How to Start Managing Diversity in the Workplace With Ease
Diversity in the workplace would consist of having employees of different sex, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and more working for you. There are many different ways to describe workplace diversity. If you have a more diverse workforce, you can attain fresh perspectives, a wider talent pool, and more innovation.
Although the mentioned benefits of diversity and inclusion are important and may sound nice, it is a whole other battle to properly start managing diversity in the workplace. After all, people of varying ethnicities, backgrounds, and cultures were simply raised in different ways. Just as they can take a unique approach to solve problems, they can also be stuck in their own ways of completing tasks.
This will pay off by providing your firm with a huge range of ideas and cultural backgrounds in the workplace. Having a diverse workplace will also help improve the public's perception of your organization and help you keep employees in your company. The list of ways diversity helps the workplace goes on and on. However, if you improperly manage diversity in the workplace you will find that many of your employees think very similarly. Fresh new ideas won't be available to capitalize on because you will essentially have a company made of "yes people" or, people who think just like you. But, since you're reading this guide that doesn't seem to be the case for you because we have tips to keep you from doing just that.
If you are looking for a better way to manage diversity in the workplace, try our inclusion and diversity training program. It requires no setup fees or account login.
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Tips for Managing Diversity in the Workplace
Managing diversity in the workplace doesn't have to be so tricky. Below is a comprehensive list to help you better manage a diverse workplace along with tips on diversity training, how to effectively manage a diverse workplace, and how to support one another to improve retention rates within your organization.
1. Change Your Hiring Policy for a Diverse Workforce
Your hiring policy should reflect what you're trying to accomplish - which is hiring more diverse employees. To do this, you're going to want to make inclusion and diversity part of your corporate culture. Including this in your culture means that your hiring managers will recruit based on "fit" or compatibility. Instead, if you build a culture where "fit" means people expand their identities, then diversity in the workplace will flesh itself out organically.
For instance, if you are looking to add more women into your workforce, then it would be wise to start advertising in places that appeal to your target employee. Look for areas where mothers are looking to return to work or industry-related online forums with a high female ratio. Check spaces like the Independent Women's Forum and coworking spots.
2. Provide Effective Diversity Training to Your Employees
According to research performed by the Harvard Business School, a well-designed training program for diversity in the workplace can elevate employee morale, boost customer satisfaction, and drive bottom-line business success.
At best, it can engage or retain women and people of color in the workplace. But at its worst, it can backfire and reinforce stereotypes. This could simply backfire because people dislike being told what to do. Alternatively, it could succeed with a transparent effort and having employees voluntarily accept training.
A good diversity training program will train your employees to respect diversity and honor the differences of other employees. Your program will help with managing diversity in the workplace for you so you can create a cohesive tight-knit atmosphere.
3.Encourage Collaboration Between Diverse Groups
Fostering a collaborative environment where everyone's voice can be heard is an important step towards successfully managing diversity in the workplace. Methods you can use to help encourage collaboration in a diverse workplace would be to support workplace flexibility by allowing teams to intermingle with one another on projects and establish their own deadlines.
Another method would be to provide equal opportunity and representation at all levels of the organization. Involve all your employees in the decisions you're making that will affect their workday. A good way to help make workplace diversity a collaborative effort would be to create collaboration platforms like social gatherings and online tools.
For example, have all of your employees meet with one another to discuss how business is going and how they can help one another across their departments. This way, the collaboration will be used across the entire firm.
4. Focus on Retention for a Diverse Workforce
While hiring diverse employees is essential, retaining them is equally important. If you lose all of the employees you spent all of your time hiring then you're going to be entering a vicious cycle of hiring new employees, losing them, and re-hiring. You might be thinking, "how do I increase my retention rate?"
There are a few ways to do so. According to Educause, improving retention rates for workplace diversity means implementing several approaches. Your senior leaders must communicate their support for retention efforts frequently and through multiple channels.
For instance, You should also look towards creating learning development opportunities within and outside the team and organization. This would involve placing staff members on a cross-functional team and encouraging them to attend developmental opportunities outside of work.
5. Put Policies in Place That Support Diverse Groups
One way to foster inclusion and help with managing diversity would be to put policies in place that support all kinds of diverse groups. A diverse pool of employees would most likely celebrate many holidays so it would be wise to acknowledge holidays of all cultures.
When you're closing on a call or a team meeting, if the question doesn't seem too intrusive, ask people what their plans are for the holidays and work from there. You could offer your staff vacation time on their respective holidays to show that you recognize their cultural beliefs.
You could also offer special development opportunities to help your employees succeed. This would mean introducing something along the lines of a women's coding workshop to help your female employees advance their education.
6. Adopt Changes at the Top
If your leaders don't believe in managing diversity in the workplace, then you will be left with the same problem you came here to solve. The best leaders treat their employees with respect while fostering a culture that similarly supports diversity and inclusivity.
For example, look to hire executives that have a history of working in firms known for diversity. These people can help promote real initiatives to promote diversity training, diverse employees, and an inclusive workforce.
You can also introduce leadership and development programs that focus on managing diversity in the workforce. This will benefit your current staff as well as your company by supporting continuing education and transforming regular employees into frontline leaders.
7. Conquer Unconscious Bias
Everyone has experienced unconscious bias in the workplace. Unconscious biases are social stereotypes about certain groups of people that individuals form outside of their own conscious awareness. In other words, invisible prejudices can affect how you see other groups of people.
If left unchecked, unconscious bias can impact your company's culture as a whole by keeping bright people out of your staff and not allowing equal opportunities for development.
While it's difficult to avoid your own unconscious bias, the best way to recognize and beat it is, to begin with, awareness. Identify what your biases are and where you get the most hung up at. Be it either gender, race, social status, education, and physical attributes. If you focus your mindset on building the best teams and networks, it will allow you to see talent with a fresh perspective.
A good way of overcoming unconscious bias as a company would be to develop concrete, objective indicators or outcomes for hiring, evaluation, and promotion to reduce standard stereotypes.
You're Now Ready to Manage Diversity Like a Pro
So, managing diversity in the workplace is not a difficult task. Using this guide and our training program, you can achieve the same quickly. Most businesses or companies don't know how to start implementing meaningful ways to help manage diversity in the workplace. Now, with the help of this guide, we hope to give you the right tools to solve that problem as well and start receiving the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace.