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3 Steps To Create A Diverse Workplace In Your Company


Several studies indicate that companies with a diverse workforce tend to perform better. Their growth benefits from the enriched pool of knowledge and a high level of creativity, the direct results of varied communication styles, thinking processes, and motivation drivers. As a HR manager, you can help your company achieve profitable and well-balanced inclusion through commitments, communications and collaboration between departments.

Diversity is more than gender issues or racial matters. Your company can dedicate to supporting women in tech or embracing minority ethnic groups but don’t limit yourself. It’s beneficial to consider people from all walks of life, and lifestyles.

For example, it could be premature to exclude a candidate due to his preference for freelancing or remote working. As we shared in a previous article about supporting staff who work from home, some people are
more productive at home than in the office.

It takes work to increase diversity, but you can get there with the three-step plan that I will explain later. It’s important to remember that your job will be more fun and less challenging if you are to include different ages, races, genders, etc. You will see the benefits specifically in two areas:

• Recruitment

• Retention

Inclusion opens doors to unconventional employment markets. When you are willing to support remote workers, you can reach further to acquire talents from different cities, countries and even continents! The world is your oyster.

Additionally, retention is easier in a varied and stimulating environment. A diverse team is full of surprises and interests, which are good for the group’s morale.

How to create a diverse workplace in your company

Step 1: Make a commitment

Every diversity program needs strong commitments from the top managers.

Twitter set an excellent example when the company’s COO Adam Bain shared its promises to achieve gender parity in a report for the UN’s campaign HeforShe. Have a look at some of the main points below:

• 20 weeks of fully paid parental leave

• ”New moms and moms-to-be” roundtables, which happen every quarter

• Nursing rooms equipped with medical-grade pumps

• A dinner-to-go program, offering employees takeaway hot meals to help with cooking duties

• Free premium memberships to Care.com

• Launch supporting groups for women in engineering, women working at Twitter…

If such commitments are unprecedented in your company, bring forward the potential benefits of diversity in operation as well as marketing to persuade the C-suite.

Having people from different cultures helps with expansion and growth in new markets. Employees with a Chinese origin could, for example, provide the subtle knowledge of the language and customs for a new advertising campaign aiming at the China market.

Besides, people from different educational backgrounds tend to vary in problem-solving approaches, which lead to more thought-provoking conversations and well-rounded business decisions.

Step 2: Communicate the commitment

You’ve got the commitments, now you need to tell others about them.

Do it in plain words. Describe your vision, policy, and dedication on your website, under “About Us” or “Why work for us” section. Tell all visitors about your promises to build a diverse environment and any progresses you have made.

Don’t stop at telling, show it. Share the profiles of your team members on the company’s official site and on social media, emphasizing on any diverse aspects: their education backgrounds, their origins, their “unconventional” ways of thinking, working and living, etc.

According to a Glassdoor survey conducted in 2014, 67% of active and passive job seekers took diversity as a key component in their evaluation of companies and job offers.

In your communication efforts, you also need to get out of your comfort zone ( i.e., company’s website). Venture out to different social platforms, let more people know about your goals and show off your actions. You can choose to sponsor one of the many diversity-promoting events like a Gay Pride Parade or host a HeforShe incentive like Ideathon.

Engage your employees to become the company’s ambassadors. Organize events or start incentives inclusive of all backgrounds while highlighting the differences. When you have many employees who speak different languages, for instance, events like “Storytelling Not In Your Mother Tongue” could be engaging as it shows the appreciation to their efforts and their mastery.

Step 3: Join forces

It is one thing to attract potential talents far and widely. It is another thing to get them through your door. Cognitive bias in recruiting is hard to avoid as a person tend to feel more comfortable with someone from a similar background.

The way to solve it is to have a hiring committee whose members represent various backgrounds: racial origins, gender preferences or professions. Your committee should comprise more than HR experts. Include executives and staff from other departments to benefit from their diverse viewpoints.

Diversity helps performance, so make it your culture, be it the perks that attract more and more talents to your company and keep them stay loyal and engaged.

quynh-150x150Quynh Nguyen writes about productivity for individuals and teams while travelling the world. She loves learning languages, riding a bike and having many nice cups of tea. Connect with her @QuynhThuNguyen or visit her at www.quynh.nl

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