Diversity is essential for a productive workplace: diverse organisations are 35% more likely to perform better than those that are not and are far better at innovation, vital for today’s world.
This is only going to be more important in 2022, with nearly half of all Australian workers considering leaving their role sometime in the next year. Diversity and inclusion is a main priority of these workers, meaning that work cultures which value these will be better positioned to retain their employees.
Of course, creating a diverse workplace is a huge undertaking. To help get you on the right track, we’ve compiled a list of a few important steps you’ll need to get started.
Get the right training
Diversity and inclusion training is a must if you want to equip your people with the right tools. By leveraging the power of emotional intelligence, your employees will be able to better understand their own unconscious biases and relate to others, even those who may be different.
While everyone should receive diversity training, you’ll especially want to focus on your leaders. The most successful changes come from the top-down, meaning that it is up to your managers and leadership team to set the tone for your organisation.
You’ll also want to prioritise staff who are in charge of recruitment to ensure that unconscious bias doesn’t get in the way.
Speaking of which…
Hire the right people
Building a diverse workplace starts with making sure you hire (and retain!) people from a range of backgrounds. Recruiters may wish to use diverse job boards, avoid gendered language in job descriptions and implement blind resume assessments.
Assess your workplace policies
Evaluate your organisational policies and see whether there are any areas you can make some adjustments. This may include things like:
- Adding different religious holidays to your company’s calander
- Offering childcare options for working parents
- Setting up non-gendered bathrooms
- Exploring options for more flexible working arrangements.
Clear and constant communication
It isn’t enough to put diverse policies and goals into place – you need to work towards them. And to do this, you need to build an organisational culture where everyone feels comfortable to speak up about any concerns they may have. Effective communication is key.
According to a study by Deloitte, the language used by senior executives in your organisation can have a significant impact on whether or not employees feel they belong. By ensuring that your leaders use and promote inclusive language, you’ll be on the right track. Leaders should also feel confident in discussing diversity initiatives and asking for feedback to ensure transparency and that every voice is heard.
While hiring employees from a range of backgrounds is a good start, you want to make sure that they have opportunities to hone their skills and advance in the organisation. Connecting employees with a mentor can not only help their career but also adds to a feeling of belonging.
If you don’t have the means for a formal mentorship, leadership training and other professional development may be a good solution.
Ready to take the next step to create a vibrant and diverse workplace? Get in touch to find out more about our Beating Unconscious Bias course.