For decades, researchers have argued that diverse and inclusive workforces favor business outcomes. Organizations that value diversity and inclusion (D&I) are more innovative and creative, outperform their competitors, and attract a broader range of stakeholders, all of which boost the bottom line.
According to GlassDoor, 67% of job seekers believe workplace diversity to be an important factor when assessing employment possibilities, and more than 50% of current employees want their workplace to do more to boost diversity.
As the workplace gets more global and cosmopolitan, companies that welcome diversity gain a competitive advantage. It also enables such companies to recognize and capitalize on previously untapped opportunities.
While pushing for workforce diversity, equity, and inclusion is crucial, some organizations may fall prey to “tokenism” in their efforts. In such cases, they hire one or two diverse individuals but avoid undertaking the more challenging job of creating a truly inclusive culture. This can result in employees and clients believing that leadership is just concerned with keeping up appearances rather than with actual change.
Organizations may also fail to implement D&I initiatives, which could affect their competitive advantage and corporate image. The following article discusses the role of HR in pushing D&I, as well as the relevance of compliance management in supervising changes in organizational behavior and practices.
Top 10 strategies HR can use to Improve Workplace Diversity
HR plays a critical role in creating and promoting diversity in any organization. Its primary purpose in diversity management is to establish and strengthen an organizational culture that creates a courteous, inclusive environment, free from any types of workplace discrimination and in which every employee can learn, grow, and contribute to the organization’s success.
Are you looking to improve your organization’s workforce diversity and boost your company’s success? Here are the top 10 strategies highlighting HR roles in improving workplace diversity.
1. Educate Managers on the Benefits of Diversity in Workplace
The relationship between managers and employees is vital. Most people leave their jobs because they are unhappy with their managers.
Only some managers understand the value of workforce diversity and know how to manage a diverse workforce. To help them, give them the skills training they need to create and nurture a diverse team. Making time for cultural and other sensitivity training is an excellent first step.
In addition, evaluate reporting structures and employee feedback tools to ensure that supervisors and their direct reports have a clear communication channel.
When workforce diversity is celebrated, and management is given the necessary resources to manage a diverse workforce, your workforce’s potential becomes limitless.
2. Commit to Developing Diverse High-Potential Candidates
It is possible to achieve both diversity and performance without resorting to tokenism. This strategy for improving workplace diversity necessitates strategic planning and execution.
For example, determine the high-potential diverse applicants in your organization. Then, ensure that leadership is committed to providing mentoring, coaching, encouraging diversity certifications and growth for high-potential employees who may be missing a few of the required skills or consider shifting those people to a stretch job.
3. Standardize the Interview Experience
Digital, structured interviewing is an effective method for building genuinely diverse teams. By asking the same questions to all job candidates in the same manner and sequence, you reduce the risk of hiring bias and create a fair, uniform interview experience. This technique allows you to hire people more objectively representative of the human race.
By utilizing AI-powered recruiting tools, you could expedite the initial phases of the recruitment process while eliminating the recruiters’ unconscious bias from the equation.
4. Accept and Value all Differences
Recognize and appreciate the skills of all employees, regardless of differences. Simply engaging in a discussion and listening to your employees is a straightforward approach to showing them you appreciate them regularly. Get to know your employees personally. Employees will go above and beyond when they feel respected and welcomed.
Making people feel like they belong and are involved in activities is a significant component of managing diversity—creating an atmosphere where they feel their voices are heard and what they have to say is significant. People do not want to be treated differently; they want to be treated fairly and on their merits.
5. Create Diversity and Inclusion Recruitment Policies
The human resource department must promote workforce diversity and inclusion; recruiters, in particular, must serve as diversity drivers. This implies they must cultivate the right mentality and consider diversity during the selection process to create a varied and inclusive talent shortlist for the final interview stage.
To increase diversity in hiring, recruiters should hire from various sources and use an evidence-based recruiting strategy.
6. Use Recruitment Technology that Helps to Eliminate Unconscious Bias
Driving a modern and efficient recruiting process necessitates digitizing and streamlining your recruitment process. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven recruiting software not only speeds up the first parts of the recruitment process but also removes the recruiters’ unconscious bias from the equation.
Nonetheless, recruiters will be involved in the selection process following the first automatic matching of individuals to job criteria. As a result, you should also invest in training programs for recruiters and hiring managers to help them recognize and manage unconscious bias.
7. Offer Meaningful Opportunities for Employee Engagement
If your company has many locations, consider letting employees visit other locations in another city, state, or country. Survey your employees to find out where they want to spend their leisure time or volunteer, and plan work-based and external employee engagement events.
Furthermore, they could observe how other locations deal with similar problems and situations. This may motivate your employees to think beyond the box and bring such thinking back to their teams.
8. Develop Diversity & Inclusion Training Programs
Provide diversity and inclusion training to all levels of your business, taking the top-down approach. Start by asking your leadership to help build your training curriculum.
Training should involve raising awareness of unconscious bias and decreasing discrimination that might negatively affect managerial actions. Make diversity training a voluntary activity. Just make sure it’s publicly available and well-promoted within your organization.
9. Review all aspects of HR that Impact Diversity
To avoid the trap of tokenism, consider in terms of systems rather than gestures. Examine all aspects of human resources that influence diversity, from recruiting to compensation packages to career mobility and financial wellness benefits.
By addressing the core system, you may influence all related activities and achieve long-term equity and a more varied and diverse workplace.
10. Start Measuring your Efforts
Diversification is essential for enhancing organizational success. Start measuring your efforts to ensure you are moving the needle. Once you start measuring, you will know how you are moving the needle. Unless you have metrics to look at and examine you won’t know how you’re making a difference or going ahead.
So, the first step is to establish metrics and KPIs and measure your efforts and success.
Most companies are in the process of becoming more diverse and inclusive. Everyone follows a different road, and no one achieves their goals overnight.
HR leaders must strive to enhance objective decision-making processes by finding innovative ways to reduce workplace prejudice and establish inclusive workplaces that give opportunities for all employees. Workplace D&I is complex, and having a diverse workforce should be the goal. It necessitates consistent work, commitment, and monitoring.
Employees should be celebrated for their uniqueness and not marginalized. Commitment entails developing company strategies that actively recognize and support employee requirements at each step of their employment journey. Monitoring also includes questioning company practices that undercut organizational values that fail to treat employees fairly.