Corporate leaders recognize the many benefits of promoting workplace diversity. Forbes magazine reports that expectations of increased sales revenues and employee retention, enhanced creativity and improved innovation are some of the important gains achieved by companies successful at rolling out this type of diversity agenda. With so much to be gained, progressive company leaders are taking positive steps to reap the many benefits of a well-rounded staff that is ideally representative of the customers served.
Educate Management and Employees about Workplace Diversity Benefits
Encouraging management and employee buy-in of any new policy starts with education. Understanding the benefits of change is always the first step. Corporate politics and other complicated dynamics can be expected to challenge any idea that is new. For these reasons, a company must first get everybody on board, from the top management levels to the hourly employees before any true progress can be made. If this crucial component is skipped, it is likely the company will have managers and employees alike undermining diversity efforts. Experience shows that through conscientious commitment from top management via ongoing discussion and incentive programs, attitudes will shift and the workplace will change for the better.
Redesign Recruiting Programs and Agendas
The obvious answer to the question of how to achieve workplace diversity is to change the focus of recruiting efforts. According to the Wall Street Journal‘s article, How to Increase Workplace Diversity, developing a clear plan for reaching out to minority populations is key for success. Targeting churches, colleges and appropriate cultural groups represents an important step in the right direction. Asking employees for referrals is another strategy that has proven to work well.
Create an Attractive and Inclusive Corporate Work Culture
Much has been written about work culture and how much easier it is to attract top recruits if you make them feel like they are joining a company that cares. Offering benefits like flexible work schedules and onsite daycare are two excellent ways to attract the best and the brightest of any group. Another important way to promote acceptance of all cultures is to allow for time off for all religious holidays and to accept differences in dress as a matter of official policy.
Workplace diversity is a new business goal worthy of consideration by companies interested in taking the next step into the future. With the world growing smaller and international business becoming possible for more companies through technological changes, a diverse workplace is a must to compete. Smart leaders recognize that their bottomline will benefit from making the necessary changes in recruitment and the corporate culture to attract a diverse workforce.