In the workplace, diversity is a hot-button word. Everyone is working towards creating diversity initiatives to make people feel welcome in the workplace. Diversity brings a number of benefits to any company such as a wide range of talent, innovative ideas, and improving employee performance.
One of the biggest challenges that companies face is how to properly spread diversity initiatives. Traditionally an HR initiative, these initiatives are being taken over by anyone who wants to contribute to the company culture.
In this post, we share five ways that you can spread diversity in your workplace.
Create a “culture captains” team
A “culture captains” team is a great way to bring together people from across a company or an office. The goal of this team is to band together to work on greater diversity initiatives. This works especially well if your office is spread across different departments, bringing diverse viewpoints. It gives employees a chance to come together to create change in the workplace.
Culture captains can create events that raise awareness on many diversity issues in the workplace, such as gender and the LGBTQ community. The goal is to raise awareness for these issues and get participation and support from employees. For example, if you are doing something geared towards gender, make sure that there is equal emphasis on men and women and the issues that they face. Creating an event around this is a great way to bring the office together.
Educate yourself and employees on unconscious bias
Unconscious bias is when we have a bias without realizing we have one. This issue is especially prevalent when it comes to diversity. Oftentimes, employees don’t receive training on how to spot it within themselves. This is an excellent opportunity to provide company-wide training so employees can spot their weak points and be aware of potential pitfalls—for yourself and those around you.
In terms of training, you can do a number of things. Firstly, you can distribute a quiz that either you create or pull from a credible source that employees can take to see what their base level is. As a follow-up, you can either host a virtual seminar or one in the office for employees to attend. The purpose would be to learn how they can be aware of unconscious bias and know how to properly deal with them.
Develop a formal mentorship program
Many times, a mentorship program is overlooked by managers as being an important step in employees’ career development. Most of the time, it’s left to employees to decide if they want to pursue mentorship and facilitate the conversation. Mentorship can be left very inconsistent across the company; some managers or teams might require it, while others do not. To solve this, work on making it a company-wide initiative.
There are numerous benefits to having a mentor. They can help you form a strategy for your career, help you with the day-to-day problems you may face, and be an ally for any conflicts that may arise. More importantly, a program like this helps to break down barriers and start conversations among different groups. Interactions between these different groups, especially when working towards a common goal. This often leads to more openness and breaking down barriers to find similarities.
Spread the word that diversity increases revenue
Not only is diversity good for company culture, but it’s also great to help increase revenue. When a company is more diverse, they are able to win top talent and increase employee satisfaction. This leads to a higher level of innovation, which in turn leads to more ROI and revenue — 35 percent for ethnically diverse companies and 15 percent for gender-diverse companies.
When executives see that there are numbers that back up, they tend to have a change of heart when it comes to continuing to grow diversity in organizations. Demonstrate the value of diversity on your bottom line by increasing diversity in your group or team. Then take the data and share it with senior leadership to show how diversity can really make a difference in how the company performs.
Let diversity be top of mind for executives
The only way that diversity can be practiced and expected among employees is if it comes from executive leadership. If a company wants to switch to more of a diverse mindset, it needs to start from the top. This means that executives need to make it top of mind in their own agenda in order for it to trickle down the command chain.
The easiest way to do this is for executive leaders to outline this goal in their yearly or quarterly plans and share it with their greater team. This communicates to employees that this is a company-wide initiative and that the team needs to work as a whole to execute on it.
Create more diversity in your workplace today. You won’t only see it positively reflect in your employee’s performance, you will be a positive impact on your bottom line and quality of innovation. Start implementing these ideas today!