Company culture is everything. When you go into work each day, you want to feel that you’re safe and comfortable in your environment. The more welcome you feel, the higher chance you have of succeeding with your professional relationships and responsibilities.
For each of us, this ideal environment will differ. Take a look around your office. What kind of people do you work next to? What ideals carry your company? Think to yourself how your company culture can be more ideal for more people.
Perhaps you work in a pretty diverse environment, or perhaps you don’t. Increasing diversity in workplace settings allows the opportunity for a wider range of people to feel included, resulting in a more qualified and effective team.
Your approach to promoting a higher level of diversity at work will differ based upon location, type of company, and current diversity standing. Some companies may take more extreme measures while others may be in need of just a little fine-tuning. Follow along below for ways to implement more cultural diversity in the workplace, and see how each suggestion could fit into your company culture.
1. Enact New Policies and Training
Diving in head first, a strong way to begin implementing diversity is to set up new policies that reflect diversity inclusion and to train workers to have this understanding.
According to the Wall Street Journal, companies should establish policy that is aligned with the standards set forth by the Federal EEOC (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), which makes the hiring process non-discriminatory of age, gender, race, and other minority identities. WSJ suggests establishing a committee to make sure these ideals are being withheld throughout the company and to find new ways for the company to be embracing diversity practices.
Providing diversity training ensures that your diverse workforce knows how to best communicate with and understand each other. A harmonious team can be facilitated through education on relationship management, conflict management, QI skills, and communication skills. This training will also allow for people to recognize the benefits of having an inclusive workplace.
2. Eliminate Bias in Hiring Process
One of the roots of increasing workplace diversity is the hiring process. Removing personal bias through recruitment, interviewing, and hiring is an important step. While many of us may believe that we don’t hold any bias, especially in a professional setting, having some level of bias is quite normal – even though we may not even recognize it.
Implicit bias is defined as “the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner,” according to Ohio State University’s Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity. Implicit biases are mostly informed by our social environment and upbringing.
In order to strip your hiring process of any bias, Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association advises companies to take a look at the hiring trends of the company in the past. Consider the positions women and minorities have been in, the age of employees, required educational credentials, and hiring rates of candidates of different identities. Based on this information, you can identify hiring biases existing within your hiring process. From there, you can begin to amend your process where it needs the help.
3. Adjust Your Brand
If you’re an inclusive and diverse company, you’re going to want people to know. That way, you’ll interest the candidates who want to work for a company of that nature, and people of all different backgrounds will want to apply.
To accomplish this, you may just need to make small changes to the way you recruit job candidates. For example, the WSJ suggests to “Make the job more compelling to job hunters by emphasizing details that will attract a more diverse candidate pool. Be culturally sensitive when describing what makes your company a good place to work.”
On a larger scale, you may want to refine your brand. In order to attract diverse talent, you have to send the message that diversity is welcomed and celebrated within your organization. On your company’s website or in their marketing/advertisement tools, make sure that your company’s focus on diversity is evident. Including a sentence in your company’s mission statement is a good place to start.
4. Focus on Maintaining Employees
Give new hires your attention. Just because they’re now a part of your workplace doesn’t mean they’re going to stay. Invest your time in making them feel welcome and confident in their decision to work at your company by giving them a tour of the office building, introducing them to colleagues, briefing them about company culture, and walking them through their responsibilities.
Allow your new hires to see a future for themselves with the company. Mention opportunities they will have to move up the ranks and become more involved in the organization.
Another way to retain employees, both new and not so new, is to provide accommodations for personal matters. The WSJ urges companies to “Offer benefits such as onsite daycare, childcare subsidies and flexible schedules, and let new hires know that you are willing to accommodate cultural and religious holidays and diversity-friendly (but office appropriate) apparel choices.” These accommodations will go a long way and give employees a reason to stick around.
All in all, diversity in workplace settings has tried and true benefits on both personal and professional levels. There’s no reason not to take a step in the right direction by implementing a little more diversity into your company culture. For more information about workforce diversity training, check out some of iGenCo’s training tools and products.