Posted in:Talent Management
As an employer, it is important to take steps to help foster a diverse workplace and to proactively meet any associated challenges. Some ways to nurture diversity in your organization may include:
Create an Inclusive Workplace Environment
Collaborative areas that encourage greater interaction. Create physical places where people can congregate and spend time in each other’s company. By doing so, you can tap into the synergies associated with collective thought and diverse perspectives.
When creating such places consider the varying needs of your diverse team members by ensuring fully accessible entrances/exits, installing gender-neutral bathrooms and possibly considering a dedicated nursing room for mothers. Any changes to the physical environment that make it more inviting for everyone will help emphasize the inclusivity of your workplace.
Commit to Cultivating Your Own Cultural Intelligence
The same is true when considering the cultural and religious differences of your team. Take the time to appreciate and learn about people. Most are very excited to share their backgrounds and traditions. Organized social events for your employees that are centred around a culturally diverse holiday calendar that shares celebrations from around the world can be a great way for team members from different backgrounds to connect.
Large events may not be practical for all businesses, but in smaller organizations, even personally acknowledging significant cultural dates and being sensitive to regular cultural or religious practices also goes a long way.
Evaluate the Diversity of Your Own Team
To promote an inclusive and diverse workplace culture, it helps to acknowledge the makeup of your own team, especially those in the executive branch. It is essential to have a diverse management group across gender, culture and age when preparing for future growth. The optics of who makes up your management team is important to the public perception of your company.
Incorporate Diversity into Your Recruitment Strategy
Diversity in your top branch can also help avoid alienating new hires coming from these different backgrounds, as they will be more motivated to be themselves and engage with a group that is openly inclusive of the diversity they bring to the table. Hiring for diversity alone is not enough without also establishing a culture of inclusivity, in which the ideas of everyone from all backgrounds is candidly embraced in the workplace.
Communicate that your business is committed to diversity in your job postings by highlighting your anti-discriminatory policies and using gender-neutral language in job descriptions. Diversity is fundamentally about giving everyone a fair opportunity in acquiring and retaining employment, so ensure that objectivity and fairness are at the forefront of your screening and interview process. Similar to the perceived image of your business based on the makeup of your management team, it is equally important to form a diverse panel to conduct job interviews for the same reasons.
Commit to Building Intercultural Understanding
Take the time to educate yourself about different cultural traditions and world perspectives and consider how they might apply to your business. A better grasp of different cultural backgrounds can significantly improve communication and prevent misunderstandings. In today’s world, cross-cultural communication is increasingly common in the professional workplace and actively engaging your colleagues from different backgrounds will allow you to more easily see common ground through a greater sense of cultural sensitivity.
Here to Help
Would you like more information on building a diverse workplace or do you have other employee management questions? We can be reached for a free confidential consultation at +1-403-470-5350 or [email protected].
For further details on how Honiva helps businesses build great HR programs, please view our service offerings.
Other articles you may be interested in: