It’s no secret that cultivating workplace diversity is a growing priority among employers. In fact, employers’ number one priority in 2018 was the attainment of workplace diversity – and for good reason.

While the greatest reason to diversify an organization should undoubtedly be to foster a more fair and equitable world, it turns out that there are direct benefits to organizations as well. Diverse companies demonstrate higher levels of creativity and are 1.7 times more likely to be leaders in innovation; exhibit faster problem solving than companies whose team members are cognitively similar; and report 19% higher revenue. They also have greater employee engagement and reduced employee turnover.

Luckily, there are some tried-and-true ways to diversify your pool of employees and reap the rewards of an inclusive workplace.

Employers should begin by conducting internal assessments of their organizations. This means determining their current levels of diversity, identifying their high-performing or promising diverse employees, and assessing the available support system for these individuals. When self-assessing, it is important that employers remember that diversity encompasses far more than just race: it includes gender, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, and veteran status.

Armed with this knowledge, employers should then take steps to nurture existing diversity. They can promote their standout minority employees, create employee resource groups (ERGs), and develop special educational and professional programs for diverse individuals.

Empowering and promoting diversity within a company is not a holistic solution, however. It is essential to also attract diverse candidates to build upon the current diversity of your organization. The previous changes – including ERGs and diverse leadership – will help improve your reputation as an inclusive employer, but other steps need to be taken to ensure that a variety of different candidates are applying to your jobs. These steps should include:

  • Writing inclusive job descriptions. Job descriptions shouldn’t include unnecessary jargon that can potentially confuse candidates. Further, the job requirements listed in a description should be limited to just that – absolute requirements. No gendered language should be used, either.
  • Featuring diversity on your career site. Do your best to feature authentic diversity on your career site. This includes not only imagery but things like featured articles too.
  • Investing in and forming relationships with diverse groups. This means groups such as historically black colleges and organizations for racial and ethnic minorities, women, and LGBTQ individuals. Establishing a physical presence and showing an active interest in these candidates will show that you are not only a source of support but a great choice of employer too.

As studies well beyond this article have shown, a diverse and inclusive work environment benefits organizations further than simply checking boxes and meeting quotas. Inclusivity is key to any organization’s efforts to sustain growth and innovation, regardless of the market in which they operate. While cultivating an inclusive environment takes time, dedication, and a commitment to change, study after study continue to show that it is well worth it.

Curious about where to start or how to better communicate the efforts already in place? Let’s talk. We’ve helped hundreds of companies do just that.

 

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