A word we seem to hear a lot of is “diversity.” But what exactly does it mean in today’s workplace?
A DIVERSE workforce is a critical part of healthy and happy company culture. Prioritize workplace diversity by focusing on the following;
- Diversity isn’t just a buzzword – it’s an integral aspect of any organization or team
- Improve workplace communication and create an open work environment
- Value and understand the importance of a diverse workforce in its entirety
- Ensure the policies of your workplace are in writing and rules are standardized
- Recruit qualified candidates and make diversity part of the hiring process
- Support your team and treat them with respect with a fun company event
- Enforce a zero-tolerance policy and encourage an open mindset
Terms like inclusion and diversity are abundant in the modern workforce. But it can be hard to know where to start when managing diversity in the workplace.
Keep reading, and I’ll let you know exactly how to manage diversity in the workplace!
See Related: 7 Ways To Improve Your Workplace Culture For 2023
#1. Don’t Treat “Diversity” Like Only A Buzzword
You’ve probably heard the word diversity before. But when it comes to workplace diversity, it’s not always easy to fully understand what it means.
So, I’ll start by giving you a general definition.
Diversity is what makes a group of people different from each other. And this can mean many different things.
If a group of people is considered diverse, it means they have members that represent various backgrounds, statuses, or ideologies. And because of this, diversity is essential in the workplace for many reasons.
The Overall Benefits Of A Diverse Workforce
Workforce diversity has many benefits. For starters, it’s the foundation of creativity and innovation.
That’s because new ideas flourish when different backgrounds and mindsets come together. In addition, diversity helps employees understand where they fit into organizational goals and missions overall.
People from different backgrounds have spent their life accumulating unique experiences and information. And when your organization makes an effort to encourage this level of diversity, your workplace can benefit from multiple viewpoints and levels of expertise.
Workplace diversity can look like many things. But when it comes down to it, workforce diversity leads to better opportunities for strategic thinking and creativity and promotes more intelligent decision-making.
Lastly, having a diverse workforce allows organizations to serve their customers and clients better as each individual employee brings a different perspective and approach to problem-solving. Diversity also helps to create a culture of respect and understanding, which leads to improved morale and employee job satisfaction.
I could go on and on about the many benefits a diverse workforce can bring. But let’s just dive into the first way you can better manage workplace diversity.
Diversity Is A Fundamental Aspect Of Successful Organizations
We all know HR is seemingly always ablaze with new and trendy buzzwords. And one word that you may seem to hear a lot is, in fact, diversity!
But it would be best if you didn’t treat diversity as only a buzzword because it’s about so much more than that. After all, organizations need to embrace diversity wholeheartedly to ensure success is on the horizon.
Diversity is something that needs to be actively prioritized and focused on every single day. It’s not just a trend!
#2. Improve Workplace Communication
Our workplaces require a lot of moving parts to be successful. And when one fundamental aspect breaks down, so does the rest.
As a corporate emcee, I know firsthand the value of communication. After all, communication with an audience is what I do best! This means I also know how bad it can be when communication falls by the wayside.
The Benefits Of Workplace Communication
The foundation of an effective, enjoyable, and productive workplace is communication. Effective communication leads to:
- Better employee engagement
- Increased employee morale and boosted moods
- Improved productivity and workplace efficiency
- Fewer conflicts and better collaboration
Without communication, everything in the workplace would fall apart!
When it comes to managing workplace diversity, communication is one of the key ways to improve workplace inclusion. Here’s why:
Why Communication Is Key For Workplace Diversity
Communication is essential at work to ensure everyone is on the same page. That’s one of the basic advantages of improved communication.
But when employees come from different cultural or language backgrounds, it becomes increasingly important to prioritize communication. After all, for some workers, their first language may not be English (if your company operates in English).
So it’s necessary to ensure any message is understood or that adequate translation methods are adopted.
Diverse groups likely understand languages in different ways. So being aware of the terminology you use is also exceptionally beneficial in ensuring that messages are clearly understood.
#3. Value The Power Of A Diverse Workplace
To truly create an inclusive organization, you must understand the value of a diverse workforce. It will never work if you don’t truly value the power of a diverse workplace!
I already went over the advantages of diversity in the workplace. And if diversity management isn’t properly encouraged and prioritized, it’s difficult for those advantages to take hold.
