As companies around the world have to deal with a more diverse workforce, it’s imperative for them to up the ante on their strategies for diversity and inclusion. Having understood the meaning of diversity and inclusion, it’s necessary to consider how to achieve them.
Identify goals and targets
You can’t hit what you can’t see.
The first amongst the best practices for diversity and inclusion is to determine what your goals are. There are certain data and metrics that ensure accountability, sustainability, and the improvement of diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Certainly, diversity can be measured through counting, but inclusion demands laser-focused attention.
Companies therefore should dive into the ocean of data available which can help them spot and properly attend to the concerns of employees. Some data that can be collected include:
- The proportion of different age groups
- How many different nationalities
- The number of different religions, etc
With such data in a given industry and location, the company can proceed to compare it to its workforce mix and employee experience. This will easily reveal gaps that can need to be covered up. The organization can institute a working timetable for programs, meetings, and even activities that enhance inclusion.
Create a sense of affinity and belonging
In the quest for diversity and inclusion, business leaders should bear in mind that people are psychological beings, and so have psychological needs.
Therefore, for employees to feel accepted through and through, there is the need for their employers to create a sense of belonging. A sense of belonging makes the workplace feel like home.
It makes each member of the workforce feel important.
To achieve this, leaders should engage in discussions with their employees regularly. The conversations need not be focused on the formalities of the business. It could be about something as trivial as their favourite football club, whether pineapples should be on pizza, or anything else really!
Employees will be naturally driven to give their best since they feel connected with leaders and the organization as a whole.
Treat your employees fairly and equally
Diversity and inclusion emphasize oneness, respect, and acceptance. Therefore, it would be wrong if employees are treated differently and given varying opportunities for whatever reason. It screams partiality!
For people to genuinely feel valued and accepted in an organization, they need to be fairly treated. Varying pay and benefits packages for invalid reasons such as gender or backgrounds gradually infuse a company with toxicity and seclusion.
Also, all employees are concerned about growth and scalability. In any event that career advancement opportunities are not equally and fairly offered to all and sundry, the outcome will be feelings of indignation. Ultimately, employees might leave your organization, leading to a growing employee turnover rate.
Do right by your entire workforce.
Align your recruitment process with your diversity and inclusion goals
Image Source: LinkedIn
Your recruitment process is crucial when it comes to building a diverse workforce and displaying inclusion.
To start with, your job ads and job description should indicate that your organization cares about diversity and inclusion. Beyond stating it plainly, it’s necessary to use a choice of words that don’t sound intimidating nor appeal strictly to one group.
It should not sound discriminatory nor biased against a certain gender, sexual orientation, or religion. The process should be accessible to people of varying capacities.
A common mistake many businesses make is to focus on candidates’ schools or past companies. While these elements are relevant in their own right, they can whittle down diversity in the candidate pipeline.
In order to attract more diverse talent, the focus should be on personality assessments such as personality traits, skills, aspirations, etc. Such assessments have yielded more diverse teams of employees, according to research.
Foster collaboration, flexibility, and innovation
Another one of the best practices for diversity and inclusion in your workforce is to aid teamwork and creativity. People’s minds work differently, so to build a truly diverse and inclusive team, leaders must cheer on creativity.
Teamwork and collaboration need to be pillars of your organization as well. The beauty of supporting the team spirit is that it helps employees build strong social bonds and connections while reinforcing confidence and trust amongst one another.
Flexibility is a necessity too. Research has shown that candidates value organizations that emphasize work-life balance. A fluid work schedule has also proven to be attractive in recent times. Thus, businesses need to incorporate flexibility in different areas, whether in terms of location, work hours, etc.
Educate employees on diversity and inclusion, while emphasizing and automating it organization-wide
To be successful at its diversity and inclusion ambitions, a business needs to persevere in its efforts. Diversity and inclusion efforts are not a one-off thing.
Importantly, your employees need to be educated on the relevance of diversity and inclusion, as well as on how to achieve the initiatives. It’s not sufficient for the C-suite to understand the essence of diversity and inclusion. All levels of the company’s hierarchy need to be trained to identify delicate moments that require inclusive habits.
Applying these learned behaviours ensures that inclusion is a daily experience.
All the best practices on diversity and inclusion would mean nothing if business leaders were insensitive to the plight of their employees. For true inclusion, CEOs, managers, and HR leaders should genuinely believe in a welcoming atmosphere for the different kinds of employees that make up their workforce.
It’s easy to attain diversity and inclusion targets where the company’s leaders boldly wear the initiatives on their chest.
Thus, leaders should keep in mind that people are from diverse backgrounds, and have different experiences. An understanding leader encourages diversity and inclusion in their organization.
Focus on helping individuals bloom
Due to the prevalent structures, prejudices, and criteria in any given society, the candidate who fits best usually gets the job.
To achieve diversity and inclusion significantly, business leaders need to shift from obsessing over the suitability of candidates to concerning themselves with helping each person blossom.
Companies should develop a culture that emphasizes what each individual can bring to the table. If a person can activate your organization’s mission and purpose with their diligence and commitment, then you need to put in the effort to maximize their potential.
Keep your brand in mind
Do you know that there’s a strong link between the internal workings of your business organization and what goes on outside the walls of the office?
Building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture reflects positively on your brand’s reputation and sheds light on the underlying causes behind employee differences. A company where everyone feels at home is truly desirable and even respected by its customers.
In closing, it’s obvious that many businesses are currently taking their diversity and inclusion initiatives seriously. These best practices will ensure that they are on the right track instead of being driven by bias, and sentiments.