Not only is diversity a trendy buzzword, it’s also imperative to your organization. Companies with a diverse set of employees are smarter, more innovative, have better employee retention rates, and make more money. But diversity isn’t easy to achieve. Even though the U.S. population is increasingly diverse, there are still barriers to seeing that same diversity represented in workplaces. Here are some tips to encourage diversity in your company.
It starts with you
Try to educate yourself about different cultures, actively seeking out new perspectives and different approaches to business. Watch the news, read the paper, and stay up to date on global politics and local issues so that you understand how certain events might affect people around you. Although a lot of institutional barriers technically have been broken down, there are still a lot of subtle, nuanced biases and actual discrimination that needs to be eliminated.
Promote diversity leaders
There are lots of celebrities, sports figures, political leaders, and others who are already advocating for more diversity. Business leaders are making similar moves, so pick some notable leaders in your industry and model their actions. Promote some of their policies, quote some of their brilliant sayings, and make your moves toward diversification more credible and trusted.
Appreciate new perspectives
The only way you can get those around you to appreciate diversity is if you model it yourself. So treat others they way they want to be treated, validate all perspectives, and be considerate of the expectations of others. Remember that diversity doesn’t just mean gender and skin color and sexual orientation—it means that all opinions have merit. Show your employees that everyone’s viewpoint and voice matter and contribute to the goals of the company.
Design a mentoring program
Match up underrepresented employees with those who are already in leadership positions, both within your company and if possible, outside of it. These pairings break down barriers, start conversations, and establish supportive, encouraging relationships between people who might not otherwise interact. Make the mentorships voluntary so people don’t instinctively resent the imposition. When you offer the program as optional and a great opportunity, people get excited and jump at the chance.
Speak up about the benefits
Businesses with greater diversity maximize their hiring talent and improve employee satisfaction. When employees are happier and more engaged, they’re more productive and innovative, working harder to boost your revenue. As that starts to materialize in your company, use that data to continue to prioritize diversity. Inclusiveness in the workplace improves the company culture and helps you grow your business.
For more information on how to build a talented, engaged, and diverse staff, check out our website at https://www.chiefofstaffkc.com/employers/.
Blog written by Erin Greenhalgh