Workplace diversity and inclusion are essential elements of social responsibility and offer numerous advantages. For example, diverse teams provide new insights based on their life experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives. These varied ideas drive innovation, enhance employee engagement, and improve decision-making by identifying and eliminating biases. The following are several steps companies can take to build a healthy, diverse workforce.
- Show commitment at the leadership level. It is easy to claim a culture of diversity, but the proof often lies in company practices. Building a diverse workforce starts with company leadership and requires their commitment to inclusion. Examples include integrating diversity into the organization’s values and mission statements, seeking diverse applicants for leadership positions, and frequently reviewing employee compensation to ensure salary equity.
- Develop a diversity strategy. In addition to leadership commitment, a holistic diversity strategy provides a framework for the company’s vision for diversity, outlines specific diversity and inclusion goals, and provides action plans to achieve those objectives. The strategy should also establish metrics for measuring the company’s diversity efforts and progress for accountability. Employee surveys can also provide insight into the diversity initiatives’ effectiveness.
- Engage in diverse hiring practices. Diverse hiring practices go far beyond simply hiring people with varied backgrounds. For example, companies should review job descriptions regularly to identify and remove any biases or non-inclusive language. The recruitment process should be bias-free and include outreach efforts to underrepresented groups. Additionally, leadership members with diverse backgrounds should conduct panel interviews.
- Embrace a culture of inclusion and diversity. Employees and teams are more productive, creative, and engaged when they feel their company values and respects their work and perspectives. Companies can achieve this by creating a workplace that encourages open discourse and appreciates diverse viewpoints.
- Provide diversity education and training. Most people don’t intentionally exclude coworkers with different outlooks. However, unconscious biases are more common than many realize and can severely hinder diversity and inclusion efforts. Providing diversity and inclusion training can help improve diversity awareness and cultural cognizance. It can also explain how diversity benefits the workforce and provide real-world examples.
Building a healthy, diverse workforce requires a dedicated commitment at all levels of the organization. It is an ongoing effort that can improve workplace morale, productivity, employee retention, talent recruitment, and more. Contact Windermere Insurance Group to learn more about the benefits of workplace diversity.