees and customers.

Whatever your business goals are, there are no downsides to being inclusive. A more inclusive workplace benefits everyone and leaves the world a better place. And you want to make a difference to the world, right? Who says you can only do that with the product or services you sell? Sometimes the environment you create matters just as much and can leave a lasting legacy, too.

If you’re looking for a surefire way to build a more inclusive workplace, Workrowd’s suite of tools can help. From supporting thriving employee groups, to increasing access and transparency, to amplifying employee voice, you get everything in one place alongside automated analytics.

Send us a note at to learn more. We’d love to discuss opportunities to partner on building a more inclusive workplace for your team.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging

Making your workplace inclusive for employees with disabilities

If you’ve read my previous posts for Workrowd, you’ll know one of my bugbears is when businesses use their inclusivity efforts as a form of tokenism. Given my personal experiences, this is especially true when it comes to supporting employees with disabilities.

Most of the time, businesses that claim to be inclusive are doing it as nothing more than a box-ticking exercise. 

Their senior leaders have never experienced discrimination in the workplace, so they don’t believe it’s a problem that needs addressing. They’ve never had a disability or mental health issue, nor has anyone they know. Therefore, they assume their business does a great job of handling it.

I didn’t know that much about ADHD until I realized I had it just over a year ago. That sent me down a research rabbit hole where I discovered a whole new worldview. You don’t know what you don’t know, right?

Truth is, until you’ve experienced something, or at least done your research in an empathetic way, you probably don’t know as much as you think you do.

So, take this post as a guide. We’re going to look at ways you can really be inclusive to employees with disabilities, not through tokenism, but through action.

Maybe you do some of these things already, or maybe you’ve never thought of them before. Either way, I hope this helps you think through some ways to better support employees with disabilities.

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower was invented in the UK. Just a few years on, it is now a global initiative. 

Using a simple green lanyard with a sunflower pattern—and an optional card on the end of it—people with invisible disabilities can signal to businesses that they may need additional help. 

Accredited airport staff, railway staff, and more, receive training on how to help people with these invisible and challenging conditions. This way, they can assist those customers who need it.

And let’s not forget that if they have the training for customers, they can help their fellow employees with disabilities, too. 

Pretty much all of us have something that makes our lives more challenging. It could be allergies, chronic pain, depression, or something else. 

When the people around us know how to offer help, it makes daily life much less stressful. We know that the people around us really do get it and are there to support us.

Spaced out meetings

Back-to-back meetings can be horrible for anyone, but they can be even worse for introverted or neurodiverse employees

Some employees with disabilities feel drained from being around people for too long. That means they’re less able to concentrate on their actual work because they need time to recover.

For instance, I recently went to a conference. After a day and a half of being around people, I was ready for two days in bed. Even though I enjoyed the conference and got a lot out of it, I’m very much used to being at home in my bubble. Overstimulation triggers my chronic pain and fatigue, so spending so long talking and listening proved draining and required recovery time.

Day-long meetings are much the same. They’re inaccessible and disruptive. The longer a meeting gets, the harder it becomes for someone to concentrate. There are some meetings that even a bucket-sized coffee can’t get us through.

Most meetings really don’t need to be as long as they’re scheduled in for. The next time you schedule a meeting, consider whether you could break it up. Or even better—just say it in an email!

Embrace fidgeting

Some people feel really offended when you’re in a meeting and start fidgeting or doodling. But actually, it can improve concentration levels. 

A study found that when participants listened to a boring two-and-a-half minute recording, those who doodled recalled 29% more information than those who didn’t.

26 out of 44 presidents doodled during meetings, too.

I saw a story recently where a teacher gave her class permission to do things that would help them concentrate. One child brought in some knitting. That child went from being quiet and not speaking in class to being engaged, vocal, and confident. This was all because of the knitting! It didn’t disrupt her classmates, either.

So, while you may find it disrespectful for someone to doodle, fidget, or knit during a meeting, it may well have just the impact you need. It could mean your meetings are more productive and result in more creative solutions. A small adjustment like this can make a world of difference for employees with disabilities.

