Diversity is more than just a nice-to-have in business these days. Studies have shown that companies with greater diversity generate greater revenue and are more likely to capture new markets than their less diverse competitors. Hiring a team with a wide range of viewpoints and life experiences can help you identify new business opportunities and embrace unique ways of thinking about old business problems.
But you won’t end up with a diverse workforce if you don’t make cultivating diversity an important part of your business culture. Here are some things you can do to create a work environment that’s open to all.
1. Audit Your Hiring Practices
Sometimes there are hidden biases that make it more difficult for qualified candidates to get the job. Whether it’s where you go to source your talent or how you’re screening and shortlisting potential hires, it’s a good idea to do an audit of your hiring practices.
Take steps to address the issues you find. Consider practicing blind hiring, which removes information like names, educational history, and home address from resumes, so you’re not accidentally sorting certain resumes out based on existing biases.
2. Select a Hiring Metric to Improve Upon
Set goals for yourself. Committing publicly to creating a more diverse workplace is a great way to keep yourself on track and signal to potential hires and existing employees that you’re serious about the practice.
A complete overhaul of your company doesn’t have to be your goal. Select a single metric to focus on first. Work to increase diversity on one team by a certain percentage over a certain period of time. Once you’ve reached that goal, you can move on to other areas of the business and diversify there.
3. Be Transparent with Your Staff
Sharing your goals for diversity with your team is critical. Not only does that hold you accountable, but it also makes those who already represent different genders, cultures, races, and ethnicities on your team feel seen.
When you acknowledge the importance of diversity and share how you’re actively taking steps to achieve it, that makes your existing team want to stick around. It might even prompt them to speak with members of their communities and encourage them to apply for open positions at your company.
4. Celebrate Different Holidays & Observances
When you make a point to celebrate holidays and observances from around the world, you not only make people who grew up celebrating those holidays feel welcome, but you also open up a dialogue about diversity. Think about ways to bring celebrations into the office. You should also make accommodations for those who are observing holidays that require them to take time off or work from home.
Creating a workplace that celebrates diversity and speaks openly about it is the key to cultivating it in your organization. When people feel comfortable to be who they are and bring their unique points of view to the table, you not only end up with a more diverse team but a happier and more productive one, too.
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