Building a foundation of respect - Part 41 | BuildForce Canada

Building a foundation of respect - Part 41

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The Canadian construction industry is building respectful and inclusive workplaces for a strong future.

Addressing racism starts with inclusion

A culture of respect and inclusion at work has never been more important
Recently, we have witnessed incidences of racial tension in the United States, which has prompted widespread social protest and anger in the US and around the globe. Because of social media, workers are more globally connected than ever, and they don’t leave their questions and concerns about these issues at home; they bring them to work.
Establishing respectful and inclusive workplaces has never been more important. Organizations that are committed to creating and supporting a respectful and inclusive workplace have an advantage during this time of social conflict around racism and discrimination – they have already started a constructive conversation about bias, prejudice, and discrimination, and how to recognize and eliminate them.
group of construction workers looking into the camera
By creating a workplace culture that attracts and retains workers from all applicant pools, including those with different genders, backgrounds, and circumstances, these organizations are taking steps to promote and support racial equality. They are welcoming, supportive, safe, and inclusive of all workers, and bring out the best in their people. In fact, research confirms that respectful and inclusive workplaces enjoy above-average levels of employee engagement and productivity.  
However, creating and sustaining a respectful and inclusive workplace requires more than lip service. The truth is that racism and discrimination are complex issues; and both management and workers need information and support to understand them. It requires a combination of strong commitment, leadership visibility, communication, and training.
Here are the steps that will help organizations address racism and discrimination:
  1. Organizations must develop and commit to respect and inclusion as a core value.
  2. Leaders must be unified and very visible in their commitment to racial equality.
  3. Organizations must communicate their commitment to racial equality widely and through every communication channel.
  4. The organization’s training strategy must use multiple channels and methods to ensure that racial equality is not a separate, isolated initiative, but is part of the organization’s core values as a respectful and inclusive workplace.
For more in-depth resources on racism and discrimination, the BuildForce Respectful and Inclusive Workplace Toolkit provides a suite of resources to create and sustain a respectful and inclusive workplace. Organizations may find the Respectful Workplace online training course especially relevant. It provides workers and supervisors with comprehensive training about bias, prejudice, and discrimination; the myths and barriers that prevent racial equality; realistic workplace scenarios, and much more.

What can an effective Respectful and Inclusive Workplace Program deliver?

  • Become an employer of choice - attract, retain, and advance top talent from all sources of labour
  • Unlock collaboration and innovation - create high-performing teams through diversity of thought and experience
  • Build your brand - your organization will gain a competitive edge as a leader and innovator

Get started today!

The BuildForce Canada Online Respectful and Inclusive Workplace Toolkit includes:

All the resources you need to create and support a respectful and inclusive workplace!

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