While quite a few businesses have been focusing on greater diversity and inclusion in their workplaces over the past year, there is still substantial room for improvement.
Research shows when companies build diverse teams, it supports higher productivity and employee engagement.
Diversity has also been shown to boost creativity and problem-solving capabilities, given a business embraced varying perspectives on its challenges. Some research on the 2008 financial crisis has shown companies with strong diversity and inclusion policies were better able to endure the situation.
Given the societal and business benefits of embracing diversity and inclusion in the workplace, consider the following ways to foster a more inclusive workplace.
Let’s Talk About Bias
Being familiar with bias and building understanding is a key first step towards genuine change.
Unconscious biases may not align with someone’s conscious or stated belief system, Being more difficult to spot, unconscious biases could be considered more important to address than conscious bias. Company leaders can begin dealing with this pernicious issue by helping workers see how individuals can be affected by unconscious bias, and what activities continue to strengthen biases. In diversity training sessions, employees could be asked to consider and review their own assumptions and potential unconscious biases.
Support Pay Equity
Company leaders are in a position to even the playing field when it comes to pay in their organization, providing fair pay opportunities for all employees. Businesses can make use of analytics to recognize which people are underpaid for comparable roles or job duties. For instance, analytics can help managers figure out pay gaps within their team, and executives can evaluate patterns across all departments to get at the root cause of issues. This approach can be very effective at recognizing patterns or emerging trends related to pay gaps for certain groups of workers. For instance, it could identify where people of color, for instance, are underpaid in a certain department or office location.
With respect to training, businesses should be sure to make a ‘business case’ for diversity and inclusion by concentrating on, relevant issues typically associated with interpersonal interactions. Along with utilizing internal training resources, an outside consultant can help company leaders build effective training programs that suit the organization and address function-specific challenges.
It’s also crucial that managers clearly communicate why training is important, how it will be done and what problems it is meant to solve. Driving home the importance of diversity and inclusion initiatives will help motivate and tie training back to larger business goals.
Look for Structural Issues in Company Policies
Organizational policies, including the ways internal conflicts are addressed – play a primary role in perpetuating problems related to diversity and inclusion.
If business managers conduct a review of policies, they can uncover and replace negative processes or structures with positive ones. Managers first should see which policies enable or perpetuate discrimination. Then reshape them to advance a more equitable workplace.
We Can Help You Meet Your Diversity and Inclusion Goals
At Career Concepts, we help our clients address all manner of personnel issues, including challenges related to diversity. Please contact us today to learn more about how we can help your company meet its many goals.