As many employers are learning, diversity is an asset as opposed to a weakness in the modern business culture. Having a variety of different voices and people from different backgrounds can help an employer when it comes to community outreach, creating new products or with basic branding. How can companies create more diversity within their organizations?
Define Diversity Within the Organization
While most people think of diversity as simply hiring more people of color, that doesn’t have to be the case. For instance, you could decide to hire more people who only have two years of college, people who have conservative views or people who once ran their own companies before they decided to rejoin the workforce. The goal should be to provide balance and alternative perspectives that force everyone to think harder and work harder to help the company reach its potential.
Keep an Open Mind on All Applicants
The best way to achieve a diverse workforce is to keep an open mind each time someone applies for a job. Even if the applicant’s job history or previous educational experience doesn’t necessarily imply a good fit for an open position, you may want to take a chance on someone with a good cover letter or extensive volunteer experience. You should also keep an open mind when it comes to cross-training or promoting your workers. For instance, offering a full-time management job to a single mother who is currently only working part-time can show that you are open to promoting anyone who works hard and is willing to learn.
Get Everyone on Board With the Hires
If you are trying to promote diversity in a workplace that is generally homogeneous, you will want to take some time to get everyone used to the idea of diversity at work. Make sure that you are only hiring or promoting those who are qualified to fill the openings that you have within the company. If workers feel like they have been passed over or let go for the sake of a quota system, you could have a morale problem. Instead, present it as an opportunity for everyone to learn and become better employees who will be rewarded with additional chances to advance based on what they learn.
Diversity in the workplace is something that all employers should strive for. It will create goodwill in the community, will help a business stand out in its industry and directly help an organization make more money. With so many benefits to a diversified workplace, employers that want to compete in the 21st century would be wise to look at people of all backgrounds and walks of life when filling job openings.