You may understand all the benefits of a diverse workplace, but how do you ensure it’s success? Saying you value diversity and proving that you do are two entirely different things. Real diversity is more than just filling quotas – to truly benefit from diversity in the workplace, it needs to be integrated into your culture and aligned with your company goals. True diversity in the workplace requires conscious effort and not just lip service.
We discuss three key activities to ensure a successful diverse workplace.
You’ll struggle to build a diverse team if certain candidates don’t feel welcomed into your hiring process to begin with. The decisions you make around your recruitment process will encourage, or discourage, a variety of candidates to apply. Here are some things to think about in your recruitment:
- The language that you use in your job descriptions: One study found that women are less likely to apply for jobs that have gendered language in the job description. The same study found that terms like “aggressive” and “outspoken” were perceived as masculine, and could potentially prevent qualified women from applying.
- The qualifications you require: Do you really need the qualification, or is X years in the industry enough? Most candidates will not apply unless they can ‘tick all the boxes’ in your job description. Think carefully about what qualities you really need in your applicants and focus on those.
- Rethink ‘culture fit’: Many employers have used the term “culture fit” when evaluating applicants, with the goal of finding candidates who would mesh well with their team. The intent is noble, but is subjective and can lead to bias and a homogenous team. Instead think – what will this person bring to our culture that we may not already have?
- Reduce bias: Sadly, we all enter into exchanges with biases, that have often been hard-wired since an early age. There are, however, plenty of tactical ways you can mitigate bias in your hiring process, including:
- Doing blind resume reviews, where you don’t see candidate’s names or headshots
- Standardizing your interview questions
- Giving skill-based interview questions the highest value
Don’t forget inclusion
Diversity and inclusion expert, Verna Meyers, says it best when she says, “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.” In order to have real success you need to not only build a diverse team, you need to make sure that every single member of your team feels valued, seen and supported.
There are a number of different steps you could take to build a more inclusive environment, such as:
- Regularly soliciting feedback from all team members. When employees feel included they are empowered and inspired to make a difference. Unfortunately, 34% of employees think their companies fail to listen to their ideas about how to improve the business.
- Promoting clear paths for advancement. This removes guesswork and helps reduce bias, because all employees understand what it takes to grow in their positions.
- Implement a Diversity and Inclusion Committee. True diversity and inclusion isn’t a solitary effort. It’s a culture shift that requires buy-in from across your organization. Give employees the opportunity to join a committee where they can spearhead efforts to make your work environment more inclusive. The best part? They’ll be able to build bonds with other people they might not interact with as frequently.
Recognise and celebrate differences
Building and supporting a thriving team is no easy task, and humanising the workplace should be something to which every employer strives. Employees are more than the specific skills and knowledge they bring to the job. That’s just a piece of who they are. When companies take the time to recognize and celebrate what makes each individual unique, they’re showing employees they care about them as a whole person. It’s rare, especially with the new generation of workers, that employees are working just for a pay cheque. They want their employers to care about them, more than the work they do.
A Randstad study revealed “56% of female workers and 52% of male workers believe their employers could do more to promote gender equality and diversity”. Managers and leadership can do this by recognizing religious practices and cultural habits, being more aware and keeping track of upcoming holidays, asking employees how they plan to celebrate the holiday as well as being respectful of those days when scheduling meetings. By embracing and celebrating differences, companies inspire more innovative workplaces.
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Business Process Outsourcing is a great way to introduce diversity into your team. We love working with our team in the Philippines. Find out more about outsourcing to the Philippines or get in touch to discuss outsourcing further.