As global and regional demographics change, the continued growth of an organization may be dependent upon hiring qualified employees who offer different perspectives and best understand the diverse backgrounds of the customers or clients they serve. In order to attract and retain these highly desired employees, organizations should strive to put an effective diversity program in place. Here are 10 ways to incorporate diversity into your company culture:
- Develop a holistic and deliberate hiring strategy to increase workforce diversity. Identify the needs of your company. If the pool of qualified candidates doesn’t reflect the demographics of your region or the clients you serve, you may need to expand your search beyond traditional hiring sources.
- Implement an equal opportunity employment policy. Make certain it follows Federal EEOC guidelines with the goal of establishing a hiring practice that is age, race, gender, and minority neutral.
- Ask the experts. Solicit feedback about the hiring process from the diverse applicants themselves. These are the people who have experienced bias and cultural misunderstandings, know how it feels, and have ideas about positive changes that can be made within organizations.
- Become involved in the community. Encourage employees to participate in civic organizations that promote diversity. Community involvement provides networking opportunities and strengthens relationships among employees as they come together to serve others.
- Create a culture committee. A diverse “company culture” committee comprised of members representing all levels of your organization’s workforce can establish the employee buy-in that is essential to accomplishing the goals of your diversity program.
- Provide diversity training in the workplace. Make certain managers fully understand the benefits of a diverse workplace and make the recruiting process transparent to ease the minds of employees prone to skepticism.
- Evaluate your benefit offerings. Consider perks such as flexible schedules or dependent care reimbursement plans. Let new hires know that you are willing to accommodate cultural and religious holidays and diversity friendly (office appropriate) apparel.
- Devote time and effort in retaining new employees. Minority employees may feel disconnected in less diverse regions. Take an active role in helping them adjust to the culture at work and in their new communities.
- Use company intranets. If you have a company newsletter or intranet, include a section that highlights what the company is doing from a diversity standpoint, upcoming community events, and other relevant programs. Feature interviews of different employees, sharing what makes them unique.
- Learn from your mistakes. Use an exit interview assessment to determine why minority employees are leaving the company and what can be done to deter future losses. Be willing to make changes if necessary.
In an increasingly competitive business environment, every advantage is important. A successful diversity program can give organizations a definite edge. If you’re interested in speaking with an HR expert about diversity in your culture and workplace, call 1.800.771.7823 or contact the author directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.