Diversity is key to your company’s success.
A McKinsey report claims the same. It shows that, by inserting racial and ethnic diversity into your teams, organizations are 35% more likely to generate revenue higher than the national industry median.
Still, businesses are not taking workplace diversity seriously. For example, Deloitte and the Alliance for Board Diversity did a thorough study and found the majority of Fortune 500 boards consist of only 30% of women and minorities.
So, what are the major challenges businesses face when investing in employee diversity and how do businesses overcome them to create a unique workplace culture?
Let’s find out!
Redefine your Hiring Processes
Building an employee diversity program cannot be done overnight. It needs to be implemented strategically, starting with your recruiting and hiring practices.
When creating job ads, optimize them for different channels to get yourself noticed by wider audiences.
LinkedIn and major job posting platforms are a great starting point, letting you connect with professionals with different abilities, interests, and experiences.
You should also rely on local job fairs and local institutions like colleges and nonprofit organizations. Consult local disability employment services that would help you recruit and hire employees with disabilities with the experience in your niche. This is also an amazing way to boost your company’s image and contribute to the fight against workplace discrimination. Namely, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics emphasizes that only 18.7% of people with disabilities were employed in 2018.
As for hiring processes, set flexible hiring criteria. Extensive experience in the industry and great grades are sometimes important, but they should never be the only criteria you consider when hiring an employee. Observe their soft skills as well to make sure they are the right fit for your organization. Some companies use the so-called blind recruiting, where they hide all personal information about a candidate (their name, nationality, marital status, etc.) to focus on candidates’ relevant qualities and make unbiased decisions. You could also ask for employee referrals, which is always a great way to spread the word about your organization and attract more top-talent to it.
Train Your Managers to Value Empathetic Leadership
Never assume that your team managers understand the importance of employee inclusion and diversity. If you don’t train them to grow and nurture a diverse workplace culture, don’t expect them to do so on their own.
Teach your managers to manage staff members empathetically, appreciating their individuality and differences. Provide comprehensive diversity training programs for employees across the entire organization. They should learn to walk in their colleagues’ shoes, understand the issues they face, and the stereotypes they need to overcome every day. Most importantly, evaluate your workplace culture and ask for employee feedback regularly. Only by gaining insights into your company’s culture and employee satisfaction will you be able to keep your employees happy and successfully integrate your workplace diversity plan across all teams.
Set up Mentorship Programs
Hiring a diverse team of people is just half the job done. The other half is making your employees heard and feel appreciated. This is where mentorship programs step in, giving your employees an amazing opportunity to advance irrespective of their age, race, sex, and so forth.
You could either build an in-house mentorship program sponsored by your organization or opt for outside options dedicated to different groups of employees, such as veterans, women, minorities, workers with disabilities and so forth. The idea behind this idea is simple – letting your employees improve their skills and become their best selves.
Let Your Employees Know their Individuality is Appreciated
When starting out, your new team members will want to fit in. Afraid to stick their necks out, they will ignore their own traits, needs, and habits to conform to your overall corporate culture. Over time, they will feel they’re not accepted as unique individuals and become frustrated about that.
This is something you want to prevent.
For starters, build diversity-friendly workforce policies and make sure they support your employees’ needs.
- Give your employees the opportunity to work from home occasionally.
- Let them take off work for major religious holidays.
- Celebrate all major holidays, such as International Day of Human Rights, International Day to End Racism, International Women’s Day, or International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
- Single parents should also have flexible work hours and work remotely whenever the need arises.
- Build detailed policies against any kind of workplace bullying.
- Adapt your offices based on the different needs of your employees. Irrespective of their abilities, they should perform their daily abilities safely and uninterrupted.
Once your diversity-friendly corporate policy is created, you need to keep revising it and adapting it to your employees’ needs. Talk to staff members regularly. Ensure they’re comfortable coming to your office and voicing any concerns they have. Listen to your employees to understand their expectations and revamp your corporate policies regularly.
Wrapping It Up
Workplace diversity is the backbone of your company’s image and success. It helps you attract and retain top talent, enrich corporate culture, and makes your employees happier. It celebrates differences, helping you create a vibrant workplace atmosphere, where people feel heard and appreciated. This will help you retain your top talent and contribute to your company’s growth by driving innovation and gaining new perspectives.
Precisely because of that, you need to implement your workplace diversity strategy wisely. Integrate it into every aspect of your workplace culture, from your hiring efforts to diversity-friendly company policies. There are numerous ways to do so and I hope these tips will help!
How do you build a diverse corporate culture?
About the Author
Jacob Wilson is a business consultant, and an organizational psychologist, based in Brisbane. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for Bizzmarkblog.com.