In 2020, as issues regarding gender, race, and inclusivity grow ever more important, it is absolutely imperative for companies to cultivate a diverse and inclusive workplace. However, hiring diverse people just for the sake of diversity or to avoid a lawsuit isn’t the ideal approach to take, and will not enable you to reap the full benefits of a diverse workplace. Having proper diverse hiring practices and creating an inclusive workplace are goals that require an organization to actively work towards achieving them. Here’s a guide for companies to evaluate their existing framework and work towards implementing policies that will enable them to cultivate a more inclusive and efficient workforce.
Benefits of a diverse workplace you might have overlooked
The reasons for promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives are self-apparent. A company that takes measures to promote inclusivity fosters a more welcoming environment for people from different backgrounds and ethnicities and helps to market your organization as a progressive, inclusive space. But there are other benefits to having a more diverse workforce which you might not have considered. Following are some statistics about how creating a diverse and inclusive workplace can impact a company’s performance:
- A 2018 study by BCG found that having diversity in leadership roles can improve the financial performance of an organization. This is attributed to the fact that people from different ethnicities and backgrounds, due to differences of experience and way of thinking, can work through problems more quickly and be more innovative.
- Diversity is also important for potential employees’ perception of your company’s culture. According to a study by Glassdoor, 67% of job seekers said that while evaluating companies and job offers, a diverse workforce is a priority for them.
- A recent McKinsey study reported that in 2019, companies in the top quartile for ethnic and cultural diversity were 36% more profitable than those in the fourth quartile.
The goal of diverse hiring is to remove implicit biases in a company’s recruitment process and hire employees based on merit with consideration taken to not fall victim to any prejudices that the hiring managers might hold. However, ensuring diverse hiring and creating an inclusive workplace culture while avoiding any potential pitfalls can be a challenge. The following steps will enable your organization to achieve diverse hiring successfully:
- Remove existing biases
The first step to removing existing prejudices is to recognize them. A thorough evaluation of the mindset of the recruiters is a good way to weed out any prejudices which might be coming into play during the hiring process
- Standardize your hiring procedure
Having a standardized hiring procedure that has no factors that might trigger any biases is a strategy that has been adopted by multiple companies that have successfully introduced diversity into their workforce. Not including names, genders and even the names of the university that the candidate has attended will prevent any biases from influencing the hiring manager’s decision.
- Review where you hire from
Reaching out to diverse candidates is an important part of diverse hiring. With the rising use of the internet and social media, online hiring is the best option for companies to be able to access a vast pool of candidates. For smaller companies, advertising costs might be an obstacle to promoting their organization on the internet. Using facilities such as LinkedIn and employing budget-saving measures such as discounts and promo codes can allow smaller companies with limited budgets to reach a diverse audience.
- Make sure the recruiters are diverse
Having diversity in the hiring committee itself is a good way to promote diverse hiring. Additionally, it will also enable the company to present a positive image to the candidate, by showcasing the fact that it is committed to creating a diverse, inclusive workplace.
Inclusivity: More than just diverse hiring
Inclusivity and diversity, though sometimes used interchangeably, are two different concepts. While diversity merely denotes a workplace that is diverse in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic level, inclusivity is when all these employees feel welcome and comfortable in their workplace. Simply hiring a diverse workforce does not mean that the members of the workforce will be able to work in a healthy environment. Steps have to be taken by the organization to make sure that the employees feel that their voices are heard and they are being given the respect that they deserve.
Following are some measures that can be adopted by a company to help promote a supportive workplace for all its employees:
- Let the employees know their concerns are heard
Even the most well-intentioned policies can have shortcomings and pitfalls. Ensuring that employees can make suggestions and register complaints without fearing any backlash or apathy will allow them to voice their opinions and be more confident and efficient in their work.
- Make sure that diversity is all-encompassing
Having diverse people in leadership roles and other senior positions helps to foster a more comfortable, inclusive environment for all the employees. Even otherwise diverse industries show an alarming lack of diversity in leadership roles due to unfairness, inequality, and lack of opportunities in the workplace, which is a hurdle that needs to be crossed to promote inclusivity.
- Create a culture of belonging
Employees that have strong feelings of belonging towards their work will be less likely to leave, effectively reducing employee turnover. Making sure that the hiring package covers a diverse set of needs and employee benefits that take a diverse workforce into consideration contribute towards the creation of a workforce that feels cared for by the company. Benefits such as healthcare and employee discounts at various outlets in the form of coupons and promo codes are great ways to foster positive sentiments towards the company. Coupon code facts and statistics for 2019 estimated that more than 50% of smartphone users in the United States have used their devices to redeem digital or printable coupons at least once during the year, making discount codes an effective way to give employees a feeling of being privileged to be working for the company. Other ways to get online coupons from various couponing websites like RetailMeNot, Groupon and StyloGear.com
As racial demographics change in each subsequent generation to become more diverse, any organization worth it’s salt will be taking extensive measures towards creating an inclusive and diverse workplace. Promoting diversity and inclusivity initiatives is not only an ethical but also a financial imperative for any company that wants to outshine its competition in the marketplace.