Did you know that diverse companies experience 2.3 times more cash flow with every employee they hire?
Diversity and inclusion are very touchy subjects, but ones you can’t escape in today’s world. It’s the job of business owners and company leaders to make sure the company is diverse and blends people from different groups and backgrounds.
A diverse working environment opens your business to broader perspectives and skills for your company’s benefit. Creating an inclusive work culture is essential to take your company to the next level and paint the right picture. However, this is easier said than done for most businesses, but help is on the way!
Here are a few strategies to achieve diversity and inclusion in your workplace.
Be Keen on Unconscious Bias
An unconscious bias is a stereotype and association that individuals hold outside their awareness and control. These feelings of bias run deeper than the surface and often don’t align with your declared beliefs. The first step to achieving inclusivity and diversity is identifying and eliminating inclusivity bias.
Company leaders can set up talks and seminars that actively discuss unconscious bias in the workplace. These seminars should focus on how unconscious bias impacts employees and actions that count as unconscious bias. Every employee must analyze their own unconscious biases to raise awareness.
Also, if you’re in a leadership position or influence at any level within an organization, do a reflective analysis of yourself to determine whether you also hold unconscious biases. Spoiler alert: we all do! These talks and seminars should be a continuous process to ensure you align your organization and its actions with the ideals you’ve set.
Also, consider inviting a professional D, and I keynote speaker to talk to your staff. Follow this up with D&I training for the most significant impact.
Highlight the Importance of Managing Bias
Bias among employees isn’t uncommon, and it’s your responsibility to ensure employees identify and question their biases. Encouraging cultural humility is one way to foster acceptance of cultural differences. You can first point out how different cultures are in the workplace and show respect for these cultures.
It also helps to enlist a professional to introduce the subject with tact. Hiring a D and I consultant increases the chances of your entire audience being more open and receptive. There’s always the problem of individuals becoming defensive when you broach the diversity issue. However, People don’t have unconscious biases because they choose to, but rather because of their upbringing. Also, these biases don’t mean that someone is bad but are inherent to being human. Sometimes, people need a subject matter expert to explain information in a disarming and effective way.
Ensure Pay Equity
I can’t stress this enough. Companies must ensure wages remain the same across all ethnic groups. Not doing so is brewing chaos in the workplace and setting you up for legal repercussions. The Equal Pay Act, for instance, outlaws payment discrepancies between men and women in the workplace.
It’s up to managers to ensure all employees have a level playing field in terms of wages, depending on their specific role. You can use analytical tools to identify underpaid workers who work in similar positions. After finding them, make sure their pay is the same as the other workers who do the same job.
These tools will help you identify any payment discrepancy trends that may be detrimental to your business. Conducting a promotion and pay audit will help you get to the root of the problem to act accordingly.
Acknowledge Cultural Holidays for All Cultures
Acknowledging different cultural and religious holidays is one great way to foster diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. During staff meetings, ask your staff if they have any cultural or religious holidays they plan to celebrate.
If so, make your work timetable flexible to accommodate these different holidays. Keep track of any upcoming cultural holidays and inform everyone about them.
Homogenous teams are a massive threat to DEI in the workplace. Lack of diversity prevents different groups from interacting with each other and learning more about different cultures. Mixing up your teams allows the teams to get different perspectives on various issues and sparks creativity among the group.
Have people of different genders, ethnic backgrounds, and even ages to get varied insights into a project. You might come across employees that prefer to work with a particular group of people. Use it as an opportunity to address unconscious bias in your workplace.
Instead of being too harsh and authoritative, encourage the said employee to give it a try.
Analyze Current Company Policies
You’d be surprised to learn that some of your company’s policies are at worst discriminatory and at best exclusive. Company policies and how the company handles issues may be enforcing cultural or gender biases. Exclusive company policies or culture can be the primary reasons many diverse employees leave your company and join your competitors.
A proper assessment of your current policies with an informed consultant will help you identify those that tilt towards discrimination. It’ll also help get rid of negative interactions and encourage positive ones. Remember, discriminatory policies have no place in the modern world.
Streamline Participation in Employee Resource Groups
Employee resource groups are an excellent way for companies to foster healthy relationships among co-workers. They also present a perfect platform to grow talent and develop valuable skills. By encouraging participation in ERGs, employees can connect and feel like part of the company.
Make the ERGs part and parcel of your company culture. Encourage bold initiatives from these and ensure you mix everyone up. Also, create concrete guidelines or a toolkit for setting up these ERGs.
Do your best to get senior leaders on board. Remember, these senior leaders reflect the DEI healthy of your company.
Embrace Diversity and Inclusion for a Thriving Business
Remember to prioritize diversity and inclusion to provide a welcoming working environment to a diverse group of professionals that is celebratory of differences. Prioritizing DEI will improve productivity and, consequently, increase your profit margins.
Schedule a consultation to ensure a healthy culture of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is embedded in your workplace.