5 Creative Ways to Encourage Workplace Diversity
Diversity can be important to a company’s growth and development, but it can be challenging to achieve. The term “diversity” often refers to the inclusion of people from different backgrounds and their ideas. Many companies want to be more diverse, but they have a hard time attracting and keeping employees of different races, ethnicities, nationalities, sexual orientations, genders and ages. By taking steps to promote a more inclusive workplace, companies can become stronger and prepared for the challenges of operating in multicultural markets.
In many companies, people need to work together on projects, but these groups aren’t diverse. To foster creativity and new ideas within these teams, supervisors need to try to actively pair up people with different ideas. This will encourage people of different backgrounds to talk with each other and be part of the decision-making process. For this to work, though, companies need to have an established culture of diversity where everyone feels encouraged to have a voice. Otherwise, the person with the strongest voice is likely to dominate the conversation.
Creative Hiring Practices
Part of creating a diverse working environment is seeking out candidates from different backgrounds. In order to do this, companies need to use resources such as referrals from current employees, job posting sites, partnerships with local organizations and social media websites. Sometimes, human resources managers need to reach out directly to diverse candidates to make them more aware of a position and garner their interest. Companies can help to show that they are diverse by establishing anti-discrimination policies, promoting candidates from different backgrounds, offering competitive salaries and benefits packages and showing that they are committed to diversity.
Flexible Schedules and Work Environments
As technologies have changed workplace dynamics and trends, people have become more interested in working in less structured environments, with more flexible hours. To attract more diverse candidates, businesses need to be able to adapt to this trend, offering employees a chance to set their own hours and work outside of the office. While this doesn’t work with every type of company, many are set up in such a way that they can accommodate employees who have family obligations or other jobs that require more flexible arrangements.
Open and Accepting Workplace Culture
Companies have a better chance of attracting and retaining diverse workforces if they promote inclusive workplace cultures. To do this, they need to actively try to make people from different backgrounds, including people of different races, nationalities and sexual orientations, feel accepted. Companies can do this by taking part in cultural and pride celebrations; giving workers time off during important religious and cultural holidays; offering benefit packages for same-sex partners; requiring supervisors and employees to take part in diversity training; accommodating employees who are transitioning; using interpreters and developing facilities for people with disabilities and developing coalitions and teams that give voice to people from different backgrounds. While it can take some time to build an inclusive culture, companies are more apt to be successful if all their employees feel valued and accepted for who they are.
Companies need to not only hire but keep employees with different beliefs, ideas and backgrounds to achieve lasting workplace diversity. To be able to do this, they have to invest in diverse employees, offering them chances to grow and move up within the companies. Otherwise, they are likely to lose these employees to other companies. Businesses can develop mentoring systems in which lower-level workers learn from leads and supervisors so that they have the skills and knowledge to eventually move up in the organization. If employees feel like valued members within their workplaces, they are more likely to feel invested in their companies.
Diversity can take time to achieve within any workplace. Leaders within a company need to be committed to a diverse workplace to have a better chance of achieving it. By taking active steps, such as seeking out different types of candidates and building a workplace culture where everyone has a voice, businesses can show they are open and accepting.