Diverse workforces are generally better for business. They lead to a better bottom line and higher employee satisfaction while improving the workplace environment by fostering a culture of inclusion.
Diversity recruitment promotes:
- More ideas: Diversity in the workplace leads to higher levels of innovation because people with different backgrounds bring new perspectives to problem-solving. The best teams look at problems through a variety of lenses, because that allows them to consider different options and find the best possible solution.
- More creativity: A diverse team will see things through a variety of different eyes, which adds up to greater creativity. This is particularly true when teams are solving problems because they are able to examine an issue from as many angles as possible.
- Positive reputation: Businesses that have a reputation for being inclusive can more easily appeal to top talent, which gives them a competitive edge in the war for good employees. Diverse companies also tend to be more attractive to consumers and partners, which further improves their ability to compete effectively in their industry.
- Better cultural awareness: Diverse teams are better equipped to do business with clients from around the world because they can communicate in multiple languages and understand customs from different cultures.
The goal of an inclusion committee is to bring together people from all backgrounds, experiences, and levels to share ideas and learn from each other. That’s why it is important for your inclusion committee to include people from a variety of roles, departments, races, genders, and experience levels.
An inclusion committee can have a range of roles, but it should be focused on providing advice and support to senior leaders on how to make the company more inclusive, rather than acting as a disciplinary body.
Once you have the committee in place, have them work with HR on collecting data on the current state of diversity within the business. This will help you identify problem areas and also set goals for improvement.
Then, have the committee devise an action plan for achieving them that includes a timeline for when they will be met. It is important that this plan includes measurable metrics.
For instance, you could have percentage increases for women or minorities hired over last year’s numbers at regular intervals throughout the year, so there is accountability on both sides involved.
More than anything, your company’s leadership ought to be aligned. If your leaders don’t understand why diversity and inclusion are important, then you have a bigger problem at hand.
Leaders are largely responsible for people’s happiness and success — which means they should be leading the charge when it comes to creating an inclusive environment.
But inclusive leadership isn’t the only key to a better workplace. It is also important to have leaders who are empowered to make decisions on the spot and bring their authentic selves to work. And education – from unconscious bias training to how to hire and interview people from diverse backgrounds – is one way to do this.
You also need strong, visible allies at every level of your company. These people may not necessarily be in senior positions but they ought to be champions for diversity and inclusion.
People want to feel heard at work, so encourage feedback from employees and act on it when possible. Asking for feedback will show employees that their opinions matter and that their input is welcome. Not only will this help you make your company more inclusive but will also ensure the employees feel that they have a stake in the organization’s decision-making process.
Besides, employees who feel included and respected at work are more engaged, more productive, and more likely to stay.
The reason diversity is important is that if we only engage people from one type of background, we are bound to end up with the same results.
That said, diversity without inclusion isn’t enough. Inclusion means engaging everyone in the organization – ensuring everyone feels safe and respected enough to contribute their ideas.
In fact, inclusion and diversity go hand-in-hand: If you are not inclusive, you are missing out on valuable input from different perspectives; if you are not diverse, you are ignoring the talent that could add value to your company.
Therefore, you must make sure everyone knows what your organization stands for, why you care about diversity, and why all employees should be treated with respect, regardless of their beliefs or backgrounds.
You need to give your employees an equal opportunity to speak up and share their ideas without a sense of judgment or fear of failure and embarrassment. They need to feel comfortable with expressing themselves freely at work, which will lead to better collaboration between team members from different backgrounds.
You must also allow them to challenge each other respectfully. And most importantly, you must make sure that senior leadership models these behaviors so that others feel comfortable doing so, as well.
One of the most important steps to making sure your company is hiring a diverse group of candidates is to review the search process. and we aren’t talking about the fact that it is easy for bias to slip into questions during the interview process, even if it was unintentional.
Instead, it is more about your recruitment sources. 80% of the job openings aren’t advertised because whenever there is a vacancy, the position is either filled by an in-house resource or through a referral.
The problem is that if you hire employees through referrals, you are likely to end up with the same kind of people. This is why it is important to branch out.