Every week we comb through the news to find employment trends affecting the hospitality industry so you don’t have to. This week’s topic: how to create an inclusive work environment.

Throughout the years, hospitality has proven to be one of the most diverse industries there is, acting as a melting pot for workers and customers from different walks of life  –– and embracing the differences that make us unique is what helped make this industry worth billions of dollars every year. 

Although bars, restaurants, and hotels naturally attract diversity, as a manager or owner, you need to intentionally foster an environment of inclusivity for guests and employees, so they feel safe and welcomed into your establishment. One way to do that is to create an inclusive work environment. 

What is an inclusive workplace? Forbes defines an inclusive workplace as “one that values individual differences in the workforce, and makes them feel welcome and accepted.” According to Gerry Fernandez, founder and CEO of the Multicultural Restaurant & Hospitality Alliance, there are 4 key tips to remember when creating an inclusive and diverse environment:  

How to Create an Inclusive Work Environment
  1. Always seek clarity. Be insightful and knowledgeable; don’t make cultural assumptions about others. 
  2. Use a different vantage point to appreciate diversity. If you see the world from someone else’s perspective, you can better understand the cultural divide. 
  3. Be intentional about wanting to learn. Create effective cross-cultural communication. Read books, make time to meet with others to trade thoughts, ideas and insights that you and they may not have about each other. 
  4. Don’t accept stereotypes at face value. Reach your own conclusions and understand that differences are not deficiencies. 

It’s vital to take these tips into consideration when managing a diverse workforce or aiming to create an inclusive environment. There are a few immediate actions you can take to start prioritizing inclusivity, like 

  • Using language that doesn’t alienate anyone in all communication. (Click here to learn more.) 
  • Include diverse imagery in marketing. 
  • Recruit through multiple channels in order to ensure a variety of candidates.  
  • Evaluate your company messaging through mission and vision statements. How does your desired audience perceive you?  

During a time where we’re often seeing social injustices in the media, it’s more important than ever to make your company’s stance on diversity and inclusivity clear, and show your ‘audience’ (whether it be team members, guests, or competitors) that no matter your race, sex, religion or sexual orientation, they’re safe and welcome. Use this brief guide to better create an inclusive work environment for yourself and your staff.

At LGC, we know that without the dynamic and diverse workforce we have today, we wouldn’t be where we areso we’re committed to constantly learning and reevaluating how we operate in order to create an environment where all are safe to be themselves.