Whether you’re running a small business or a large corporation, workplace diversity benefits you in many ways. Diversity allows you to tap into the minds of staff members with varied backgrounds who have unique experiences to draw from and different ways of approaching problems. By effectively instituting a diversity program, you could improve productivity while reducing turnover.
So the question remains…how do you create workplace diversity? It’s not just about creating a welcoming work environment. Rather, it’s about making helping your employees thrive, no matter their race or background.
1. Get your recruiters involved
You won’t be successful in creating workplace diversity if your recruiters aren’t involved. Start by setting company diversity goals, then schedule a meeting to let your recruiters know what these goals are. Help them find success by directing them toward diversity resources, such as the local chapter of the Urban League, nearby universities, and the American Association for Affirmative Action.
2. Provide training
If you’re worried about your employees’ attitudes toward diversity, offer training to foster a positive outlook. Ask your employees to complete an anonymous survey about the level of diversity at your workplace, and whether they have any concerns. Use the feedback to conduct a training seminar. Educating your current team about diversity is every bit as important as hiring new employees. If you need help setting up a training program, consider the DiversityBuilder website.
3. Assemble groups effectively
If you’re satisfied with the diversity of your staff, but want to take better advantage of the benefits of diversity, try grouping your departments and committees more effectively. For instance, when engaging in interdepartmental planning, try partnering employees of different backgrounds to improve collaboration and move towards a more diverse working environment.
4. Establish mentoring relationships
If you don’t have a mentoring program in place, now’s a great time to start. You can set mentoring programs up in different ways – pairing seasoned employees with new employees, or offering cross-department training opportunities. No matter how you set up your program, make a point of pairing mentees with mentors who have different backgrounds and experiences.
5. Retain your staff
Time spent creating and maintaining a diverse workplace doesn’t count for much if your organization experiences high turnover. Institute performance reviews and reward your high performers with appropriate pay increases. For those who aren’t attaining their goals, spend time training them rather than simply terminating them. Not only is this more cost-effective, but it fosters a more positive workplace. This will help to prevent employee burnout as well.
It’s up to you to ensure you’re creating an environment where people from all backgrounds feel welcomed and encouraged to voice opinions and concerns. Open yourself up to new business ideas and don’t automatically discount any concept until you’ve given it some thought. Remember, your employees are your most valuable resource, so remember to appreciate their feedback and ideas.
What tips do you have for creating workplace diversity?