Diversity in workplace, what does that mean, exactly? You’ll find enough knowledge on the internet about how it benefits an organization, than what it actually is.
So here’s a guide, decoding workplace diversity for you.
What is diversity in workplace?
Diversity in workplace means; retention of employees from different races and ethnicities, genders, religions, sexual orientations, age, social class, skills, and abilities.
To simplify further, it is having a workforce where every individual is uniquely different based on the above characteristics.
Though it is not just workplace diversity, that benefits the organization, it goes hand in hand with inclusion. To not just employ people with different backgrounds but accepting them and allowing them to be a part of the organization the way they are.
This takes serious efforts from top management, to further implementation from managers. Because even when something looks good on paper, there’s a greater chance of it not getting implemented the same way.
And without inclusion, diversity is a rather negative experience than a positive one. When people can bring their complete selves to work, they are more productive and engaged in their workplace.
Why is inclusion necessary?
Diversity is just a term for a varied workforce, what makes it work is inclusion. Let’s say your organization supports workplace diversity, and they hired someone with a physical disability, but the person does not feel accepted at work. It will turn to a negative experience for both the employee and the employer.
Every 1 in 3 disabled people have reported experiencing bias, the more visible the disability, the higher the bias.
That is why organization need to institute, Diversity & Inclusion initiatives to make the most out of diversity, as it’s just a far off dream without complete participation of the employees of the organization.
How does diversity in workplace actually help?
Diversity is more than just a social norm or some sort of doing the right thing responsibility; diversity has its benefits, and they’re worth the shot. Some of the benefits of diversity in workplace are;
Greater talent pool
Women and a number of minorities list workplace diversity as one of the most important factors to decide where to work. Being inclusive of diversity; expands the talent pool for your organization; helping you hire the best talent out there.
Creativity and Innovation
Everyone has something unique to bring to the table, having people with different perspectives on the same thing helps bring eclectic ideas into an amalgamation, supporting innovation.
With everyone having a different set of knowledge, they can provide a wide range of solutions to any given problem; as well as handle problems in multiple domains.
Along with a diverse perspective, diversity provides a wide range of knowledge; can be in terms of ethnicity, local market, language, etc. Helps organizations operate better.
In fact, as per a study from Mckinsey, diversity is a competitive differentiator shifting market share toward more diverse companies; organizations with diversity are likely to make 35% more than the industry median.
Employee Engagement and Retention
Being inclusive of different individuals will make your organization more likable place to work at.
And having diversity does not only benefit organizational knowledge, but it also helps employees learn from each other and engage more at work.
Diversity and inclusion help build better engagement at workplace, i.e. if different people feel the freedom to be themselves at work, they’re likely to enjoy working at the organization and deliver better.
How to have diversity in workplace?
The worst way to have diversity at work it to have it just for the sake of having it. Diversity is useful to bring a different set of experiences for an organization and employees, to build a meaningful culture inclusion to foster business growth.
A homogenous workforce can only help you master one facet of your business, but not the entire marketplace. And that’s how diversity is meant to be leveraged.
To have diversity in workplace, you must first start with inclusion. Build a workplace culture of acceptance towards every individual regardless of their; ethnicity, culture, religion, physical disability, etc. This will make any of the diversity onboarding efforts pay off.
And not just on the paper, but from top to bottom of management, to be employed well within the workplace, to avoid any biases or failures in inclusion policies, educate employees and managers, carry out seminars and sessions.
Imagine hiring someone from a different ethnic background to make them feel left out and aloof at your workplace, that soon might turn the workplace culture to toxic. That’s why you can’t implement a culture until it’s executed at a micro level.
Hence, ensure implementation and execution of suitable inclusion policies. Then you can get on with onboarding, where you can tap any job market to hire the best talent. Ensuring unbiased hiring processes will also help with the process.
Once you’ve onboarded, you must make them feel welcome, have policies to help accommodate new hires with the local as well as workplace culture, making them feel comfortable.
Also, different workplace activities and events can be carried out to help them connect and bond with the team. Have mentorship programs.
Once you have a work culture that supports workplace diversity and inclusion, you’ll encourage more people to work with your organization.
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