Inclusive communication refers to the way information is distributed and shared. It is an approach that encourages sharing information in a way that every individual can understand.
What is the meaning of inclusive communication?
Inclusive communication is an idea based on the principle that humans have multiple ways of understanding and expressing themselves. Therefore, there should be multiple ways of communicating, so that as many people as possible can understand.
Inclusive communication is based on the notion that words can have a significant positive or negative impact. As such, it is essential to the creation of policies and strategies aimed at building inclusive work cultures.
Why it is important
Recognizing that different people have different ways of communicating is a cornerstone of building a welcoming work culture. It helps establish more effective relationships and ensures that the organization’s mission and goals reach the widest possible audience. It also contributes to a more inclusive environment, especially for people with certain disabilities.
Inclusive communication is one of the most cost-effective ways of maximizing productivity. By embracing a diverse set of communication styles, including verbal, written, visual, and nonverbal, employees can better collaborate, exchange ideas, and understand each other’s perspectives. This in turn promotes innovation, problem-solving and creative thinking.
Examples of inclusive workplace communication
Workplace communication happens every day and should involve all areas, including recruitment, marketing and external business activities.
Here are some examples:
- Documentation is available in multiple formats and languages, including Braille and audio formats. Written materials are presented in a clear and concise format that is supported by visuals.
- Employees are allowed to attend meetings in person or remotely. Questions and feedback are allowed both verbally and written.
- Presentations are made available in recorded format so that employees may access them at a later time. On-site sign language interpretation is provided for employees who are deaf or hard of hearing during live presentations to ensure that they have equal access to the information presented.
- Printed material is offered alongside on-screen presentations. The printed material is offered in multiple languages and formats.
How to embed inclusive communication in the workplace
Creating an inclusive workplace starts with inclusive communication practices. Here are a few tips on how to enhance communication to promote inclusivity:
- Train marketing teams in inclusive design, making sure they understand why this approach is important. Inclusive design standards should be reflected across the organization’s communication work, including websites, educational leaflets, consumer surveys and promotional campaigns. This approach enables customers and employees to engage with the content more effectively while fostering a positive brand image.
- Develop an accessible communication strategy for sign language, braille and large letter print. Involve targeted user groups to help review on-site signage, printed materials, interpretation and digital content for accessibility and clarity. Collaborating with the deaf, blind, and low vision communities ensures that the communication strategy meets their specific needs.
- Create a communication strategy that is relevant to people of all ages. If a company website has images showing young couples and parents, older audiences will most likely fail to engage. Consider how the visual content in your communication materials reflect the target audience and how it could be more inclusive.