In order to be successful in the workplace, it is essential to be able to manage diversity. Diversity can be defined as differences between people in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, and religion. When these differences are not managed effectively, they can lead to tension, conflict and employee churn in the workplace.
Here are six strategies for managing diversity in the workplace, plus a little introductory guide to the importance of them.
The importance of workplace diversity
Diversity is not a new workplace concept anymore. It has evolved into a crucial component for any firm looking to create happier, creative and more productive workplaces.
In fact, diversity is a factor that job seekers consider when assessing potential employers. According to a Glassdoor survey, 67% of both active and passive job seekers think about managing diversity when evaluating job offers and potential employers.
Management must use creative strategies to manage diversity effectively. The secret to utilising the synergy that a varied workplace produces is effective management. The concept of “diversity” covers a broad range of difficult issues.
A diverse workforce also includes employees with a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, physical and mental abilities, religious convictions, racial identities and other characteristics. Diversity can benefit your team by enabling your business to understand and adapt to the complexity of the outside environment.
The role of managing workplace diversity
Diversity and equality in the workplace are in some ways ever-evolving goals that will persist for as long as your company does. Diversity efforts are not going away any time soon, and CEOs and corporate leaders should continue to prioritise diverse teams for many years to come.
The first step for interested leaders and managers should be to win over the entire leadership, which should always be supported by data and facts. So, if you want to set up training initiatives like Neurodiversity or Disability Awareness Training, you can use data to support your case and show the benefits a diverse team can bring.
In addition to training, it’s important to create inclusive policies and protocols in the workplace, such as providing adjustments for employees with disabilities or offering parental leave for both parents. This ensures that every employee feels valued and included in the company culture.
6 strategies for managing diversity in the workplace
1. Embrace diversity as part of your hiring process
It takes time to create a diversified company. If you want to be sure you’re interviewing a diverse group of applicants, try evaluating your hiring procedure.
This simple but effective technique helps to prevent hiring managers from just selecting candidates who are similar to themselves. You must take a close look at how you evaluate and select diverse candidates if you want to demonstrate that you’re serious about creating a more diverse organisation.
2. Manage diversity with leadership on board
Getting the leadership team on board with growing diversity makes life easier. Ensure the company’s executives support your efforts to promote diversity. In this way, there is a higher likelihood that the rest of the workforce will value diversity as well. The company’s culture is set by the leadership.
Depending on where they are right now, you can influence how quickly the leadership will embrace diversity. Your leaders have, at best, started initiatives to broaden diversity. In this situation, you won’t need to persuade them to become a diverse and inclusive organisation.
You’ll need to use particular tactics to win their support if not all members of the executive team agree that diversity is crucial. In either case, make the required preparations to guarantee diversity stays a fundamental business value even in the event of a leadership change.
3. Consider all diverse groups
Check both your definition of diversity and that of your leadership. Even though race is one of the first things that most people think of when they hear the word “diversity,” diversity is more than just that.
Another well-known aspect of variety is gender. Even though civilization has come a long way in this regard, more work still needs to be done. In an inclusiveness poll, one-third of female respondents still believe that voicing a different opinion will negatively affect them at work.
Gender and race remain significant areas of diversity. But it should take into account all the ways that people can differ from one another. Our variations in culture, religion, socioeconomic status, degree of education, physical capabilities, and other areas must also be taken into account.
For instance, generational diversity is a new area. This refers to the proportion of employees who are of different ages or generations.
4. Take part in diversity training
Despite the fact more individuals are becoming aware of the value of variety, it is not necessarily something that comes naturally. Even someone who appears to be inclusive on the outside can harbour hidden prejudices. This is why it makes sense for the diversity management team to offer instruction on how to create and keep a diverse workplace.
You can offer a number of different training courses to your employees to help support a diverse workplace. This could include Neurodiversity Training, to train management in how to effectively manage neurodivergent employees, or Disability Awareness Training, to create a more inclusive work environment for individuals with disabilities.
You can also offer Mental Health at Work Training, which will teach individuals about the support available for mental health issues and how to create a supportive work environment for those employees living with mental illness.
5. Implement diversity policies that support diverse backgrounds
For instance, offering perks like flexible working hours and on-site childcare facilities increases the appeal of your company to employees with a range of interests and requirements. Workers who have young children are often marginalised by the lack of such privileges. Also, take access to advantages like health insurance into account. Does it disadvantage any particular groups?
In addition to benefits, look at other aspects of your job process that could affect workforce diversity. Auditing employee forms and communication processes may be part of this. Look for potential racial biases in the surroundings by taking a walk around your actual workplace.
6. Flexible working diversity strategies
Due to the fact that some social categories may benefit more from typical working hours, flexible working might aid in addressing concerns of equality. Because typical working hours conflict with care obligations, which are disproportionately assumed by women, there is evidence that providing flexible working can assist alleviate gender imbalance in the workplace.
Flexible working arrangements are advantageous for disabled workers as well since they can help them attain a better work-life balance that takes their impairment into consideration.
Looking for an expert diversity training course?
The professionals at Thriiver can assist you in developing a workplace that truly values diversity by providing neurodiversity training, mental health at work training, disability awareness training, and more!
To assist you in supporting your employees, we also provide a variety of assistive technologies, workplace needs assessments, and other services. Our approved services are provided by skilled, experienced individuals who are enthusiastic about workplace inclusion and diversity.