How to Create Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace is a big topic for companies to address now more than ever. With the #BlackLivesMatter movement, June being Gay Pride Month, and the government passing laws that protect L.G.B.T. workers from discrimination in the workplace, there is no better time than today to change your company’s diversity and inclusive policies.
According to BuiltIn.com, diverse companies get 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee than ones that are less diverse. When you are diverse, you open your company up to a wider range of unique individuals with different backgrounds and experiences, making it easier for your business to be more creative, better at problem-solving, and much more than your competitors.
Do the Research: Educate others about Diversity
Whether you are an employer or an employee, do the research that is necessary to learn more about the topic of diversity. Lets first talk about diversity as a whole. Diversity is not just based on race but includes gender, religion, age, disability, linguistic differences, socioeconomic status, and cultural background. With a wide range of diverse individuals with different cultures and backgrounds, you will be able to work together to solve complex business problems.
The benefits of a more diverse workplace are that they are more creative, better at problem-solving, and make better decisions as a whole. In fact, racially and ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to perform better than their counterparts. Not only that, but diverse teams make better decisions 87% of the time.
Your business will reach its max performance if you do not have a good relationship with your employees. Whether you are a manager or owner, understanding that an employee that is unsatisfied with their job is usually caused by them feeling disconnected from their managers.
Teaching Employees/ Managers
If you are already teaching your managers about diversity and you think that you have done everything you can for a more diverse workplace, think again. The world is constantly changing. What may have worked 10 years ago, will not work today. Consistently scheduling training for diversity and inclusiveness for managers is a great way to make sure you and your managers are up-to-date on your expectations of them.
Managers are also an important step in creating a more diverse workplace because they are usually the first ones to communicate with employees when they have an issue with something. Managers should be understanding and easily accessible for employees to feel comfortable bringing concerns or mistreatment to their attention. Make sure you let your managers know that diversity is a priority because, according to Forbes, among the Fortune 1000 companies almost half of them are “too busy” when it comes to incorporating more diversity into the workplace.
This one may seem like an easy one to accomplish, but unfortunately, some workplaces still fall flat when it comes to creating and nurturing an inclusive culture.
One easy way to do this, which most companies already have in place, is a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination in the workplace. Some companies have a zero-tolerance policy in place, but lack execution on these policies. Making this policy known to employees is an important step to ensure your workplace is friendly and enjoyable to work for.
Another step to make your business have a more inclusive culture would be to recognize specific holidays in other cultures. This can be as simple as allowing employees to take off work for their religious holidays. Also, celebrate your employees’ diversity by having cultural events such as having a weekly cookout where each member creates a dish from their own country.
Lastly, making sure your office is all-inclusive is important. That means having a non-gendered restroom available is a must. Gender diversity in the workplace is becoming more prevalent now more than ever.
The goal is not just having a more diverse workplace, but to make sure everyone is comfortable to express it, too.
Communication is key
The first two steps alone won’t help improve diversity at work. Making sure you communicate and follow-through on these first steps is an important aspect of making a more diverse workplace. Regularly ask for feedback from employees. Maybe your company is missing something. The best way to find out what you can do better is to ask feedback from the ones who work for you every day.
One thing many companies do to improve diversity and increase performance is to have a retreat. This would be full of team-building exercises that will help the team members meet other team members they haven’t talked to much before.
Lastly, if you can do so, encourage your team to look into professional development opportunities with continued education. Also, connect your employees with other resources outside your company. This will bring resources to some employees that don’t regularly have access to these resources compared to others.
Are you ready to continue to grow your company with diversity and inclusion in the workspace? If so, make sure to follow these key steps in the diversity process. You can make your workplace as diverse and inclusive as possible, which will result in happier employees and help improve your business. Improve your company’s overall satisfaction by creating a diverse workplace.
Need some more tips? Contact us! We are a staffing firm in RI that has worked with hundreds of clients to hire employees that will fit their companies’ culture!