Diversity management is the intrinsic approach of creating and maintaining a more positive working environment where all employees’ individualities are celebrated. The concept involves an increase in workplace acceptance and respect. This strategic process also aims to fight against stereotypes and prejudice minimising preconceived ideas helping to promote inclusion.
This type of management includes dimensions of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political, physical, and mental ability, beliefs or any other ideologies. Management should aim to promote greater inclusion of all these dimensions through the organisations structure, goals and specific policies and programs.
In recent time globalisation has thrust a more diversified way of doing business. Diversity management has become of large importance due to higher rates of working cross culturally, increase of international business partnerships and new global regulations and policy changes promoting a more diversified workforce.
Diversity management and inclusion go hand in hand when making the most positive and healthy working environment for your employees. Inclusion is when all employees feel like they belong at your company. When an employee feels included, they will feel comfortable being a part of your team, voicing their opinions and ideas, and most importantly not feeling excluded or unheard based on their identity.
Organisational performance is strengthened when diversity management is maximised within the business!
These are just some of the benefits you will notice out of your diverse and inclusive workforce.
- Improved productivity
- Increased employee creativity
- Increased variety and perspective
- Higher job satisfaction
- Improved cultural awareness
- A positive company reputation
- Stronger workplace relationships
- Boost in financial performance and company innovation
How do you Diversify your Workforce?
- It all starts with communication!
Opening effective communication channels with your employees is the best way to begin diversifying your workforce. Asking your staff what they would like to see in the way of diversity at the organisation is the most constructive form of feedback. Remember to give the option of anonymous feedback, this might help employees feel more comfortable giving their opinion. Data from surveys is also extremely useful when investigating any improvements.
Communication doesn’t just have to involve feedback! Ensuring your employees properly understand all company policies and procedures surrounding diversity management is a must. This could also mean updating any areas where people may be confused and avoiding technical jargon.
Create a greater emphasis on promoting a more diverse and inclusive working environment using verbal, non-verbal, written and visual communication. Incorporating various communication methods is a great tool to ensure all individuals no matter what their learning style, understand diversity.
- Create a plan with employees
Since we just touched on the importance of communication, creating an effective plan with the help of your employees interrelates perfectly. Involving your employees from the get-go is the best way to get them commit to the plan. Sit down with employees or if that is too difficult send them an email asking them what they think the best plan of action is for implementing diversity. Implementing a long-term plan including all levels of the organisation is critical for involvement, and it will hold the entire organisation accountable for change!
Within your plan you could also agree upon different goals that need to be met by certain dates. This will help you to continuously assess the progress of your diversity plan.
- Educate and train your staff
Knowledge and understanding of diversity and inclusion is vital. These are the building blocks of a diverse and healthy workforce. Education aims to confront stereotypes, create common team goals and focus on inclusion. Integrate workshops whether it is in person or online that employees can complete. Make them creative!
- Recognise any unacceptable behaviour ASAP
Take serious action immediately if an employee is demonstrating signs of prejudice. As discussed in our previous blog ‘how to find the cancer in your business’ if you have found a bully or racist something needs to be done ASAP. This type of behaviour and attitude is not to be tolerated. Make them accountable for their actions. A warning or even in serious cases termination needs to be considered to avoid your working environment being tarnished by this employee.
- Build inclusion into your organisation’s values
Incorporate inclusion into every single aspect of the organisation! Integrating it into your orgs overall value and mission will help to set a standard among the workforce. Create inclusive programs as well as policies in each aspect of the employee lifecycle.
- Take responsibility and hold yourself accountable
It is everyone’s responsibility to play their part in creating the healthiest working environment possible. Leaders of the organisation need to show their active participation in promoting these changes. The senior members of the organisation need to commit to the diversity strategies and goals agreed upon and be transparent with staff members always.
Take responsibility for making a positive change!
Let us know how you go with implementing diversity management and inclusion in your organisation. If you need help, give us a call today.