Many workplaces today are a fusion of different personal and professional cultures. By 2055, Pew Research Center expects the US to no longer have a single ethnic, racial majority. And so, to reflect the growing changes in broader society, organizations must adapt and find the best ways to approach and manage diversity in the workplace.
Diversity can come in many forms. Everyone is unique regarding their ethnicity, race, age, gender, sexual preference, personal background, or cognitive style. Therefore, all individuals deserve recognition and support for these differences.
The article will explore what strategies you can use to manage diversity in the workplace best to welcome and champion all employees. We will look at:
- What diversity can bring to your organization from a cultural and professional standpoint?
- And the strategies you can incorporate to manage diversity in your workplace better. So to be more inclusive in your approach to individuals. For example, how you recruit, your company's policies and practices and setting exemplary standards as a workplace culture.
The benefits are clear, and the value to businesses is enormous, but to deliver these advantages, let's start looking at the best strategies to manage diversity in the workplace.
How to increase diversity in the workplace
57% of employees believe their companies should be more diverse. To create a more diverse workforce, your business should aim to recruit from various backgrounds. How you approach recruitment can be a significant driver to encourage and embrace diversity within your organization.
If you aren't appealing to diverse candidates during recruitment, it can often lead to a workforce and leadership becoming homogeneous. One perspective on the processes and direction can dramatically affect business performance.
To improve diversity in the workplace, you should look to audit your recruitment process. By analyzing how you assess and hire candidates, you can learn how to better appeal to diverse candidates. Thus, ensuring that all candidates have a fair chance to be hired regardless of background.
To remove the potential of bias within the recruitment process, you can:
- Write inclusive job descriptions
- Widen the applicant search to draw as broad an audience as possible
- Inclusively design the application process to make it accessible to all
- Utilize blind shortlisting so the candidate selection process can be free from prejudice and solely based on merit
- Creating a diverse interview panel and ensuring candidates face questions free from bias.
Why is recruitment so crucial in improving diversity in the workplace?
A fair recruitment process is crucial for diversity. And by seeking to recruit a more diverse workforce can have many benefits for your organization and your employer brand.
It offers your business a larger pool of qualified candidates to choose from and brings to your attention candidates who are vital to growing operations across new markets. In addition, they can help you better understand new customers and what motivates these individuals, so your focus can be laser-guided.
How to manage diversity in the workplace
An organization's policies and practices
To manage diversity successfully, everyone needs to be on the same page. In addition, the entire workforce needs to know the standards and the consequences of not meeting these expectations. Thus, clear company policies can create transparency and enable a diverse workforce to thrive and prevent barriers to any demographic.
The best way to promote transparency is by developing clear diversity policies. For example, employees could receive a handbook that outlines the rules and code of conduct towards diversity. These are effective means of communicating stance and the zero-tolerance against discrimination, and indicating how employees can report misconduct to the proper authority.
To reflect the diversity of your workplace, your employees can support the writing of your policies. Their voice and perspectives shaped by their cultural experiences ensure that policies cater to all and prevent any marginalization of groups.
Increased involvement, increased buy-in. As a result, employees feel supported, understood, and within a working environment that takes the matter seriously with the soliciting of their voice in establishing diversity policies.
Bringing your workforce together through communication
To effectively manage diversity in the workplace, you need to understand employees' different backgrounds. And how these points of difference can affect their behavior and decision-making. You can learn much through increased dialogue and communication.
Effective communication can play two critical roles. First, it can help you learn more about your employee's backgrounds and make sure that everyone understands all policies and procedures related to diversity. Furthermore, it can encourage employees to share their thoughts and experiences regarding your diversity policies.
Open dialogue offers everyone equal treatment. You can learn what can be improved and listen to your employee's opinions. Additionally, you can learn about an individual's different work expectations regarding socializing, time management and work-life balance. To be a more diverse, accepting environment, finding compromises between the individuals and the organization's position is crucial.
Increased communication with employees and a better understanding of them as individuals can increase employee well-being rates. They feel listened to, appreciated for their points of difference and supported to be who they are. Thus, helping to improve the working environment by making it more friendly to all.
Emphasize the strength of diversity to your workforce
How you cultivate your workplace environment is integral to managing diversity. And can ensure employees of all backgrounds and cultures feel welcome and understand the value they bring to the organization.
It is vital to encourage employees to understand that their own experience and background aren't the only ones with value. Encourage collaboration, diverse teams to help employees improve cultural understanding. They can appreciate the value given by individuals from diverse backgrounds to expand their views and experiences.
To best manage diversity in your workplace, you need to show your employees that difference is a strength for the organization. Through working together, your employees and organization can unlock its benefits in increased innovation and creativity.
Education and training
Education can help your workforce learn how to appreciate the views of others better. To make it clear what behavior is unacceptable and the reasons why. Sensitivity training can help your employees become more self-aware.
A training program for diversity can have many benefits. First, it can help individuals better comprehend prejudices and utilize this knowledge in everyday life. Employees and leadership can be trained to detect elements that hinder strategies to improve diversity.
Diversity training can elevate self-awareness and lead to steps to improve diversity in a workplace. For example, training on unconscious bias can help to improve your recruitment process to take a more inclusive approach to hiring.
Helping employees understand differences and look at biases and prejudices can improve employee morale. Furthermore, your business can deliver a service that aligns with the values you consider crucial through the lessons learnt. Thus, helping to boost customer satisfaction and drive bottom-line success.
Move your business forwards together as one
Supporting and encouraging diversity is the way forward for businesses. And there are numerous strategies you can embrace to manage diversity in the workplace.
Diversity is not a buzzword or a fad, and building a diverse, inclusive organization requires work each day. Through doing so, you will create an environment where equality and mutual respect are central to your work. And make a caring workplace that values each individual for the difference they bring.
To improve and manage diversity within your workplace, you can:
- Build a recruitment process that hires based on merit and is accessible to all.
- Create work policies and practices that support your diverse range of employees.
- Listen and communicate with your employees to better understand their individual needs and improve their working situation.
- Work on improving collaboration between employees from different backgrounds and how doing so will result in success.
- Education and training improve self-awareness and find ways to improve and manage diversity.