Perhaps you’ve already heard that for HR departments of many organizations, workplace diversity is topping their to-do lists. In fact, according to a survey by the SHRM (source), 57% of recruiters have developed talent acquisition strategies, which are aimed at employing diverse candidates.

Building an inclusive work environment isn’t just about meeting compliance-related goals and social responsibilities. Instead, a diverse and inclusive work environment leads to better performance and helps to drive innovative results, which is extremely crucial in today’s competitive business landscape.

Still, many organizations struggle with workplace diversity, failing to employ diverse individuals. If your organization also belongs to this league, this post should help you build and promote an inclusive work environment.

Understanding workplace diversity

Workplace diversity refers to the workplace that has employees with different characteristics. Diversity is distributed in two key categories: inherent diversity and acquired diversity.

The former stands for demographic characteristics such as age, sex, and race (this word should really disappear by now I think) while the latter refers to factors including education, skillsets, knowledge, experience, and values.
In an inclusive work environment, all employees with these individual differences are accepted, valued, and treated equally.

Reviewing the key benefits of workplace diversity

Workplace diversity not only uplifts your organization’s reputation but offers lots of tangible benefits too.

-Companies having diversity on executiveteams, experience considerably better earnings, as well as, return on equity, identified by McKinsey’s analysis.
-Workforce diversity and inclusion is the main driver of business growth and internal innovation, according to Forbes Insights.
-Groups having diverse problem-solvers perform better than groups having problem-solvers with high ability, shown by professors Hong and Page.
-Diversity leads to better performance for developing products and new markets, found by professor Neal and colleagues.
-Every percentage increase in racial and gender diversity has a correlation with an increase in sales revenues of around 9 and 3 percent, respectively, found by a study of over 500 organizations.
-Multicultural social networks result in increased creativity, according to research by the HBR.

Key challenges of workplace diversity and how to deal with them

While a diverse workplace offers lots of benefits, it comes with some challenges too. However, by addressing these challenges efficiently, you can help improve employee performance.
For instance, inherent diversity sometimes triggers interpersonal conflict, which can be resolved by having thorough communication.

Acquired diversity may lead to constructive debates over something. You can help those debates get resolved by encouraging them. Other common challenges of workplace diversity include managing discriminatory behavior and stereotypes, encouraging inclusiveness, managing and analyzing inclusion efforts, conducting diversity hiring, etc.

Effective tips to promote workplace diversity

A survey by Glassdoor found that 76% of job seekers and employees consider workplace diversity as a crucial factor when they evaluate job offers and companies.
You can try these simple yet highly effective tips to promote it.

Focus on the words of your job postings

The way you write your company’s job postings plays a crucial role in attracting diverse talents. For instance, stay away from using words such as “dominate”, “ambitious”, etc as these are usually associated with masculinity and hence, may not attract female candidates.

Conduct a personality assessment

Instead of asking candidates questions about their schools for instance, their past employment, etc, go for a personality assessment. This is because those usual questions often decrease the likelihood of having diverse candidates on board. On the contrary, personality assessments let you evaluate the skills, motivations, and personality traits of the candidates without leaving any negative impact, which helps to build workplace diversity.

Prioritize flexibility in workplace policies

According to several research, flexibility in workplace policies is a key factor that helps to attract diverse individuals. For instance, women prefer to have a flexible schedule and Millennials prioritize a company culture that lets them maintain a work-life balance while a long commute is a major reason many employees quit their job.

Have a diverse candidate pool

Having more diverse individuals in the final candidate pool will greatly increase your chances of being able to promote workplace diversity by recruiting some of them, according to research mentioned by the HBR.

Utilize diverse sourcing methods

instead of depending on referrals for recruiting, use online job boards and other methods as that would increase your likelihood of attracting diverse candidates, found by LinkedIn’s data and McKinsey’s research.

Wrapping up

Apart from the above methods, you should have a proper diversity recruitment policy in place. You can also consider implementing AI-enabled resume screening software and blind hiring to eliminate biases and discrimination to increase workplace diversity.

Lastly, workplace diversity isn’t a program or an initiative. It’s all about how your entire company operates and how the individuals work and communicate with
each other.
Therefore, everyone –from frontline employees to senior leaders –must understand his/her role in making it a company culture.

At InHunt World we have developed specific Workplace Diversity assistance programs, to enable you and your company to increase this central aspect of your enterprise.
Drop us a line at info@inhuntworld.com to receive a free 45 minutes consultation on this matter.