Building a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace: HR Best Practices

Diversity is embracing that difference and kicking out discrimination in the work environment. It is when all employees are accepted and celebrated regardless of age, race, ethnicity, etc. Businesses like Nike and Disney are notable ambassadors for encouraging workplace diversity and inclusion. There are many benefits to building a diverse and inclusive workplace, such as:

  • Different perspectives: people with different experiences, skills, mindsets, and understandings work in harmony to solve problems.
  • Diversity builds smarter, innovative, and socially aware teams.
  • 55% of potential job seekers say they would rather work at a company encouraging diversity and inclusion. Ambitious and loyal individuals help build a productive environment.
  • Diversity also helps with customer satisfaction. A diverse workplace is relatable, socially responsible, and appeals to the audience more.

At OEM America, a PEO company, we help all small and midsize businesses achieve diversity and inclusion. We provide successful HR consulting and outsourcing services, enabling you to encourage positive changes with the best HR practices.

Understanding Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are distinct concepts, but they go hand in hand.

What is diversity in the workplace?

Diversity means accepting people from different backgrounds and helping them work together. It creates a safe working environment regardless of age, race, professional background, sexual orientation, etc.

What is Inclusion?

Inclusion helps all employees feel included, safe, happy, and respected. Inclusion is where you engage the employee in every success of the company.

Organizational success may not depend on it, but you can increase it twofold with diversity. For one, your diverse workforce will enhance creativity and innovation. In a diverse workforce, the employees can put forward solutions using their unique backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, ideas, and approaches. Here are some statistics regarding diverse workplaces that are highly motivating:

  • Inclusive workplaces are 1.7 times more likely to nourish innovative leaders.
  • Sales revenue grows 15-fold with racial diversity.
  • Inclusive teams make smarter and faster decisions because they are more loyal to the business.
  • Diverse and inclusive companies capture the market 70% more than their competitors.
  • 9 out of 10 job seekers prefer working at companies that are more tolerant of diversity.

Here’s how to build a diverse and inclusive workplace: some of the best HR practices you can implement immediately.

Creating a Diverse Recruitment Strategy

A diverse recruitment strategy ensures that when you appoint a new candidate, you do it without the bias of gender, race, gender, or ethnicity. There are a few ways of doing so, the first and foremost being implementing unbiased hiring practices. Ensure your job ad speaks to a broader range of candidates and extends your source to bring more diversity to your talent pool. Secondly, ensure you are using all online platforms to attract new talent. Make technology our best friend to find the most diverse talent to broaden your horizons.

Inclusive Onboarding and Training

Another strategy to encourage diversity and inclusion in a workplace is to have inclusive onboarding and training programs. Such programs need an external consultant to help teams understand the importance of working with professionals of varying experiences and backgrounds. Such training and programs are designed to help employees process biases and internalized discrimination.

Nurturing an Inclusive Culture

An inclusive culture is one where no employee feels like an outsider or is made to feel like they don’t do enough. The best way to do so is to educate the leaders and managers and have them train along the lines of diversity and inclusion. Once the managers know better, they will be able to hold employee resource groups and affinity networks to encourage open communication and feedback.

Addressing Unconscious Bias

Diversity may be common, but acceptance of diversity isn’t; hence, unconscious bias may occur. The next step towards creating a diverse workplace is to identify unconscious bias and reduce its impact. For example, promoting employees based on their likeability rather than performance results from unconscious bias. Another example is letting one negative trait overshadow all the positive acts of an employee.

Big names like Google and Microsoft work hard to eliminate unconscious bias from their workplaces. Microsoft arms its 160,000 employees globally with tools to tackle issues with understanding and inclusion.

Fair Compensation and Career Growth

Finally, managers promoting diversity and inclusion must pay what’s due. A safe and equal working environment ensures all employees are paid according to their performance. This means there should be no bias when paying for the same position. No employee should be paid less for their culture, gender, sexuality, or religion.

Do you want to make your workplace more diverse and inclusive this year? Contact OEM America today.

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