Diversity in the workplace is an idea that has actually been around for decades. Yes, we get that it is a super hot topic currently and in recent years, but it’s also a topic and an ongoing issue that many companies have been trying to figure out for a while now.
Diversity can be a sensitive subject. It’s often seen as something that should just happen naturally, but the truth is workplace diversity initiatives are necessary to ensure all voices are heard and perspectives are valued. The real truth is that most CEOs and leaders are not diversity experts, so a lot of times, they’ll just hope that the issue takes care of itself, so they don’t have to put any real thought into it.
Regardless of your background, this article will help you understand what workplace diversity means to you so that you can create a truly diverse and inclusive culture that people are clamoring to work for.
What Do We Mean By “Diversity”?
Long gone are the days when talking about diversity simply meant cultural diversity. Today’s up-and-coming workforce is far more concerned about a smorgasbord of diversity issues that affect them directly.
We’re talking not only about cultural diversity but gender diversity, ethnic diversity, physical diversity, different physical abilities, educational backgrounds, even internal and organizational diversity. We get why the topic can seem so overwhelming and make you want to hide under the desk.
It can be tough to start the conversation within your organization about how to define your stance on diversity and what that means to you as a company, especially if you’ve never HAD to define it before.
Your workforce wants to feel like you care about their personal, religious, political beliefs, their life situations, individual differences, parental scenarios, life experiences, socioeconomic concerns, and more. Turning a blind eye to their concerns and needs as job seekers is going to have some devastating results for you.
What Happens If You Don’t Provide an Inclusive Workplace?
Stagnation, mass exits, lack of employee loyalty and engagement, missed deadlines, and a general erosion of trust between you and your staff are just a few of the dreaded side effects of having an unfeeling, homogenous work environment.
And, of course, this is always going to affect your bottom line in a very disastrous way. So let’s just agree that promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace is a huge key to keeping you afloat. You can’t ignore it any longer.
Promote an Inclusive, Nurturing Environment and Watch What Happens
It might be a daunting task to think about surveying your close colleagues and loyal employees about how they think you’re doing as an organization on the diversity front, but let’s take it one step further. What would your unhappy and disgruntled employees say about it? That’s where things get real. Not asking your “tell-me-what-I-want-to-hear” employees about how they think you’re doing, but digging deeper and taking a raw, hard look at what people’s perception of you as a leader and as a company really is.
The answer is probably going to be pretty painful. But, from pain comes real growth and improvement. It’s also the only way to come up with an action plan to bridge the gap between how people see you when it comes to workplace diversity and inclusion versus how you want people to see you.
Another great part of surveying your workforce is giving them the opportunity to suggest ideal ways to promote and integrate diversity within your service, your products, your hiring process, and whatever else you think needs some touching up. If you don’t have any good ideas for promoting diversity, we can guarantee that your staff does. It’s already a major topic of discussion amongst your team.
You Need Diversity Initiatives
A lot of companies talk about adding in diversity but only as an esoteric thing. When they’re thinking about building their ideal team, few leaders are putting a diverse team at the top of the list.
To alleviate this, you need a plan of action that involves setting specific objectives and initiatives to promote and showcase diversity of all kinds in your organization. You also need to set specific, albeit realistic, timelines for those initiatives so that you can monitor their success, go back to the drawing board, and keep coming up with fresh and new ideas.
Imagine A Truly Engaged and Supportive Workforce
Once you start implementing best practices to promote workplace diversity, you’ll see some pretty impressive results, and usually pretty quickly. Not only will your employees know that it’s a priority for you, but your customers and clients will see it too.
They’ll be able to clearly identify your stance and value proposition when it comes to being an all-inclusive, nurturing company. It has the power to transform your brand from being an impersonal revenue generator to a tangible, positive, socially conscious entity.
Let TRN Help You Build a Diverse World-Class Team to Impact Education
TRN matches unrivaled Education and Technology expertise with a vast candidate network, an experienced in-house research team, powerful customized marketing, multiple sources of custom quantitative feedback, and a proven, client-focused process. If you’re one of the hundreds of leaders or organizations who are thinking about making your workplace more diverse, but need some support, then we’ve got your back.
Contact us to learn more about TRN can help you with your talent acquisition needs.