So ensure you recognize this power and treat it with respect. That’s the best way to empower your diverse workforce!
#4. Ensure Workplace Diversity Policies Are In Writing
As I said earlier, communication is critical, especially for managing diversity in the workplace. But communication is more than just some extra Slack messages or a group chat.
As a workplace leader, it’s your responsibility to ensure that workplace policies are modernized, updated, and available. Your team should know where to find things like the employee handbook or code of conduct.
Communicating Diversity Policies In The Workplace
In almost any role, the communication of policies is critical. When it comes to diversity, ensure your employee manuals or handbooks review the following aspects:
- Ensure policies on wages, incentives, and opportunities are clearly laid out
- Your organizational goals regarding diversity management should be outlined
- Non-discrimination policies should be in place for employees to understand what is not permitted
Intertwining effective communication and transparent policies are crucial to managing diversity in the workplace. Don’t pretend that diversity is something to be neglected. It should be embraced!
When it comes to our differences, it is something to be celebrated. We shouldn’t all be the same. Our diversity gives us power and confidence, and the tools to succeed.
So capitalize upon that!
#5. Recruit And Hire The Most Qualified Candidates
We have a natural tendency to be more drawn toward people like ourselves. That’s not inherently wrong; it’s just how our minds are wired.
Whether through actual similarity or perceived similarity, we feel more comfortable with those we can share likenesses with. That’s because our minds automatically believe that interacting with people like ourselves will make us more easily likable and lead to more enjoyable interactions.
But when it comes to the hiring process, we can’t always hire the same types of people. Embracing the unknown and accepting change is an integral part of managing diversity.
Diversity In The Hiring Process
There are many reasons for this. For starters, recruiting employees from various backgrounds ensures that you’ll be able to find the right talent. Plus, a uniquely skilled and experienced team means greater productivity.
But this is an active process, and we likely need more growth than we realize. In fact, 57% of job seekers feel their employers need to be more diverse when hiring.
When seeking talent, draw from a large pool of applicants. Don’t stick to the same circle or areas to find candidates. Branch out, and experiment with the talent you find.
Hire Applicants Who Are Qualified
This seems like something many of us should already know. But it can’t be overstated nowadays.
Diversity is something to be celebrated and capitalized upon. That being said, as our modern workforce focuses increasingly on workplace diversity, many employers are starting to neglect their real responsibility and end up only hiring diverse applicants to check off boxes.
Ensure you are hiring the best and most qualified candidates, not just people who make your organization appear diverse.
Diverse teams aren’t effective if you don’t make them full of the most innovative and creative thinkers. Give new employees an equal opportunity to rise and embrace the changes that come with it.
#6. Support Your Team And Treat Them With Equality
Differences are something to be celebrated, not shunned. But, for our employees to operate with complete creative and innovative freedom, they need to feel comfortable.
To give your team the support they need, it’s critical to promote diversity!
We all know that intimating feeling we get when we are the only ones with a particular trait. It can be daunting at times. So communicate to your team that differences and individual characteristics are accepted and celebrated.
That’s when creativity soars, and a happy, healthy workplace can prosper!
If we don’t feel comfortable or accepted in the workplace, it’s hard for us to want to perform our best. As a result, it’s difficult for new ideas to blossom, and it can be challenging to be fully cooperative.
Fostering an environment of support and recognition is the first step in ensuring your employees can capitalize on their diversity! A great way to do this is by organizing a company event with a funny keynote speaker or engaging in team-building activities.
#7. Enforce A Zero-Tolerance Policy
To ensure your team can feel comfortable and at peace, establish a no-tolerance policy.
Hold your employees accountable for transgressions, and communicate the importance of an inclusive and supportive workplace. As a workplace leader, that’s one of your responsibilities!
Employees have a right to work without being discriminated against. Even offensive jokes can be detrimental to an employee’s working experience at your organization.
Our workplace should be an area where we behave professionally and respectfully. Don’t allow employees to knowingly offend someone or poke fun at their individuality.
Support your team, and give them the tools they need to succeed. Prioritize communication and individuality, and embrace diversity.
After all, we are nothing without it!
Adam Christing has been called “The Tom Brady of emcees.” He has hosted more than 1,000 company meetings, special events, gala celebrations, and more. He is the author of several books and founder of CleanComedians.com. For more event tips, follow Adam Christing on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube.