It’s no secret that hiring people from diverse backgrounds can drive productivity and improve team collaboration. Statistics indicate that diversity in the workplace increases profits, creativity, and returns for your overall business. In addition to all of these benefits, diverse workplaces help businesses attract top candidates from the LBGTQ community, different cultural backgrounds, and other historically marginalized communities.
Today, true workplace diversity means having employees from different races, ages, sexual orientations, physical and mental abilities, and nationalities.
Here is a breakdown of how diversity benefits company expansion, as well as some tips and insights for how employers can implement inclusive hiring practices.
When employees come from all walks of life, they tend to be more productive and make more strategic decisions.
When companies focus on cultivating diverse teams and inclusive work environments, they open avenues for collaboration between team members. Encouraging your employees to work together with people from different ages, racial backgrounds, nationalities, languages, and gender identities ensures that new ideas are flowing freely. In the long run, this helps businesses solve problems faster.
Collaboration also allows employees to gain perspectives that they may not encounter in their day-to-day lives. This can help your company understand the needs of a wider customer base.
Employees from diverse backgrounds have the advantage of reaching more customer demographics. Workplace diversity leads to improved products, better services, more meaningful marketing and social media campaigns, and increased profits. Research suggests that more diverse workplaces lead to 35% more profits, on average, than companies that do not prioritize hiring employees from different backgrounds.
Diversity not only gives your company a better reputation for potential clients, but also shows that you recognize employees from underrepresented groups. Job seekers are 17% more likely to apply for open positions with companies where they feel their background makes them stand out in the interview process as a positive asset.
To retain more employees, consider implementing diversity programming strategies.
While many studies indicate that diversity programming does not always have the best results, employees are likely to stay with a company if they feel that they are being seen as both a unique individual for their creativity and innovation, and as someone that makes up the collective group.
Studies at UC Berkeley suggest that diversity programing should:
Focus on the group over the individual while recognizing everyone's unique backgrounds
Have strong leaders that inspire employees to do their best
Encourage employees to think about new perspectives
Take things into perspective from other viewpoints
Once employers have a better understanding of how to build a team with employees from a variety of backgrounds, they are much more likely to retain the best workforce.
Although building a diverse team can boost overall company profits and morale, there are some challenges employers will need to understand before switching to diverse recruiting strategies.
Language barriers and different communication styles can make the process challenging, especially if you’re hiring across borders. As an employer, you need to recognize your own biases and how they cloud your decision making in the workplace.
As businesses begin to think about how to approach hiring with inclusivity and equity in mind, there are quite a few strategies that can make the process more fluid.
Everyone has unconscious biases. Even the most well-educated employers will have biases from their own backgrounds and unique life experiences.
Once you begin to make the recruiting process more equitable and inclusive, try to do your best to unpack your own biases. Consider using data-driven tools that help eliminate any unfair decision making in the recruiting process for your business.
Create pay and benefit packages that are fair and equal. The gender pay gap is real, so when hiring queer, non-binary, gender non-confirming, trans, or female candidates for a job, double-check that you’re offering a salary that matches their qualifications.
The Supreme Court ruled in 2020 in Bostok v Clayton County that discrimination against LGBTQ+ and transgender employees was illegal. Before this ruling, only 21 states protected LGBTQ+ employees against anti-discrimination based on their sexual orientation. So, creating employee compensation packages that are equal is one of the main steps in fighting anti-discrimination in the workplace. Now, more countries are passing marriage equality acts and passing legislation to protect LGBTQ+ team members. These new laws should influence decision making, especially when it comes to creating a work environment that promotes inclusivity.
When creating benefit packages, make sure that all employees doing the same work, no matter their background, are receiving the same compensation. In addition to creating equal pay packages, promote employees based on their personal work ethic and contributions to the organization, and not based on their race, gender identity, or other factors that could be considered discriminatory.
Another step towards building a diverse team is to create a recruiting program that has a large team behind it that embraces diversity, instead of having one singular recruiter or a limited number of hiring managers.
Hire a recruiting/talent team that comes from a variety of cultural and social backgrounds. This will give your new employees a look at your company's commitment to diversity.
You could also consider crafting internships that appeal to students from diverse backgrounds. Most importantly, build a strong careers page that highlights your company's focus on diversifying your workforce. This will not only help you attract candidates from different cultures, but will improve your company’s reputation.
Companies should have mandatory diversity and equity training for hiring managers across the organization and make hiring managers use cognitive diversity practices. This will encourage the recruiting managers to see different viewpoints from other managers, and motivate them to hire employees from a wide-range of backgrounds.
You can also encourage diversity by educating your employees on how to see different perspectives while collaborating. Hold online training or have guest speakers that open up avenues of conversation for employees to think about diversity in productive ways.
Show your employees that they are seen and heard. Build a strong HR team that is socially responsible and allows employees to feel comfortable enough to report any discrimination or harassment that they may see or experience. Ensure that your HR team is properly trained on how to handle any occurrence of discrimination in a way that promotes safety and inclusivity.
One of the biggest challenges of making employees feel valued is rewarding them for their work. If an employee feels that their work is directly impacting the company, they are more likely to be productive and take initiative, which can increase employee engagement.
Create incentive programs that boost employee morale. Studies show incentive programs that reward individual employees increase employee performance by 44%.
Some examples of incentive programs that reward employees are:
Health and wellness
Individual awards and recognition for performance
Choice of projects
Increased time off
Showing employees their worth, especially in diverse companies, helps them to feel like their differences are an asset instead of a problem. Set up these programs in a way that treats them equally.
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Diversity in the workplace encourages a wide range of employees with different backgrounds. Encouraging a diverse workplace has payoff not only for employees but also for employers, who can attract and retain top talent.
Diversity is having employees from different races, ages, sexual orientations, physical and mental abilities, nationalities, and other backgrounds. Diversity in the workplace not only allows employers to have a larger customer base because of their employees unique backgrounds, but also includes perspectives that more homogenous companies may overlook.
The elements of diversity in the workplace are cultural diversity, racial diversity, gender diversity, physical diversity, and neurodiversity.
The four types of diversity in the workplace are internal, external, organization, and world view.