5 Ways for Employers to Promote a Diverse Workplace

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5 Ways for Employers to Promote a Diverse Workplace

Pundits have long proclaimed that the world is getting smaller, but the internet has virtually shrunk our planet to the point that anyone can now access the globe at a whim and from the comfort of home. In other words, diversity is at our doorstep. And plenty of companies are discovering the advantages to be gained by hiring a diverse workforce consisting of employees of different gender, sexual orientation, age, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, education level, and more. Diversity allows companies the opportunity to plumb different perspectives, employ various knowledge bases and skillsets, understand a wide range of opinions, and cater to entirely new markets. But cultivating a diverse workplace is not without its challenges. So here are a few ways for employers to effectively promote a diverse workplace and gain the benefits that result.

  1. Increase the applicant pool. If your workplace is not very diverse at the moment, consider where your applicants are coming from and where you’re currently recruiting. By casting a wider net and targeting a more diverse range of potential employees, you have a better chance of creating the diverse workforce you’re seeking.
  2. Implement a zero-tolerance policy. This may sound counterintuitive when you are trying to encourage all of your employees to be tolerant of each other’s differences, but you should bolster this directive with consequences for failure to act in an appropriately respectful manner in the workplace. In other words, you need a zero-tolerance policy in place for bigotry or harassment of any kind. This isn’t to say you need to leap to immediate firing for first offenses. But you should definitely have a system in place that includes mediation of some kind so that injured parties can air their grievances and everyone has a chance to come to an understanding. And if intolerant behavior continues, protocol should include reprimands and even firing should employees persist in making the workplace uncomfortable for one person or one group.
  3. Engage in team-building. Once you have a diverse team of workers in place, how do you get them to work together? Simple: show them how they’re alike, as well as how their differences contribute to the success of all. In other words, engage in team building. When people are forced to work together to solve problems in order to achieve a common goal (completing an obstacle course or an escape room challenge, just for example), they can start to see each other as people, noting their sameness and promoting camaraderie. However, the different ways in which they approach challenges can also be a boon, allowing them to celebrate the unique skills that each individual brings to the problem-solving process.
  4. Reward based on merit. It is not uncommon to base bonuses, promotions, and other rewards on salary or seniority, just for example. But merit-based rewards that rely on performance, especially those that are based on team performance, help to elevate all workers to their highest level and support equality.
  5. Implement education and training. You may face an uphill battle when you opt to promote diversity in the workplace. But with proper education and training you can put your employees and your business on the right track. So follow a publication like DiversityInc for topical and informative content and implement a system that includes ongoing training and education for your staff.

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