The world really is a global village now. The internet has forced us together in a way never before seen. Despite some growing pains, people from different countries are now communicating and learning about each others’ history, culture, and social heritage. This has ushered in an era of peaceful coexistence that promises great things - if used right.
The global Coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated matters. With remote work taking center stage, people all over the world have had to get used to working remotely from home. Because there are no geographical boundaries to cross in order to work from the safety of your home, people from far-flung countries are being thrown together in the workplace a lot.
Not that this is a new phenomenon. The modern workplace promotes diversity in every way possible. An inclusive environment gets work done better and faster, and in this article, we will deal with the question of how to create diversity in the workplace. Before we do, though, let us take a look at what diversity actually is and what it involves.
What Is Workplace Diversity?
Workplace diversity refers to the practice and phenomenon involving having a diverse group of people in the office. This refers to people from all backgrounds. Irrespective of age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, belief, religion, and race, everyone is to be treated equally and without bias.
The combination of so many diverse beliefs, customs, and perspectives is what will keep your employees motivated and creative. It’s what feeds into the vibrancy of your office and promotes better decision-making as a result. Better decisions mean increased profits and a big boost to morale and reputation.
However, this is the ideal scenario. You need to work to make this happen. You need to foster a trusting culture and accepting environment if you want to be an exemplary leader in this regard. If you don’t know how, that’s normal. Nobody is born knowing how to make this happen. This is why we will now show you how to promote diversity in the workplace. Let’s get started!
How to Create Diversity in the Workplace
Building diversity in a workplace takes a lot of time and effort. It is the result of focused striving towards it. There are a lot of things you can do to create and build a diverse team, but the key here is to be consistent in how you do it. It’s a never-ending process, and you should be aware of that before you begin implementing any of our suggestions.
If you are set upon sticking to this, though, here are six things you can do to build a diverse workforce:
1. Post Openings On Select Job Boards
There are tons of job boards that specifically target those from underrepresented categories of the population. Post your job openings here, and make sure to mention that you offer good opportunities and a welcoming environment. You have to be the one holding out a trusting hand. Among these job boards, popular ones include Diversity Working, Hire Autism, Recruit Disability, and others.
2. Offer Scholarships and Internships
The first thing you should know about the underrepresented categories is that they suffer from inequality of opportunity. That is the real problem. They are just as brilliant and just as eager to perform, if not more so. Give them a chance. By offering internships and scholarships, you are giving these people a reason to reach out and hope for a better future. By making the offer attractive, you will increase your chances of hiring someone eager to perform manifold.
3. Spread the Word About What You Want
If you don’t put out what you’re looking for, nobody will come running. The best way to spread the word is by mentioning the fact that you encourage and welcome diverse candidates to apply. If you have a social media presence, spread the word there as well. The more people you get talking about this, the higher the chances that you will get the right candidate.
4. Reward Diverse Referrals
Referrals are still the best way to get quality employees. What’s more, everyone will know someone from an underrepresented category whom they can bring in. Reward these referrals. This sends the message in the workplace about what you are looking for and motivates others to come up with proper referrals.
5. Make Your Interview Panel Diverse
The interview is going to be the first time an applicant interacts with actual staff from your company. It’s going to be first impressions for all parties involved, and you should make it a good one. Make your interview panel as diverse as you can. Being interviewed by people who look and talk like them will show applicants that you have an inclusive environment and also put them at ease! That is always a good thing.
6. Train Your Recruiters to Not Be Biased
Everyone has biases. These are, for the most part, unconscious, and they are normal to have. However, if your recruiters harbor these biases, then they might overlook a lot of potential talent who might otherwise be the perfect fit. You need to train your recruiters to unlearn these habits, if they have any, and give everyone the same chance. That’s where inclusivity begins.
How to Manage Diversity in the Workplace
Managing diversity is really all about managing your practices and policies. You will need to change and revise some things for everything to fall into place. Some of the ways you can do this include:
- Review all your policies and see whether they are friendly to diverse folks. Things like flexible schedules, meal choices, leave options, and recreational activities are small things that will go a very long way in making people feel welcome.
- Speaking of which, you ought to review the benefits you hand out, as well. Are all these benefits diversity-friendly? Are they fair to everyone you are hoping to hire?
- Give your existing employees some form of diversity training to your existing employees. This will teach them what to say and what to avoid bringing about. Questions are okay, but ignorance should be tempered as much as possible.
- Mentorships have been proven as a team-building exercise. Have one diverse person mentor someone else, and then switch back so that they are mentoring for an equal amount of time.
- Make diverse teams that have a lot of different backgrounds and perspectives. These teams will have to work together, and this will be a good opportunity to see how they work.
- Set goals as far as your workforce is concerned. Everyone should be able to make marked progress within a certain timeframe, and you need to have some kind of metric with which to measure it.
How to Promote Diversity in the Workplace
Now, promoting diversity in the workplace is going to require a far more hands-on approach. These are things you will have to enforce and enact in the office day in and day out. Let’s take a look at some of these things:
- Everyone is different. Instead of being blind to these, acknowledge them. Make sure everyone knows that everyone is different and also how they are different. Everyone ought to be aware of these differences and what they entail and tailor their behavior accordingly so as to minimize any offense caused.
- People learn best by doing, mostly. You should give your diverse hires that chance, too. For example, if you have only one person of Asian descent in the team, try giving them some responsibility and see how they do. The chances are good that they will live up to and exceed expectations, but you should also keep in mind that people will do a lot to simply prove their worth.
- Encourage people to evaluate themselves. A simple way of doing this is by asking them to check their social media. If most of the people they follow are, say, white, or the same ethnicity as they are, then it does not make for a lot of diversity. That realization, if it happens, should inspire them to make a few changes in their outlook.
- Practice empathy and seek to understand by asking questions. Put yourself in someone else's shoes. Ask yourself if you would be doing something differently if the other person was of a different heritage. All big changes begin small, and you need to be the lightning rd for making it happen.
Pave the Way for a More Inclusive Feature
Inclusivity is no longer a choice. The world has changed, and now everyone needs to keep pace with it. Whatever background you might be from, there is always room for improvement in how you handle diversity. And if you are having trouble, we at Talenteria provide excellent services and tools for managing candidates. Contact us today to know about what we can do to help you out!