Tips for managing diversity in the workplace
04 April 2019
A strong diversity and inclusion strategy can help your organization attract and retain top talent and drive innovative results. A diverse collection of individuals of different genders, ages, cultural backgrounds, experiences, and sexual orientation has been shown to have a positive impact on three separate, yet interrelated parties: employees, customers, and business partnerships. Here are some tips on how to create and support diversity in the workplace.
1. Creating Belonging
Feeling a sense of belonging is a psychological need and can impact individuals on so many levels. People naturally want to belong to feel accepted in the workplace. When there is a sense of belonging, work productivity can be positively improved and increased. Its important to have an open and transparent workplace, where sharing best practices and being open to trying new things is encouraged to include all people and help them thrive. You’ll need to ensure your organization’s overall practices and policies are inclusive of everyone and do not favor or discriminate a certain set of employees.
2. Compassionate Leadership
Having a leadership team full of diverse individuals makes your organization a more attractive and approachable place to do business with as well as work for. The transformation needs to start with the leadership team buying into the value of belonging and encouraging the importance of inclusion and diversity. Leaders should adopt a more compassionate and empathetic approach for others to feel understood.
3. Company Branding
The overall image of a company comes down to your branding message. What is your brand saying about who you are as a culture? Your organization’s branding is a representation of your values, principles and culture. While developing a more inclusive organization, consider the relationship between what’s happening inside and outside your company. What is your brand saying about who you are as a culture?
4. Deliver Diversity Training
A lack of awareness and understanding can be the root cause of certain unwanted behaviors and manners. Diversity training can help transform these behaviors through education and creating self-awareness, which can be significant in helping employees understand their own prejudices, stereotypes and cultural biases.
5. Encourage Collaboration
Encourage your employees to collaborate, facilitate communication and encourage interaction with each other. Inspiring co-workers by implementing work groups for special projects creates opportunities to have everyone learn how to work together. This in turn can create appreciation of differences and allows for an open space to share ideas and collaborate.
6. Consistent Coaching & Feedback
Frequent coaching and feedback on how employees are doing can guide them and provide direction. The benefit of coaching is building your bench strength, creating alignment around the same goals and providing insights to the employee where they could have an even greater impact.
Diversity in the workplace is important for employees and employers because it manifests itself in building a positive reputation for the company, leading to increased profitability and opportunities for workers. Workplace diversity is important within the organization as well as outside. The overall benefit is to create a more motivated, engaged and focused workforce ready to deliver impactful results.