Diversity & inclusion is a phrase often thrown around, but what does it actually mean? And how can businesses in the Commercial cleaning sector and beyond truly embrace its business culture objectives? Broadly, diversity is any measure used to differentiate groups of people with respect and appreciation for differences, including race, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, educational background, and religious beliefs. These differences bring diverse perspectives to the workplace from various lifestyles and cultures that enrich the company.
As a result, the cleaning industry has begun to recognise the value of hiring a diverse workforce. The range of perspectives brought by hiring people from different walks of life, including women, minorities, and people with disabilities, can often bring fresh outlooks while helping companies to compete more equitably. Inclusion is when a person is treated with respect and made to feel valued and supported regardless of differences. It’s also about finding a way to focus on individual needs by ensuring needs are met for a person to work in a company comfortably while being supported to achieve their full potential. Inclusion must be reflected in all areas of organisational culture, procedures and associations to support workforce diversity.
Put simply, diversity is about the mix of people, while inclusion ensures everyone can work well and to their highest potential. Every society sector needs to consider integrating these two into their business, including the cleaning sector.
Encouraging Female Representation
When the pandemic hit, there was a mass exodus of women from work as schools and daycares closed. Traditional mothering roles became a focal point as many women were forced to quit or step back from their careers to navigate the pressures of remote schooling. While there are fathers and other primary caregivers who have done the same, the percentages are higher for working mothers.
Even before the effects of the Coronavirus, however, women often had to leave the workforce when their children were young for a period of time. Whether these women have left the workforce voluntarily or more reluctantly, women who have taken time away from their careers to raise children often find the return to employment can be difficult. Women getting through the front door is the first step toward a company embracing gender diversity. Secondary areas that need addressing are training, mentorship, and the opportunity to advance within a business. These opportunities can be facilitated by providing programs, training, and support that enable women in the Commercial Office cleaning industry to accelerate their careers.
Inclusion of Workers of All Abilities
Hiring workers with various physical and learning capabilities is another way to ensure diversity and inclusion are front and centre in your company. Evident physical differences may include mobility and movement limitations, low or no vision, difficulty hearing or deafness. Other conditions may include learning challenges, intellectual differences, developmental disabilities, Down Syndrome, or Autism Spectrum neurodivergence. People with these conditions work in various places and contribute incredibly to the company when they receive just a little extra support.
Another area of consideration is to include people with mental health differences and challenges. These can range from depression and anxiety or conditions that pose additional challenges for the individual. With the proper workplace support, however, these people are valuable assets to the team they work for. This approach also ultimately helps the person experiencing mental health issues to return to work with all the associated positives with that.
When hiring people in these categories, adaptations will be necessary to allow workers to do their job effectively. However, some companies will have reservations about this possibility and hiring workers with disabilities due to equipment costs, work accommodations, and anything else that employees may require. A host of accommodations can and must be considered, from shelf heights for supplies, ergonomic equipment, speciality measuring aid, or schedule flexibility. This may seem overwhelming to an employer, but there are now ample resources in the UK to help with adjustments and working methods to accommodate every individual. Furthermore, many concessions and adjustments cost nothing to implement; it may simply be reorganising and rearranging. One thing that’s certain is that workers with disabilities are equally beneficial to a company and employer as employment is to the individual employee.
Grease Gone is an Inclusive Workplace
Contact Grease Gone Commercial Cleaning London to discover more about our drive towards inclusion and diversity in the workplace. Alternatively, if you wish to learn more about our cleaning services or to receive a personalised quote, reach out to our team.
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