How to use inclusive language in your small business

Group of diverse people standing and talking

Written by Meredith Wood, Editor-in-Chief, Fundera

As a leader in your small business or company, you often represent the needs and voices of many different people at once. It can be hard to find a balance between employee happiness and workplace productivity. You will have to make difficult decisions every day that impact the success of the business and the happiness of your team. That’s why it’s so important for your employees to know you have their best interests at heart. A great way to do this is to demonstrate empathy in the way you communicate with them. Not only does this mean being understanding and helping them thrive professionally, but this also means fostering a supportive and inclusive workplace environment.

So how do you create an inclusive environment at work? It all starts with the language you use every day. Simply by becoming more aware of which word choices and phrases exclude others, you can better support a diverse team, welcome unique perspectives, and ultimately foster greater success in the workplace. In fact, studies have shown that diverse companies are 33% more likely to outperform more homogenous ones. This is because when people of many different backgrounds and experiences feel supported and welcomed in the workplace, it’s easier to solve problems, brainstorm, and start creative initiatives.

Incorporating inclusive language may not happen overnight, but it is possible to make it a part of your natural vocabulary with time and dedication. It’s okay not to always know how to address a group or individual. If you’re ever unsure what call someone, or the correct term for something, don’t be afraid to ask. For more insights on how to use inclusive language in your workplace, check out this infographic below by Fundera:

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