01, December, 2016
The beauty of our country, the United States, is that cultures from all over the world come together to form a rock-solid foundation for our ever-growing strength as a nation. Our workplaces are no exception to this; most have many employees with diverse cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations, and religious beliefs.
However, merely having diverse employees does not mean that your organization truly embraces diversity in every sense of the word. There needs to be a conscious effort by the organization and its members to ensure that all of the diverse beliefs, ways of thinking and backgrounds are respected and encouraged to create synergy and a boost in business productivity.
Here are four ways you can take steps towards embracing diversity in the workplace:
Embrace diversity in recruiting
While hiring, ensure there is fairness and zero tolerance for bias towards individual candidates who may be different. In addition, you can improve your chances of becoming known as a company that supports diversity in the workplace. You can do this by improving your networking with diverse ethnic groups, posting job advertisements in languages other than English, posting in community-specific magazines and websites, and attending career fairs geared towards promoting diversity.
Use training as a valuable tool
There might be people in your organization who have some level of prejudice towards people with different backgrounds. To ensure a respectful and collaborative environment, you should consider implementing diversity training, which can help in debunking myths and eliminating bias among your employees. Also, people in leadership positions should be trained to understand how they can utilize the new perspectives that people from different backgrounds bring to the table. There are several consulting firms that offer training courses on a range of diversity-related topics, definitely check them out.
Modify your policies to prevent discrimination
Company policies can play a crucial role in curbing discrimination. These policies should be crafted and reinforced so that anyone experiencing or witnessing instances of gender bias or racism can stand up and speak out. Of course, the reinforcement of these policies should go hand-in-hand with the training of your employees to respect people from different backgrounds. Your policies should remind employees that the world is becoming a more diverse place, and that this is for the mutual benefit of everybody. For everyone to enjoy success in the workplace, it is crucial to have policies that promote an environment where people of all backgrounds and beliefs feel comfortable to do their best.
Put people where their strengths lie
A diverse team comprised of people with different backgrounds will help to boost productivity and bring more value to the business. For instance, when working on a software product targeted towards a non-English speaking European country, having employees from that country is going to help greatly in understanding customer behavior and expectations. Similarly, differently-abled people may be effective in performing repetitive tasks that are crucial, such as data cleansing and data preparation for analytics. Keep in mind that people with different backgrounds may have different perspectives and creative skills, which can be utilized for a variety of tasks.
In today’s world, embracing workplace diversity is not an option – it is a necessity. Bringing together people with different backgrounds and various skills is a proven formula for business success, get started today!