Regular breaks instead of one long one

Never, in my working life, have I ever been able to sit at a desk for more than an hour. After about an hour, I get fidgety, almost taken over by the urge to move. This is true of many employees with disabilities.

My bosses didn’t like this. At the time though, I had no idea I had ADHD and that’s why I need regular breaks.

One long break in an eight-hour day makes no sense. It goes against the laws of how long we can concentrate for, and it makes for a really boring day. 

Allowing your employees to take breaks when they need them, instead of when you dictate, can be a big help. Employees with disabilities will wind up happier and more productive in their roles.

Respecting lunchtime

Too often, I’ve seen people book in meetings with a colleague during lunch. This means their colleague has to sacrifice their lunchtime as a result. If they have other meetings that day, or lots of work to do, they may not get a well-needed break from their desk as a result. 

Don’t do that. Don’t be that person. 

Respect someone’s lunchtime!

Lunches are important for food, exercise, socializing, and taking a break from staring at a screen all day.

They can also be a vital time for employees with disabilities to recharge when we spend all day in a busy office.


That’s not all! There are plenty of other ways you can show real inclusivity and embrace diversity. Stay tuned for part two next week.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for more ways to be inclusive of every team member, Workrowd’s tools can help. From supporting employees with disabilities by making your programs and events more accessible, to offering disability-focused employee resource groups, we have you covered.

Our platform organizes all your employee groups, programs, and events in one place and gives you real-time analytics. That way, you always know how to improve your people experience for employees with disabilities, and everyone else. Send us a note at to learn more.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging

6 ways to build inclusion and belonging in the workplace

When employees experience inclusion and belonging in the workplace, they’re happier, more productive, and they stay longer. This means you save money on the hiring process and get to make more money from the increased productivity.

Your company culture plays a huge role in whether someone feels like they fit in where they work. To encourage this, it’s important that you put effort into the areas listed here. It will show employees that you really do value inclusion and belonging in the workplace.

These practices must be part of daily life at your company. Not just something you put on job descriptions to attract diverse talent. Or worse, because you feel legally or morally obligated.

Read on for six ways to build inclusion and belonging in the workplace.


How you welcome new employees subconsciously shows the type of place they’re walking into (virtually or in-person). 

If you don’t make employees feel welcome, or your onboarding process reflects badly on the organization, they’re more likely to leave. 

On the other hand, a great onboarding experience increases retention by 82%, and productivity by over 70%. This can go a long way toward generating more time and money to spend on other areas of your business. Not to mention the difference it makes to your culture.

Starting their tenure off on the right foot can help ensure employees feel a sense of inclusion and belonging in the workplace from day one.

Employee groups

Employee groups help team members meet colleagues in different departments who have similar experiences to their own. They’re a fantastic way to build employees’ skills, improve their confidence, and help them network.

Offering a thriving community of employee groups makes it easy for your people to find their people. It’s a sustainable, low-cost way to build inclusion and belonging in the workplace across a diverse team.

Make reasonable accommodations

Employers are legally required to make “reasonable accommodations” for employees who are differently abled. It’s up to employees to ask their employer for the accommodations they need. It’s then on you, as their employer, to make them.

However, it’s worth noting that some people may experience problems but not have an official diagnosis. Others may not even realize they’re struggling. 

Someone shouldn’t require a formal diagnosis or a doctor’s letter to qualify for support. 

To truly build inclusion and belonging in the workplace, you need to be willing to make adaptations regardless of someone’s diagnoses. That could mean allowing them to take regular breaks, getting them a sit/stand desk, or communicating in a different way.

Prioritize mental health

How many times has someone you know been told to keep working, or do even more, when they’re already struggling? How many times have you done that to yourself?

Everyone responds to stress differently. Everyone also has a different limit for what they can handle before it starts to impact their mental health. Being aware of this helps you build a workplace where employees don’t feel their health issues are a problem. They also won’t be afraid to share what they’re experiencing.

In fact, their ways of thinking could even be an asset. Someone with generalized anxiety disorder may have greater attention to detail, for example. Their brain wiring helps them consider all the different things that could go wrong. (I knew someone who did this, and she believed it made her a better teacher.) 

Someone who’s neurodivergent could become your secret weapon because of their alternative experience of the world. They can help you find more creative solutions to problems or identify issues you may not have otherwise noticed.

