There is the potential for workplaces of every type and size to become static as opposed to dynamic. A static workplace is problematic for a number of reasons. The lack of change and diverse insight from varied perspectives stifles creative thought, maintains the status quo and ultimately leads to slower progress. This is precisely why every business should embrace employees of all backgrounds. A diverse workforce with employees of different races, ethnicities and religious backgrounds makes the workplace that much more dynamic and productive. The challenge lies in implementing diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) while maintaining a true meritocracy and advancing your organization’s collective interest. Here’s how to do it.
1. Acknowledge Any Lack of Diversity or Inclusion
Diversity is not strictly limited to race, ethnicity and religious faith. A truly diverse workplace has both men and women. Take a moment to review your executive team. Does it have men and women? If so, is it balanced between the two sexes? Keep in mind, your executives are a symbolic representation of your business as a whole. If you have only one woman or a couple women as executives, your boardroom will lack critically important voices and insight.
2. Adjust How You Screen and Search for Candidates
The process your business uses to identify the best job-seekers might be inherently flawed. The sad truth is a considerable number of jobs are filled before they are even advertised to those looking for employment or those looking to shift to a new role. Instead of promoting from within over and over again, open the door to new candidates who do not have experience with your business. Prioritize diversity when choosing which candidates to bring in for interviews and ultimately hire. If even the slightest bias rears its ugly head when making an internal promotion, it is time to make some changes. After all, a diverse workforce will prove that much more attractive to potential hires who have the potential to be legitimate rainmakers.
3. Foster a Work Culture Where All are Welcome
Take a moment to envision yourself as one of your company’s employees. Use your mind’s eye to picture yourself in such a role interacting with fellow employees and working five days a week. Do you feel as though you can fully express yourself? If you don’t feel respected or welcomed, you probably won’t want to remain with your employer. This is precisely why employers should make every effort to ensure employees feel included, respected and valued, regardless of their demographic.
4. Have an Open Dialogue about Gender Pay Inequity
The days of refusing to discuss financial compensation in the workplace are coming to an end. Though many Americans do not know it, the truth is employee compensation is openly discussed in many countries. Seize the opportunity to create an open dialogue about pay disparities by gender, race or other demographics. Provide solutions so these disparities can be addressed and your workplace really will feel more fair and inclusive.
5. Build a Team with Age Diversity
Diversity extends to age. Every employer should strive for diversity in the context of age as the perspectives of those in each unique age cohort have considerable value in the workplace. Establish a welcoming multigenerational workplace for people of all ages and you will find their unique skill sets combine to form a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
6. Include Multilingual Communication
It is a mistake to assume every single employee speaks English. Some employees are not fluent in English while others speak partial English. In particular, businesses located in geographical areas with racial diversity often have multilingual employees or those who are attempting to learn English. Take these important linguistic barriers into consideration, add multilingual workers for translation purposes and your business will be truly inclusive and welcoming.
7. Review Anti-Discriminatory Policies
Your business might have one or several policies with wording that is discriminatory or could be perceived as discriminatory. Such policies should provide crystal clear rules pertaining to acceptable employee behavior. Your transparent anti-discriminatory policy will help bring in highly qualified candidates, thwart bias and also ensure full compliance with the letter of the law.
Prioritize Diversity at Your Workplace
Inclusivity should be one of your top priorities moving forward. Challenge your team to embrace and celebrate diversity at your business and your workplace will prove welcoming to everyone. Screen potential hires with workplace equality and inclusion in mind, make hiring decisions appropriately and your work environment will be that much more enjoyable for everyone.
If you have any further questions on how you can create a more inclusive environment in your workplace, contact TPC today. We are happy to help you create a space where employees feel included and supported.