Diversity occurs at the beautiful intersection of different people from different places with different experiences. People think differently, act differently, and look different, working together to solve complex problems.
Diversity is essential for an organization to create a thriving business, especially regarding employee engagement. In addition, workplace diversity encourages creativity and innovation because every team member brings their own unique backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives to the table, from leadership to frontline employees.
10 Benefits of Workplace Diversity
The top 10 benefits of diversity in the workplace:
- Variety of different perspectives
- Increased creativity
- More innovations
- Faster problem-solving
- Better decision making
- Increased profits
- Higher employee engagement
- Reduced employee turnover
- Better company reputation
- Improved hiring results
Importance of Workplace Diversity
Workplace diversity has a significant impact on employees’ engagement and productivity. As a result, workplace diversity directly affects the success of companies.
The importance of workplace diversity is even more amplified in today’s global market. With the help of new technologies, companies are now able to reach people from different groups all over the world. Companies with a diversified workforce are able to better understand differences among people around the world, accept and leverage them to sell their products and services on the global market more successfully.
Thus, diversity in the workplace isn’t just a passing fad – it’s a better way to do business in the modern world. Successful employers know that and actively promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
5 Strategies to Promote Diversity in the Workplace
Promoting inclusiveness and diversity within the workplace is one of the best ways to foster an open-minded, global company culture. This helps your company better understand colleagues, clients, and customers around the world and makes the workplace a more interesting and personally enriching environment for everyone.
Diversity can take many forms, from culture and nationality to gender, race, sexuality, educational background, and more. Here are five strategies that you can implement straight away to promote diversity in your workplace.
1. Try to Boost Your Cultural Competency
- Different cultures and perspectives can help to improve communication and avoid misunderstandings. So, make a point of educating yourself and learning about different cultural traditions and approaches to work.
- Take the time to get to know your colleagues from different countries and backgrounds. Be open to travel opportunities to understand the work ethics of different cultures. This will help you gain a greater sense of cultural appreciation and sensitivity.
- Actively seek out new perspectives and ideas by asking for help and being open to new perspectives. People from different cultures and backgrounds may take a different approach to business issues.
- You will be surprised to find that your colleagues can offer valuable insight gained through a wealth of diverse life experiences. Looking at something in a new way may reveal a solution you would never have considered on your own.
2. Create a Workplace Where Different Perspectives are Valued and Embraced
The inclusive culture will help your company to retain diverse talent and make your workplace an attractive option for globally-minded job seekers.
3. Treat Others How They Want to be Treated
- Always be considerate and sensitive to the boundaries and expectations of others.
- Be respectful of personal and cultural boundaries, and encourage your colleagues to do the same. This will make your workplace more welcoming and productive for everyone.
4. Diversity and Inclusion Activities Can Take Many Forms
- Create a culturally diverse holiday calendar to encourage your colleagues to get involved and find appropriate ways to celebrate different traditions.
- Beyond holidays, sensitivity to your colleagues’ regular cultural or religious practices is also important.
5. Contribute to the Cultural Diversity of Your Workplace
Irrespective of your background, your unique perspective, culture, and experiences can enrich the professional experience of those around you.
The best way to promote diversity in your workplace is by embracing it and building an understanding. Regardless of their culture and background, getting to know your colleagues personally will help you find common ground, deepen your appreciation of differences, and promote an inclusive and welcoming work environment.
11 Ways to Increase Diversity at the Workplace
Here are 11 ways for organizations to help create a diverse workplace culture.
- Leverage Diverse Job Boards
Post openings on job boards that specialize in diversity. This will help you to have talented people under one roof working towards one common goal.
- Highlight Diversity on the Career Page on Your Website
Be sure your company’s diversity statement and any current initiatives are obvious on your career page and reference it in every job description that is being offered. This is helpful for the employees as they get to know that the company accepts diversity.
- Provide Targeted Internships and Scholarships
Provide high-value internships and scholarships to employees from under-represented groups that will help them advance more quickly in key roles within the organization. Diversity will help in the overall growth of the company as diversified people will bring forth new perspectives.
- Offer Diverse Mentorships
Mentorship programs help ensure everyone has the opportunity to advance and also create closer employee relationships. Establishing an inclusive mentorship program can help foster diversity.
- Conduct Diversity Training
It is likely the executive team and other leaders will require diversity training which will likely surprise them when it points out their shortcomings. They can then take this new awareness to launch meaningful cultural and sensitivity training throughout the organization.
- Create an Inclusion Council
Recruit a council of eight to 12 top leaders who are committed to inclusion. They themselves should be as diverse a group as possible. The council then meets regularly to create strategies that increase diversity.
- Reward Diverse Referrals
Ask employees to refer job candidates they know from under-represented groups in your company and offer rewards or bonuses for recommending diverse candidates who join the company.
- Celebrate Employee Differences
Invite employees to share their backgrounds and traditions in the workplace, including religious and cultural practices.
- Unconscious Bias Training for Recruiters
For even the most experienced recruiters, being unbiased is one of the biggest challenges in hiring. Recruiters, hiring managers, and others who participate in the hiring process should be aware of potential biases. Train HR staff to recognize and avoid bias in the recruitment and hiring process, which may require outside consultants.
- Incorporate Diversity into Company Policies and Practices
Develop or amend workplace policies to be more inclusive and diversity-friendly, from hiring practices to performance reviews, promotions, and benefits. Check if your company is an equal opportunity employer and has been approved by the Federal EEOC.
- Strengthen Anti-discriminatory Policies
The language of their anti-discriminatory policies was insufficient to drive improvements in diversity and inclusion. Conduct a thorough review of existing policies and report the results to top leadership and/or the inclusion council.
In a Nutshell
Remember that individual differences make each of your team members unique. Providing a workplace that allows for individuals to excel will help your team grow and innovate. Individuals of all types of diversity will experience different types of bias, which can affect their ability to excel in the workplace. When building out a diverse and inclusive workforce, continuously educate your team on why diversity and inclusion matters so everyone is on the same page.