We all should know by now why promoting diversity in the workplace is something that benefits your organisation. However, what is not that easy sometimes is to actually promote it and do the necessary changes that lead to a diverse team. First of all, we are all not aware of what diversity could mean. You also might not be aware of those things, that without realising you are doing to stop diversity at your office and within your team.
Are you really a diverse organisation?
Yes, you might be hiring people from different etnias and countries, but you might only be hiring middle age rich men from those etnias. Or you have gone so far in the other direction that you are only hiring young brilliant women who had difficult childhoods and there is not a single man in your organisation.
You could also be hiring people from the same university or just single people with no family responsibilities. Well, I think you might have got already what I wanted to say…now that the concept of what diversity is actually about, it might be easier for you to act on promoting diversity in the workplace at your organisation.
How to promote diversity in easy steps
- Accommodate your office as much as possible so people with different capacities could work in there. Don’t wait until you hire someone that needs it or you will never hire them.
- A good recruitment process that is objective will really help you and set up the basis for a fair new hire. Focus on the skills you need and avoid assumptions when recruiting someone.
- Attract candidates from different backgrounds. There is no point in doing a fair recruitment process if you are only attracting one kind of candidate. It is cheating on your own system. Make sure you open it to different universities and job advertising platforms. The more places you advertise it at, the more diverse source of potential employees you will get.
- Make sure your job description is not discriminatory in any way. This might sound obvious, but you would be surprised at how many job adverts out there are age or gender discriminatory. Or even, asking for someone who is local. Most entrepreneurs would think that local people would tend to stay for a longer time with them. I could write another post about how that is not necessarily true. However, don’t take for granted that people who have to drive would leave the role as soon as they find something closer. Give them the chance to speak to them and ask the reasons for them to apply to your role (if they meet the criteria, of course)
- Once you hire them, make sure you make an effort to accommodate their needs. People with different experiences might need different learning times to adapt to your company’s culture. Make sure you introduce them to everyone and they feel at home as soon as possible, wether if they are just shy, they work remotely, or their computer is placed in a corner in the last spot.
- Avoid taking decisions around a drink at the pub on Friday evenings. It is good to have a good relationship with your colleagues, but if it is just you and your friend making decisions without consulting with the others… it will not be a decision taken with a diversity of opinions and points of view. If other colleagues need to be involved, wait until Monday morning. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying, don’t talk about projects and ideas on Friday evening… it is fantastic to have a brainstorming evening with a nice wine in front of you… just postpone the decision and present your ideas to the others when everyone is around.
- With the same concept as point 6. Don’t do important meetings in timeframes that block parents or people with dependents to attend. It could discriminate them and avoid them progressing in their careers, but also, it will leave their ideas out of the table… and that could be a dangerous problem for you and the business in the long term.
Diversity is not just one thing, it is about including everyone in every business decision and making sure you are not leaving them out, just because is more convenient to do it in a certain way. If you take 2 more minutes to think about some actions, it could really benefit your business in the long term.