Diversity makes your company globally competent. A diverse workforce triggers creativity and innovation. It taps into multiple world views and experiences to come up with better solutions. In a world made smaller by technology, this may be what your company needs to stay ahead of the competition.
A diverse workforce also enriches the experience of your employees. It allows them to learn about different cultures and perspectives. This exposure leads to growth in their personal and professional lives and can improve your employee retention.
Reaping the benefits of a diverse workforce doesn’t come easy. It comes with its own challenges. Knowing how and when to address them increases your chances of success.
Office design shouldn’t be an afterthought in a diverse workplace. A careless remodeling puts you in danger of adding “inclusive”‘ features that segregate rather than include.
The right design is subtle and does not highlight someone’s special requirements. You know you’re doing it right when your workplace offers choices. For example, in Utah, this means adding a wheelchair lift where there are stairs and ramps in elevated floor plans. Consider a workspace for those who work better in groups and those who need a quiet nook to escape the urban noise of cities. Different people operate at their best in different settings. Giving them an amount of control over their work environment can ease everyone into your desired office culture.
You can’t get a diverse workforce if your hiring process doesn’t encourage it. You also shouldn’t change it to hire diversity for the sake of diversity. So how do you do it?
Check for biases in your practices and guidelines. Once you’ve identified discrepancies, adjust without compromising the standards. The ideal hiring process has no prejudice against the screening of qualified individuals.
If you’re not attracting a diverse crowd of applicants, the problem may be in your candidate sourcing. Rethink how you present your company and the job offer in words and visuals. You may be appealing to a specific demographic with your tone and word choice, as well as the visuals you used.
Include photos and videos of that show you’re aiming for diversity and inclusivity. This informs applicants that it’s a community they can be a part of.
Training and Workshops
Invest in training your people on how to collaborate in a diverse setting. You can’t expect everyone to know how to approach their differences in a way that benefits the company. Some people haven’t worked in this kind of culture before. Others might feel insecure with the variety of backgrounds in the workforce.
Always tap those in the leadership level first. These people must develop the skills to handle conflicts and manage collaborations. An efficient leadership inspires people to follow their values and work ethics.
Conduct workshops that educate people on the importance of teamwork and communication in a diverse setting. Continue having a dialogue with them and enforce the company’s vision regularly to make sure they stick.
Creating a culture of diversity and inclusivity takes time. You’ll encounter challenges as you learn to manage biases and handle differences. While this change is difficult, it makes a positive impact on your company and the lives of many marginalized individuals.