Breaking Down Barriers: The Case for Workplace Diversity
Your workplace doesn’t exist in a bubble. Every employee is different and as manager it is your job to ensure that everyone is comfortable working with one another. To embrace the diversity that is essential for a company’s success there are steps you can take to embrace the uniqueness of each employee. Here are a few ways to embrace the diversity of your workplace and engage your staff.
- Create and enforce diversity policies. Successful diversity policies go beyond discrimination. Your diversity initiatives should be both positive and proactive. Make inclusiveness the core of your company’s value systems and mission statement.
- Commit to an integrated culture at all levels. If your senior staff are not diverse, your employees may begin to question the advancement practices in your organization. Your management team should reflect the diversity values that you have as a company.
- Understand the obstructions for diversity. Diversity starts with good hiring practices, so ensure that HR understands the interview inequities that exist for certain groups of people. For instance, an older candidate may not be familiar with behavioral interviewing so might not be adept at answering these questions. Some minority candidates are taught that describing accomplishments is bragging and could be inclined to discuss their achievements.
- Evaluate the needs of your employees. Is your company doing all it can do to ensure that your environment is welcoming for a diverse group of people? Look at aspects of your benefits packages such as childcare support. What else can you do to attract and keep the best candidates?
- Expand your hiring practices. Our communications practices have changed rapidly over the last decade or two. Because of that, it is important to understand that different cultural and age groups access information in different ways. Create a community outreach program to access a variety of groups. Social media, internet searches, job fairs, and classified ads are all used by different segments of the population.
- Provide diversity training. Lastly, if diversity is the core of your business it is essential you’re your entire team understand and embrace the practices. Demonstrate that your company culture is dependent on the diversity of employees. Provide training that can help everyone feel valued and find common ground.