4 ways to create a more diverse workplace that inspires innovation

Diversity in the workplace is more than meeting a quota and ticking a box. It is no longer something companies aspire to achieve, but rather the norm. Margaret King, Ph.D., Director of The Center for Cultural Studies and Analysisdefines diversity as “the state of having as many choices as possible in how the work team thinks about getting things done and solving problems”.

According to the Harvard Business Review, more diverse companies experience increased innovation that results in 19% more revenue and 2.3 times more cash per employee. Companies that intend to hire, retain and develop diverse talent are 35% more likely to outperform their competitors. Indeed, diversity brings together different cultures, races, genders, generations and backgrounds to offer new perspectives, ideas and solutions.

However, while many companies focus on diversity, they neglect the importance of inclusion. Diversity and inclusion go hand in hand. Companies can hire diverse talent and celebrate ticking the box, but if the people they hire don’t feel included or supported, they will quickly disengage and be more likely to leave.

Until now, companies have been reluctant to prioritize diversity and inclusion. Many didn’t want to expend the energy and resources to fix something they didn’t consider problematic. The turning point didn’t happen until Black Lives Matter protests and the #MeToo movement gained momentum. Employees and consumers began to publicly denounce the companies for their discriminatory practices and false promises. This led consumers and workers to completely boycott these brands.

Here are four ways companies can create more diverse workplaces that inspire innovation.

Reorganize the recruitment process

Nothing is more intimidating than joining a company where the leadership and management team is made up of people from the same culture. For this reason, diverse employees have no one to look up to who they can relate to. As a result, they feel left behind and uninspired to contribute ideas and solutions.

Companies admit that one of their biggest challenges is recruiting diverse candidates. Unfortunately, interviews are riddled with unconscious bias, subjectivity, inconsistency, and a lack of proper interview training. Additionally, companies unknowingly repel quality diverse talent through the language and imagery they use in their corporate communications, job descriptions, website, and social media content.

Tatyana Tyagun, HR Generalist at chantysaid “tools like Toggle Rental and verve allow you to test candidates’ skills first without seeing their name, age, nationality, or any identifying information about them. » Predictive index is another valuable tool that allows companies to identify diversity gaps so hiring managers can fill those gaps with top talent.

Here are some miscellaneous hiring strategies companies can use to revamp their recruiting process:

  • Partnership with multicultural professional organizations
  • Ask employees to be more aware of who they identify as women and/or from underrepresented communities
  • Seek references from various employees
  • target and find diverse candidates via LinkedIn
  • Advertise specifically for minority groups
  • Blindly review resumes
  • Write job descriptions with more inclusive language
  • Organize discussions or events for various candidates (for example, Microsoft hosts “Ability Recruitment Events” give candidates with disabilities the opportunity to interview with the technology company; PepsiCo partners with Allies in service to ensure veterans have a fair chance of getting a job)

Understanding limits and adopting new perspectives

As a corporate culture consultant, the biggest mistake many companies make is excluding their employees from the decision-making process, especially miscellaneous, and making decisions on their behalf. While C-suite’s responsibility is to make important business decisions, companies that involve their employees in the decision-making process reap many benefits. When employees feel included, they are empowered and inspired to make a difference because they feel personally involved in the outcome.

Allie Fleder, Chief Operating Officer at SimplyWiserecommended to “actively seek minority voices for company decisions. It is not enough to have a place at the table. Leaders must ensure that these voices are heard. By doing so, they are able to ‘Learn first-hand about the challenges and difficulties that various employees face and gain new perspectives on potential solutions.

Brandon Chopp, digital manager at I love and IN THE MORNINGsets aside time “so that members of management can meet with members of our diverse team one-on-one to listen to their feelings and get feedback on how we can make improvements to our corporate culture.We also seek to diversify the role models and influencers we work with to represent all walks of life.

Create pathways to success with retention tools

Recruiting diverse talent is only half of the equation. Businesses are often challenged on how to move them forward within the organization. Jennifer Walden, Director of Operations at WikiLawn Lawn Careasserted “if your entire C-suite and middle management are white males, you’re sending a message to various employees that there’s no real future for them in your company.”

To create equality and fairness in the workplace, leaders must be proactive in how they plan to keep them around for the long term. This requires an action plan with responsible steps on how individuals can get promoted.

Kimberly Porter, financial expert and CEO of Microcredit Summitsaid that “promoting talent diversity in the workplace starts with creating an inclusive company culture that will make all employees feel welcome and supported. This will not only make current employees more likely to recommend other people to work for the company, but it will also help limit turnover.”

Recognize and celebrate differences

Humanizing the workplace should be something every employer strives for. Employees are more than the specific skills and knowledge they bring. It’s just part of who they are. When companies take the time to recognize and celebrate what makes each individual unique, they show employees that they care about them as a whole person. It’s rare, especially with the new generation of workers, for employees to work just for a paycheck. They want their employers to care about them more than the work they do.

At Randstad study found that “56% of female workers and 52% of male workers think their employers could do more to promote gender equality and diversity.” Managers and leaders can do this by recognizing religious practices and cultural habits, being more aware of and monitoring upcoming holidays, asking employees how they plan to celebrate holidays, and respecting those days when planning. meetings. By accepting and celebrating differences, companies inspire more innovative workplaces.

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