Worldwide, diversity is gaining momentum as organizations strive to create a more diverse workplace. While some companies work towards it to meet compliance regulations or due to board or shareholder pressure, others look beyond compliances to create a diverse workforce that contributes to the business’s long-term growth and performance.
Many organizations that implement diversity programs fail to retain their diverse talent due to the lack of inclusivity in the workplace. Although the process of implementing diversity comes with challenges, the rewards outweigh them. The most significant reward is innovation, as diverse teams inevitably outperform homogenous ones, increasing business revenues. Besides, in the current scenario, companies that lack diversity are more likely to lose business and face challenges in recruiting new workers.
In general, companies successful at implementing diversity can be identified by 6 key characteristics.
An employee contributes his best only when he feels a sense of belonging, and it doesn’t occur overnight. Building an inclusive culture takes time. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating an inclusive environment. Analyzing successes and failures in implementation and experimenting with new things can help in building an inclusive culture. Also, diversity and inclusion go hand in hand. So, you can work on both initiatives simultaneously to achieve diversity in the workplace.
In most organizations, HR is responsible for rolling out DEI programs. However, the initiatives will likely fail unless the leadership buys into the program’s benefits and empathizes with the efforts. It takes more than leadership support for diversity to thrive in an organization. Leaders need to feel an emotional and intellectual connection with DEI initiatives, as only then can they be successfully implemented to build a diverse organization with an inclusive culture.
In many organizations, diversity initiatives focus on compliance rather than all-encompassing measures to ensure that the values and experiences of every employee matter. To create a diverse workplace, changes should be made at every level of the company to foster an inclusive culture where leaders and entry-level employees fit in comfortably.
Hiring is the first step to increasing diversity in the workplace, but it doesn’t guarantee inclusion. Successful organizations look beyond hiring diverse candidates to fulfil quotas. Instead, they make diversity and inclusion a part of daily processes to provide a safe and secure environment where employees thrive, leading to career growth and retention.
Implicit bias training and other initiatives help make employees aware of the need to celebrate differences and be inclusive. However, the efforts to create an inclusive culture should be a continuous process that goes beyond training. The best way to achieve it is by identifying champions across teams, departments, and levels, equipping them with the requisite skills to bring a change in thinking to make inclusion a part of the environment.
It doesn’t suffice to make changes within the organization without considering how customers perceive your brand. Building an inclusive workplace necessitates reviewing whether the brand’s culture ties in with the expectations of the customer base and revising strategies to bring about the required transformation.
In conclusion, diversity and inclusion initiatives need to be ongoing and comprehensive, covering programs, processes, behavior, and habits across every level of the organization. Moreover, implementing initiatives cannot succeed without open and honest communication, sharing of successes and challenges, and regular reviews and feedback to alter strategies and action plans sooner rather than later.
At Diverseek, we help our clients take the first step towards building a more diverse workforce. We use a combination of data-driven insights, expert-led evaluations, and assessments by our dedicated team to improve the hiring experiences and outcomes.