It’s not your job to treat someone’s mental health conditions, but it is your job to look after them

The more employees hide their mental health issues, the more stressed they’ll feel. This then means they’ll get less work done, they’re less comfortable at work, and they’re more likely to leave.

When you look after employees’ mental health, they’re much more likely to work hard, speak highly of you, and help you attract higher quality candidates. Over time, you’ll create an even more diverse, welcoming company culture and build real inclusion and belonging in the workplace.

Regular check-ins

Employees often feel like managers don’t listen to them. Regular check-ins show them that you do care about how they feel and what they think about current business events.

These check-ins also allow you to find out what’s happening in employees’ daily lives that may impact their work. This is true whether their concerns are inside or outside of the business.

When these regular check-ins are established, employees will feel more comfortable opening up about what they’re experiencing. This will give you more context on what’s happening with them and help you make more informed decisions.

All hands or all-company meetings are another important way to do this because it puts everyone on even footing. 

Everyone getting company news at the same time helps employees understand the bigger business picture and their role in it. It also creates a sense of mutual respect, ensuring nobody is left out of the loop because of their rank.


When you share with your employees what’s happening—the good, the bad, and the ugly—it shows a level of respect and inclusion you can’t get from anything else.

We share information with people when we’re comfortable with them and when we trust them. It’s the same with businesses. 

When you share with employees how things are going, they get a greater sense of connection to the business. It also helps them visualize the difference their efforts make. Plus, it may even motivate them to help you reach business goals. Your goals will start to feel like goals for them, too.


Regardless of someone’s role, it’s important that they experience a sense of inclusion and belonging in the workplace. The last thing you want is for them to feel like an outsider looking in.

The more employees feel like they belong at work, the happier they’ll be in their role. And the more productive they’ll be, too. This impacts everything from your hiring costs to your overall profit, and your company culture.

Giving your team a central hub for connecting with all your employee groups, programs, and events just makes sense. If you’re looking to build inclusion and belonging in the workplace, Workrowd can help.

Our tools make it easy to deliver a personalized employee experience no matter where or when team members work. With one-click signups, streamlined communications, automated data collection and analytics, and more, everyone has what they need to thrive.

Drop by our homepage to learn more, or send us a note at We’d love to chat about ways to ensure everyone at your organization experiences inclusion and belonging in the workplace from day one.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging

Flexible work schedules can help you drive diversity

When companies have a diverse workforce, they enjoy 2.3 times higher cash flow. Despite this, 41% of managers feel they’re “too busy” to come up with diversity and inclusion initiatives. Luckily, offering flexible work schedules is one way overtaxed managers can cater to a diverse team’s needs.

Many members of underrepresented communities, whether they’re differently abled, a person of color, or from another minority group, aren’t represented in the workplace because they’re unable to work traditional hours.

Businesses that do allow for flexible work schedules will attract a more diverse pool of candidates, have happier, more productive employees, and take advantage of that 2.3 times higher cash flow.

What about the employees themselves, though? What are the benefits of flexible work schedules for them?

They don’t sacrifice time with family

74% of homemakers would return to work if they had access to flexible work schedules. 76% would if they could work from home.

Many parents want to return to work but are unable to when they have young children. The more flexible you allow their work schedule to be, the more you can tap into this talent pool. 

If you have clients overseas, this can be beneficial because you’ll have representatives who can accommodate different time zones. That way, you can give support or continue the sales process outside of your standard working hours.

They can make the best use of their skills

One of the biggest benefits of working with underrepresented talent is the additional skills they bring to the table. Have you ever considered that the parent of four children could be a great negotiator? Or a patient manager?

Members of underrepresented communities often have untapped or beneficial skills, such as greater empathy and compassion. This can help you create a more open, supportive workplace. In addition, it will help employees to fulfill their potential at every stage of their careers.

Businesses with a more diverse workforce are also better at problem solving. A diverse workforce can help you come up with better solutions that stand out against your competition.

They have time to grow their skills

It’s harder to train a mindset than it is to train skills. So, if you hire someone who’s open to learning and eager to do so, offering flexible work schedules can allow them to grow their skills on their own time. This could make them more likely to stick around. It’s a simple way to show you support them and want them on your team long-term.

