More and more companies are realizing the operational and organizational benefits of diversity policies. Encouraging and embracing different cultures and viewpoints drives innovation, increases employee productivity and lowers employee turnover rates. Here are five remarkable changes being made in diversity policies across various industries.
Many companies originally approached diversity from a compliance perspective. That is, they only were interested in adhering to legal regulations and friendly PR practices. However, the first in building a truly inclusive organization is through declaring that diversity is more than establish demographic quotas and conforming to affirmative action requirements. In today’s business world, diversity is all about building a workforce that accurately reflects the diversity of the customer base. As a result, demographic diversity leads to diversity of thought.
Improve Talent Pools
Job candidates must compete for available positions, but companies must also compete to retain top talent. More and more experienced workers are retiring or leaving the workforce than entering it, so companies need to creatively come up with ways to recruit and retain employees. Nowadays, this means relying less on traditional hiring sources, such as exclusive universities and industry organizations, and more and innovative and inclusive hiring initiatives.
Unfortunately, some employers still avoid hiring certain demographic groups because they are unwilling to make accommodations, which often cost money and require operational changes. Now, companies realize that making accommodations are excellent PR and marketing points. For example, promoting the fact that the company is open to hire veterans creates a positive, patriotic attitude towards the company. To attract and retain veterans, companies must value their military experience and make scheduling accommodations for required military duties.
Companies may already have hundreds of diverse employees, but may lack ways to help similar people connect with each other. Diversity revolves around celebrating differences, but also leveraging similarities. In order to avoid employees from feeling isolated, organize employee support groups that will become internal communities within corporations. This will encourage people with similar experiences and backgrounds to connect, network, mentor and socialize. These groups will increase employee engagement and satisfaction levels.
When it comes to marketing and public relations, diversity policies and programs are excellent ways to promote the company mission and brand. Continually informing the community that the company proactively promotes diversity will increase brand awareness and customer engagement. For instance, show the public that the organization cares about diversity by promoting employee-based volunteerism and providing corporate-sponsored initiatives to raise funds for different causes. Many successful corporations give every employee one paid day off every year to participate in a noteworthy cause of their choice.
Overall, businesses will boost innovation, teamwork and revenue through bringing people of varying cultures and backgrounds together. Diversity and inclusion policies will continue to expand as companies understand the impact they have on training, leadership, recruiting and community engagement.