Diversity is a term which is receiving a lot of attention at present, with the majority of focus being attributed to the Gender Pay Gap and the introduction of new reporting legislation taking effect in October this year. Outside of this, diversity relates to all people who work within an organisation, with reference to providing equal opportunities, ensuring that no individual is treated less favourably dependent on who they are as a person.
Establishing a more inclusive and diverse workforce should be about celebrating the fact that we are all unique and possess different skills and attributes that add value to an organisation. Whilst creating diversity amongst your employees may seem like a challenge, taking active steps to adapt recruitment methods and the internal structure of your organisation to facilitate diversity will pay dividends for your company’s reputation, whilst also increasing the happiness and productivity of your workforce.
Focus on shared values not cultural fit
It can be easy for employers to fall into the trap of hiring candidates who hold similarities to themselves or who they feel they have the most common with. However, by adopting this approach, employers could be missing out on a wealth of talent, and in turn creating a homogenous environment. Instead recruit candidates based on shared values that align with your organisations objectives. This can act as a metaphorical glue bringing employees and employers together to achieve a common goal.
Make diversity a part of the brand
Diversity should become a central component of your organisation, not just a short-lived thought. Once you have decided on the steps you want to take to make diversity a part of your organisational values, solidify this with a clear and coherent policy. Developing a workplace policy on diversity provides employees with something tangible to get behind and support, rather than diversity becoming a superficial term which is spoken about but never truly understood.
It is important to build your own awareness of cultural differences, in addition to those of your management team, in order to ensure you accommodate these within your working practices. This should include challenging any preconceived perceptions and stereotypes, thus broadening the way you think about and approach various situations. It is also important to consider employees individual needs and develop flexible working initiatives to help accommodate these needs.
Diversity within teams
When constructing teams within the workplace, try considering how you can build diversity within them. For example providing the opportunity for employees to work alongside colleagues with different work styles, skill sets and even from different generations. Not only will you be encouraging collaboration across the entire workforce, but diversity across teams will also increase the likelihood of innovative and fresh ideas forming, aiding your business in becoming more productive and efficient in achieving your organisational goals and objectives.