How to effectively handle employee diversity at the workplace

By November 28, 2017 No Comments

Today’s corporate environment is steadily becoming more fast-paced as well as competitive. As a a leader, the time is now to reflect on last year. One of the key issues that will be relevant for leaders in the years to come is diversity.

Diversity goes beyond the ethnicity of an employee. Diversity incorporates: age, gender, social class, religion, political beliefs, and much more.

As a leader within an organization, it’s important that the workplace has an inclusive environment that includes diversity because the end result will be the eradication of gaps in regards to talented candidates.

It will also allow the company to be more competitive in the market. 

Diversify Your Organization

These are important steps to consider when it comes to diversifying your organization.

1. If diversity has not been a top priority within your organization, the very first step you have to do is to plan diversity efforts before the initiative is introduced to the entire organization.

While planning, you have to consider:

  • Budget
  • Training and educational materials
  • Creating a diversity committee
  • Hiring a consultant

2. You also have to compile a framework that will provide clear direction for the diversity campaign. Some of the items you need to consider in the framework:

  • Criteria that will measure the success of the diversity initiative
  • Notate the expected benefits

3. Implementation is the next step in the plan. During this step, you will need to not only provide insight, but obtain insight from the selected individuals who are on the diversity committee. At this point, accomplishments need to be communicated to the organization via email, newsletters, meetings, etc. You might want also consider bringing in a professional consultant.

4. You need to encourage the employees to take part in the diversity-related trainings and programs. Then also collect feedback from those who took part in the trainings and address the reactions from the participants, especially the ones that deal with diversity.

5. An informal evaluation will be needed. It is through this effort that you’ll see how the diversity efforts impact the organization, so make sure the design and methodology of the evaluation allows that analysis to be conducted.

6. After the evaluation, has been analyzed that the next step would be to use those results to improve and redefine the goals, existing systems as well as implement new ideas and plan for the future of the organization’s diversity efforts.

7. The last step is to identify what workplace diversity methodologies were the most effective and prepare to incorporate those methodologies into the organizational goals and plans as well as the culture.

Now, if your organization already has diversity initiatives, keep some of these do’s and don’ts in mind when enhancing your diversity efforts:

Recruitment Diversity

  • The next time you post a job ad, do not frequent the typical hiring networks that tend to have applicants with similar interests. If you do, that will leave you in a position where the culture of your current workforce, will remain the same. Instead, try reaching out to some of the local organizations within the community. These organizations already have relationships with churches, universities and colleges, non-profits, as well as many others in the area.
  • Make sure that your job posts clearly state that your organization is against discrimination and explain the organization’s diversity initiative. By including that in your job posting, it will make it clear that the organization is seeking diverse candidates.

Hiring Diversity

  • When it comes to the hiring criteria, make sure that you don’t give too much weight on a candidate’s grades. Try to consider recommendations from former employees, professors. Even consider the training or awards that were received in the past.
  • Make sure that the hiring panel itself is diverse when it comes to hosting interviews. This will guarantee fairness.

Employee Retention Diversity

  • Once these individuals hire into the organization, do not just stick them in certain departments. Scatter them throughout the organization and allow them to have opportunities for networking and team building activities.
  • Make sure the policies that are created are diversity-friendly and encourages the inclusion and diverse work culture. Allow the employees to have leave options, flexible schedules and benefits that will help to have the work-life balance and keep them motivated.

When it comes to creating a diverse workplace, it will have its challenges. The entire process will be complex, however, the reward will be great and worth the effort that leaders, not only within Human Resources, but also throughout the entire organization, will put forth. Employees will also be more motivated.

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