Diversity in the workplace is not just a nice thing to have. It is essential for a number of reasons. It helps to increase productivity and innovation. This happens when people of different backgrounds come together to exchange thoughts and ideas. Diversity ignites creativity.
Moreover, it helps companies work better with customers. Businesses sell to a customer base that is full of diversity, and so having a diverse workforce better enables a company to understand and satisfy its customers.
Some businesses, however, struggle to maintain a diverse workforce. It takes planning and effort. Here are a few ideas on increasing diversity.
1. Promote a culture of diversity
Companies need to create an environment that encourages diversity throughout the organization. That means company leadership needs to emphasize the importance of diversity within the company.
It begins with the recruiting and hiring process. You need to think about the entire process from start to finish and everyone who will have an impact or make an impression on a potential employee. You need to make sure everyone is on the same page as far as presenting a welcoming message to a candidate with a different cultural, racial or religious background.
The company also needs to reach out to different cultural groups in the community for volunteer opportunities as well as a possible source for new employees.
2. Focus on competency in hiring
Even though your company may be striving for a diverse workforce, there are always subconscious biases, prejudices or intuitions operating among hiring managers that may work to thwart the company’s efforts. To reduce this unwitting discrimination, you need to standardize hiring practices, developing a core set of skills and knowledge for jobs that hiring managers will focus on.
3. Use a team approach
When going through the hiring process, use people of diverse backgrounds to screen job candidates. Talk to different people in the company for feedback on different candidates. This will also help to reduce the chance of subconscious bias creeping into the process.
Another way to reduce bias is to avoid subjective impressions of candidates and rely more on facts and evidence-based evaluations.