Building Workplace Diversity

Workplace diversity goes beyond complying with affirmative action laws; it’s increasingly seen as a smart business strategy for high-performance organizations. Studies have shown that workplace diversity can greatly enhance an organization’s success, and companies in most industries now recognize the powerful link between diversity and competitiveness.

The business case for workplace diversity

Workplace diversity can help an organization fulfill its potential and bring its best solutions to market. A more diverse workforce often possesses greater problem-solving and idea-generation capabilities and can help a company better understand its diverse markets.

Workplace diversity can also benefit the internal culture of an organization. Companies that develop and maintain a culture of diversity can strengthen employee commitment, heighten job satisfaction, and improve retention, thereby reducing recruitment and training costs. Such diversity can make it easier to further attract talented employees from a variety of demographics.

Externally, a diverse workforce is more likely to resonate with customers and prospects from all walks of life. All communities command purchasing power, and by embodying workplace diversity, companies can influence buying decisions across more of these communities.

Strategies for building workplace diversity

Most executives acknowledge the importance of workplace diversity, but many also cite difficulties in recruiting and retaining diverse talent. Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Widen the recruitment net. Seek ways to achieve more inclusion by getting input from multiracial and multi-ethnic employees regarding recruiting practices. Meet with cultural leaders in the community for their advice on the schools, associations, and events from which to recruit. Hold job fairs and seminars within those various communities.
  • Focus on retention. Recruiting diversity is just the first step; equally important is the effort to encourage new employees to stay on and thrive with the company. One successful initiative to consider is a mentoring program that pairs seasoned employees with new hires of different ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, or ages. The personal bond that often follows can have a positive impact on the entire organization.
  • Consider your organizational culture. Laws are in place to ensure equal opportunities, but laws can’t change how people feel and behave. Successful workplace diversity training can help employees develop empathy, understanding, sensitivity, and give them the skills to extend equal opportunities at every level.
Source : Impact Magazine

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