They can work on a schedule that fits their brains

Some people are not their most productive selves when they work from 9am until 5pm. Some of us are far more productive when we start earlier or later. Forcing ourselves to work a typical 9-5 schedule can lead to stress, lower productivity, sleeplessness, and even burnout.

When we can work around our bodies’ natural rhythms, and we get the right amount of sleep, it makes us calmer and more productive. That way we’re not fighting against what our minds and bodies are begging us to do.

They can work from anywhere

Sometimes the best person for a role doesn’t live as close to your office, or their manager, as you’d like.

Limiting the talent pool to people in a particular location means there are a lot of candidates you may be missing out on that your competitors can hire instead. 

Sure, big cities often have a higher concentration of, say, software developers, but COVID made a lot of people change their priorities and crave a slower way of life. They still have the skills and mindset needed to do their job. It just means that they’re not spending hundreds or thousands of dollars per year on a commute.

Instead, they have that money to spend on themselves, their family, and to go towards the cost of living. 

This is also beneficial for employees who have family and/or friends who live far from them. It means they can go see their loved ones and work in another country for a month, even if your company doesn’t have an office there. They won’t use up as much of their vacation time, and they’ll also get to enjoy a change of scenery.

Their community grows 

In the same way that school and college force us to mix with people we may not otherwise spend time around, our jobs can do the same. Offering flexible work schedules can mean that people who wouldn’t normally get to work together, do.

This can help to open people’s eyes to other people’s struggles and life situations. 

It can also build empathy and compassion, trigger new interests, help them make new friends, and provide further benefits for their mental and physical health. 

Sometimes all we need is someone to listen to our problems. Having colleagues who understand and actively listen can go a long way toward mitigating workplace stress.

It gives their life a purpose

When we feel like our lives have a purpose, we’re happier and we live longer. It can also help to prevent depression.

Many people would like to get this from their job but are unfortunately unable to. However, it’s one of the biggest reasons people now work where they do. 

A purpose is more important to some people now than how much they earn. 

Nobody should have to sacrifice the pay they deserve for a meaningful career, though. They should be paid what they’re worth and encouraged to pursue what’s important to them. Offering flexible work schedules can make all of this possible.


These are just some of the benefits of flexible work schedules when it comes to supporting a diverse workforce.

It’s not just for underrepresented talent, though—many of us could benefit from flexible work schedules. Whether it’s on a bad day when we need to sleep a little longer, when we have a medical appointment, or even when we have clients who want to meet later but we still feel like we have to be at our desks from 9 until 5.

Flexible work schedules are the way forward. They’re the best way to attract all types of talent. Failing to be flexible can mean you miss out on some of the best candidates, slowing business growth.

On the other hand, when you hire candidates that your competitors may be missing, it can give your business a boost in everything from knowledge to mindset to skills. All these things add up to give you the upper hand as an employer and a business.

If you’re exploring flexible work schedules but want to make sure all of your team members stay connected, Workrowd can help. With a one-stop shop for all your employee groups, programs, and events, it’s easy to keep everyone looped into your company culture from day one. Drop us a line at to learn how we can support you in driving engagement and retention.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging

Belonging at work is key to employee and business success

The concept of belonging at work has been getting a lot of attention lately, and for good reason. Most of us have felt like an outsider at some point, whether that’s at work, school, or even among family. 

Initially, we may not realize how much this impacts our wellbeing. Over time though, feeling like we don’t belong can negatively impact our mental and physical health. It can even make us age faster!

So, is it really any surprise that belonging at work is crucial to employee wellbeing?

When employees feel that they belong in their workplace, it can significantly benefit the business, too.

Let’s explore why belonging at work is crucial to employee wellbeing, and how it can help your business.

Belonging improves mental and physical wellbeing

Belonging is so important that in her recent book, Age Proof: The New Science of Living a Longer and Healthier Life, Professor Rose Anne Kenny has a whole chapter on friendship, and another on intimacy.

Friendships and community can impact everything from heart disease to how we die. The significance of a sense of belonging really can’t be overstated.

