Diverse Workplace Beyond Good Intentions
Hiring people from diverse racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual backgrounds helps a company to broaden its overall perspective, appeal to a larger target audience, and tap into a much larger pool of talented candidates.
However, many companies focus solely on recruiting diverse employees or having a one-off diversity initiative in order to steer their business in the right direction. They believe that doing this will foster a better work atmosphere as well as keep employees satisfied and productive.
However, true diversity goes beyond simply promoting diversity hiring and helping people from different backgrounds land a job. Here are a few ways in which you can create a truly diverse workforce.
Let Everyone See Your Diverse Company
Instead of being a company that merely supports diversity, be a company that screams diversity.
Each time you post an advertisement on a billboard or a job board, ensure that the faces in your ad represent a diverse group of people. This way, customers (and potential job applicants) will know that your company not only values diversity but embodies it.
Even when you send recruitment teams to college campuses or job fairs, try to make sure that the teams consist of a diverse group of employees. By showcasing diversity in these situations, you are giving your target audience the impression that diversity is one of the core foundations of your company.
Support Social Causes
When you notice that a minority group is promoting a social cause or trying to secure certain rights, try to ensure that your company is there to support them.
One example of this is when Microsoft decided to support the gay rights bill in Washington. This allowed the company to work closely with members of the LGBT community and establish a positive relationship with the group.
Create Affinity Groups
Rather than directly creating affinity groups, encourage your employees to create various groups, whether they are African-American, Hispanic, Asian, or LGBT.
This will help your diverse employees create networks of people who can openly share their feelings and experiences with discrimination in a safe space with their peers. When creating employee surveys, you can integrate diversity-related questions into the survey to determine whether your initiatives are effective or not. This way, you can adjust your initiatives based on the feedback you receive.
Make It a Top-Down Approach
For diversity to be effective, its importance must be communicated at all levels of the organization. A commitment to diversity should be routinely discussed at team meetings, so that all parts of the organization can work towards bettering their efforts.
You must regularly engage your top-level executives to determine how they feel about diversity. Ask them whether they feel that having a diverse workforce will impact the company positively or negatively. Find out whether your managers would be more likely to hire an employee with new perspectives or someone who is similar to them.
Of course, you need to do this in a tactful manner so that your upper management answers these questions truthfully. Their answers will help you decide whether or not to implement diversity training programs for your higher-level management.
Remember, the term ‘diversity’ can have different meanings at each level of an organization. So, find out how comfortable your employees at all levels are with the idea of having a diverse workforce.
These are just a few ways how you can take the idea of workplace diversity to the next level. A diverse and well-rounded workforce is vital to your company’s survival in today’s competitive market. To truly build a diverse company, you will need to think beyond the basic diversity initiatives and think about the bigger picture.