Appreciating Diverse Perspectives in the Workplace
The term ‘diversity’ generally pertains to having a mix of people from various backgrounds and socio-economic conditions.
However, many companies with diverse workforces often face several problems. This is sometimes due to the fact that the term ‘diversity’ is not well-defined, which can lead to confusion and uncertainty regarding company culture and inclusiveness.
However, most studies indicate that companies with a diverse workforce exhibit improved business performance and have higher chances of achieving growth and success.
Now, it is more important than ever to successfully achieve diversity in the workplace, and promote a company culture of inclusiveness and equal opportunity.
Don’t Just Stop at Hiring!
Some companies believe that hiring is the only way to promote diversity. They want to focus their time and energy on hiring a diverse and talented workforce, but they don’t consider other ways to encourage workplace diversity.
Of course, there is the process of scouting for talented individuals from various backgrounds, and convincing them to apply to the company. You will also need to think about hiring interviewers who are able to communicate with different kinds of candidates without inadvertently discouraging them from working at your company.
However, the real challenge begins when these diversity candidates actually start working at your company. It’s futile to invest your time, energy, and resources into creating a diverse workforce when you don’t utilize this diversity to its fullest potential. Here are a few tips to help you achieve diversity in your organization, beyond the hiring process:
Make Diverse Teams
When you are creating teams to address various business processes, make sure that each team has a mix of employees with various perspectives. It is not necessary that they all come from different backgrounds and social situations, but you will want to ensure that each member of the team brings something different to the table.
Not only will this encourage your employees from diverse backgrounds, but it will also teach the other employees to work with different kinds of people and respect all opinions.
Find Agreeable Leaders
When appointing the leaders of a team, be sure to select individuals who are easy-going and can get along well with all types of people.
Even if you have created a highly diverse team, it is pointless if the team leaders are not willing to appreciate the various perspectives and opinions that will be a part of the discussion.
You don’t have to provide your employees with an extensive training program, but it will help if you can bring them up to speed on the known benefits of having diversity at the workplace.
Invest in a professional coach who will teach your employees to be more accepting of different backgrounds and perspectives, and maybe even provide guidance to managers regarding how to work with diverse employees.
Promote Your Diverse Employees
Many employees from diverse backgrounds fear that no matter how hard they work, they will be discriminated against by their employers when it comes to career advancement. They believe that most of the higher positions and roles in the company will be taken up mostly by white, male employees.
And they are not wrong, considering the fact that the higher levels of management at most companies consist predominantly of white males.
To put everyone at ease, make sure you give credit where it is due. If you’re diverse employees are hard workers and seem promising, don’t hesitate to move them up the corporate ladder. This will encourage others to work hard, and will also show them that everyone’s perspective matters in a good organization.
It’s not difficult to ensure that all your employees are given equal opportunities. It might take some time to create a truly diverse workplace, where different opinions are appreciated and every employee feels like a valued part of the organization with equal opportunities for advancement. However, once you develop this type of setting, your company will reap the benefits and achieve further growth.