You don’t have to live alone, or be totally cut off from civilization, to feel lonely.

If you don’t feel supported by the people around you, you can feel lonely in a room full of people.

On the other hand, if you feel like your team supports you, you’ll be better able to handle whatever life may throw your way.

The old saying “a problem shared is a problem halved” is actually kind of true.

It isn’t always solving a problem that makes you feel better. Sometimes it’s just letting it out and not bottling it up. Not everything in life can be solved, but knowing you’re not facing it alone can help you keep going.

Employees feel understood and supported

When you don’t get along with your colleagues, it can feel like nobody really gets your ideas or what you bring to the business. 

And if nobody gets you, how can you properly explain what you’re trying to achieve? Or what direction you’re going in? Sometimes you don’t know what that direction is, but someone who knows you can help you figure it out. They can weigh up your skills and consider what you’ve done in the past to help you work through it.

If you can’t articulate what you’re thinking, someone on your team who knows you can help clarify. This can only happen if you’re working with someone who truly gets you and what you do, though. It’s important that you really do have a sense of belonging at work and feel comfortable enough to be yourself.

Empathy becomes a positive, not a negative

When you’re an empathetic person, your boss being in a bad mood can affect the rest of your day. 

Even if it’s likely a personal issue, their bad mood can make you wonder if you’ve done something wrong. This can mean you spend your energy feeling drained, or looking for ways to help them. It can affect your ability to work and your relationships with those around you.

In a situation like this, empathy is a negative, because it’s negatively impacting someone’s ability to work.

However, when someone feels a sense of belonging at work, empathy can be a positive. 

They can use it to better communicate with their colleagues. For instance, they’ll feel comfortable asking their boss if they’re okay without worrying they’ll be shouted at for checking in.

Encouraging empathy can also mean those who feel it more strongly can become some of your best communicators. They can then support team members with whatever they’re going through.

They could even become some of your best salespeople and marketers. Empathy can help them tap into what your customers really want and need in that moment, even if the customer can’t properly articulate it themselves.

Employees who feel they belong are more productive

In most cases, if you feel like nobody cares about you, you’re not going to try as hard. This applies in the workplace just as much as in any other relationship.

If you feel a sense of belonging at work, you’re going to want to do your best to lift up those around you. That could manifest as helping them, or as working harder so that you boost their output, too.

When employees feel belonging at work, they’re also going to put in more effort because they care about the business’s future. That just doesn’t happen in your average job.

So many people have a job just to pay the bills, but studies have shown that Millennials don’t want that kind of life. It’s about so much more than a paycheck – they want to feel like they’re making a difference in the world. And the way they pay the bills can be a big contributor to that.


Making employees feel a sense of belonging at work has nothing to do with hiring people who all think the same

Instead, it’s about encouraging employees to be their true selves and embracing them for doing that.

With so many businesses claiming to be diverse and supportive but in reality, being the opposite, it’s important that you show—internally and externally—that you really do mean it. 

What are you doing to help your differently abled employees? 

How can you best support neurodivergent employees

How can you make LGBTQ+ employees feel accepted enough to come out at work?

All these little things build into a sense of belonging that will lead to happier employees who stay longer, are better at their jobs, and are more productive in their roles.

If you’re looking to cultivate real belonging at work, send us a note at We’d love to learn about your team and any challenges you’re currently facing, and explore ways our platform can help. With a full suite of tools to market, manage, and measure your employee initiatives, it’s easy to keep everyone connected and engaged. Drop by our site to learn more.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging

5 workplace accommodations to help every employee thrive

As an employer, it’s part of your job to give employees all the tools they need to thrive. Without these tools, it can lead to lower employee happiness, a toxic company culture, reduced productivity, and less revenue. That doesn’t have to be the case, though. Simple workplace accommodations can make a huge difference to how well someone can perform their role. 

Let’s take a look at some workplace accommodations you could make to help your employees thrive.

Buy better equipment

The right equipment can dramatically change how well someone does their job. 

The wrong type of laptop, a screen that’s too large or too small, a non-ergonomic mouse and keyboard, a desk at the wrong height, a chair with little to no support…all these things may sound small and inconsequential, but they can lead to physical pain, eye strain, and frustration.

