Diverse workplaces are becoming more and more vital in today’s business climate, and it is easy to see why. A study by McKinsey found that inclusive workplaces have about 35% higher financial performance than less inclusive companies.
With that in mind, many companies are introducing initiatives to improve their cultural impact and attract more diverse talent. You may be wondering – what are the benefits of a diverse workplace and how can you implement such changes in your company?
What Is Workplace Diversity?
Workplace diversity involves having employees with different life backgrounds and experiences. This can be based on their age, ethnicity, race, culture, sexual orientation, education, gender expression, or any other characteristic that makes people different.
Having people with diverse work and life experiences helps improve a company’s outcomes by a significant margin. It also has a huge impact on a company’s creative output; the more diverse the workplace, the more creativity you will see within the team.
A diverse team can bring a wide range of perspectives to the table, and create results that a workplace made up of similar individuals cannot achieve. For example, consider how employee engagement and well-being could improve if people felt their cultural perspectives, experiences, and needs were given space within their team.
The more a person feels represented, the more likely they are to want to join your team. A study by Harvard Business Review shows that diverse teams are 70% more likely to capture a new market.
The Benefits of Having a Diverse Workplace
There are noted benefits to employing people with different experiences and fostering a diverse workplace. These benefits are heightened when efforts honour individual differences across an entire organization. Here are some of the benefits of representation and diversity efforts in workplaces:
- The ability to reach a broader customer base: Having people with diverse experiences in leadership and crucial positions can improve your ability to reach customers. Each person on the team can bring about a greater understanding of how to reach different populations.
- Improved employee well-being: By including diverse groups such as people of colour, sexual and gender minorities, and various socioeconomic groups, employees can find greater confidence and familiarity in their colleagues allowing them to grow together.
- Greater interest in hiring practices: The more diverse a workplace you offer, the more interest you will see when it comes to hiring. The simple act of encouraging a diverse workplace in the job description will warrant higher results, especially when people feel you will honour and respect their demographic differences and cultural norms.
- More significant innovative measures: If you seek a creative work culture in your company, you must consider diversity initiatives. Studies show that companies with diverse workplaces tend to be more innovative. This is because individual differences bring about newer perspectives based on unique day-to-day experiences. Diverse teams bring about diverse thinking.
- Generally, happier employees: People at diverse workplaces often feel safer and happier. They can help solve problems faster, have greater financial output, be more productive, and learn from each other. These effects are multiplied when you have diversity across organizational levels.
How to Improve Your Company’s Cultural Diversity
After seeing the benefits and cultural impact of cultivating a diverse workforce, you should be ready to dive in and get started! Take a look below at some actionable items you can implement immediately to create a diverse workplace.
1. Use Diversity Job Boards
There are plenty of job boards dedicated to recruiting people with different experiences. This makes it easier to hire people from more diverse and potentially underrepresented groups.
Alternatively, you can use AI in your hiring process. These tools can be useful if you want to eliminate or mitigate the risk of gender and other biases. The job description should also mention that you are an inclusive workplace that aims to cultivate diverse employee practices.
2. Use Internships and Mentoring Programs
Creating opportunities such as internships and mentoring programs can help you discover employees from minority and underrepresented groups. This provides unique opportunities for growth in the company.
Mentoring programs can help foster better employee relationships across different organizational levels and create greater diversity in the process.
3. Carry Out Diversity Training
As you work to achieve greater diversity in your employee structure, you will need to develop or provide a diversity training program to staff.
Training programs allow executives and managers to identify shortcomings and develop an action plan for overcoming them. In addition, they provide insight into the benefits of having a diverse workforce and the importance of having a diverse workplace. Although all staff would benefit from diversity training, it is particularly important for executives and other managers. Higher-level staff can champion practices that support people of diverse backgrounds. This may involve creating a group dedicated to improving and maintaining workplace diversity.
4. Create a Group to Navigate Diversity
To achieve better employee diversity and to meet people’s unique needs, people must be able to represent themselves. Thus, people should be able to express how they can be supported in the workplace. To do this, some employers develop diversity-dedicated groups. These groups help to identify opportunities for inclusivity and keep track of progress as they implement different strategies. Accountability is key to changing a culture! This group should be as diverse as possible based on the level of diversity represented across the company.
5. Train Recruiters and Implement Recruitment Policies
Despite their best efforts, recruiters are still prone to biases. Even the most experienced recruiters may have subconscious biases or prejudice that can impact their ability to hire people from diverse backgrounds.
It is extremely important that HR teams identify potential biases and that they are trained to minimize the risk of bias when hiring. A great way to do this is to get an outside consultant to review your recruitment policies to identify potential practices or processes that may interfere with attracting diverse applicants.
6. Establish Anti-Discrimination Policies
Having strong anti-discrimination policies is vital to employee well-being and safety. Almost all companies have anti-discrimination policies; however, they need to include the importance of supporting individual differences. The policy must be followed and implemented throughout the entire organization, especially executive teams.
Now would be a good time to review your existing anti-description policy. If you have developed a workplace diversity team, they should be included in the review and revision process.
Creating an inclusive and diverse workplace is challenging as it takes time to implement changes. By taking the steps mentioned above, you can begin to make progress toward creating a more diverse employee structure that fosters greater innovation and creativity.
As always, remember to constantly reassess your efforts and involve employees in improving workplace diversity and inclusivity at your organization.
Client Operations Specialist
As a Client Operations Specialist, Gordana works with clients, candidates, as well as internal departments at Jarvis to ensure all processes are being followed and that everyone has a great experience collaborating. Besides Jarvis, Gordana is enrolled in two master studies; PR and MBA.
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Jarvis is a leading IT consulting firm headquartered in Canada that provides total talent solutions with ongoing partnerships across North America’s top financial institutions, cutting-edge startups, and major technology companies.
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