My RSI—which has been dormant for about five years—recently returned because I stopped using my ergonomic mouse for a few days and didn’t use my trackpad properly. I’m now having to wear a thumb support as I type this. None of that would’ve happened if I’d just kept using my proper desk setup.

Obviously, that’s my own fault. But you decide what equipment your employees use. You can choose to buy the cheapest available, or you can pick equipment that will help employees’ current injuries and prevent future ones.

Offer more flexible hours

The traditional working hours of nine to five don’t actually have any scientific basis. They started back in the 1800s, then Henry Ford brought in the 40-hour workweek that we know so well.

However, some jobs don’t really need someone to work five days a week, or to be present during the usual hours of nine to five.

Some employees are more productive later in the day, or earlier in the day. Do you really want to miss out on employees’ most productive hours because of a rigid policy you’re doing just because that’s what everyone else does?

Parents often prefer more flexible hours as it makes it easier for them to take their children to school and pick them up at the end of the day. Whether they’re in the office or not, flexible hours gives them more time with their children. It also opens you up to a wider talent pool with less competition. It’s one of the simple workplace accommodations that can drive both recruitment and retention.

Experiment with four-day weeks

Some businesses are now trialing four-day work weeks while still paying employees for five days. It’s been suggested this can improve employee mental wellbeing and productivity.

I’ve spoken to people who work for companies with four-day weeks and have found that the fears some businesses have about it are often unfounded. In fact, many employees become more productive. It also improves employee experience and wellness.

I’m sure we’ve all seen it—people who don’t efficiently use their time at work because they don’t have enough work to fill their hours. So that employee ends up aimlessly scrolling on social media, distracting their colleagues, organizing unnecessary meetings, or even working on personal projects to fill their time. 

This lack of work—which could be remedied by shorter hours—can lead to boredom and stress.

Shorter time constraints mean employees can be more motivated to get things done. 

More time at home to spend with loved ones, work on hobbies, and just relax, also means they get to recharge. This can help employees feel more able to handle whatever their job throws at them.

Try a new software

There are lots of organizational programs out there designed to help us tackle our to-do lists.

Sometimes a program doesn’t fit with how we think, or we struggle with the interface. If an employee struggles with how you’re organizing things in an app like Trello, Asana, or TickTick, consider trying something else or changing how you use it. This will help them to better organize their own to-do list and get more done.

The same applies to social media scheduling apps, employee advocacy tools, and any other software you use. Just because it’s the tool that’s always been used, it doesn’t mean it’s still the best one for the job. Making workplace accommodations can be as simple as better orienting systems to the way your team works.

Adapt your training sessions

A training session that involves someone reading from a slide is going to be memorable for all the wrong reasons. Hint: it’s unlikely to be because of the content.

There’s no way you can offer a training session that works for everyone. It can help though to offer sessions in a variety of ways including written, video, and audio. This will ensure that you can reach as many employees as possible.

Making training more interactive with quizzes or activities will also help employees to understand the material. It will help them get the most out of a session, too. 

Subscribe to industry publications

What industry publications could you subscribe to that would help your employees? 

Industry publications are at the forefront of your industry for a reason. Giving employees access to those resources—free and paid—will help them to be aware of what’s happening and what’s coming up. This will give them the upper hand over competitors.

They also won’t need to use their own money to research the latest industry updates. This will save them crucial dollars as the cost of living continues to rise.


Workplace accommodations can include anything from a new chair to better training. 

To find out what your employees need, ask them. Encourage them to come to you if something isn’t working for them.

If they feel dissatisfied because of small adaptations you can make, but feel like they can’t request those changes, it’s going to affect their productivity.

If you don’t tell them that they can approach you with these issues, it’s unlikely that they’ll bother. They’ll probably just leave instead, increasing your employee churn rate because of a basic problem.

On the other hand, if you encourage them to come to you, and make the workplace accommodations quickly, they’re more likely to feel supported and want to stay.

If you’re looking for a better way to connect with employees and keep the lines of communication open, check out Workrowd. Our one-stop platform makes it easy to give team members a voice, and distribute important communications on how to access various workplace accommodations. Send an email to to learn more.