By Acara Solutions Business Development Specialist Melvin Lovelace
Any hiring manager or HR professional will preach the importance of workplace diversity—but what are we actually doing to diversify the workplace? For me, there are four key benefits of creating an inclusive workplace. Here’s what they are and—more importantly—how you can bring them to life at your business.
1. Workplace diversity increases creativity.
With a wider variety of people to work with, employers can collect fresh perspectives that lead to more solutions for customers. Conversely, a homogenous group of likeminded individuals might produce similar suggestions, reducing creativity and limiting your collective output. When we diversify our workforce, we:
- Unify people from different backgrounds
- Create better opportunities for creativity
- Generate a variety of solutions to achieve a common goal
- Improve chances of finding the most workable answer
- Generate better bottom-line results
Tip: Prepare for launch.
The HR Gazette suggests that “top-level management should take the initiative in planning diversity efforts prior to officially introducing an organization-wide initiative.” This initiative would involve:
- Allocating budget
- Sourcing educational materials
- Forming a diversity committee
- Setting a timetable for committee meetings
- Hiring a consultant
2. Diverse leadership means team unity.
Diversity in leadership allows managers to bring in new skills and methods for achieving unity within their teams. And then, once you get these folks together, you can give them opportunities to share and celebrate their differences among others. This should set the tone for company collaboration among the rest of the company.
Tip: Celebrate employee differences.
According to SHRM, “One of the most important ways to show employees that you respect their backgrounds and traditions is to invite them to share those in the workplace.” To do so, consider incorporating:
- A meditation or prayer room for moments of privacy
- An accessible and inviting open-door HR policy
- Culturally diverse events or celebrations, such as potlucks
- Accommodating schedules for people of various faiths
3. Bilingual workers give you an extra edge.
Is your company planning to expand into a global market? Is your key customer base located in another country? Does your audience represent a variety of nationalities? This is where language diversity becomes an incredible asset.
For example, a company with employees fluent in Japanese and who understand Japanese culture experiences will have an easier time communicating with representatives from Japan. Or, if you’re recruiting employees in a heavily populated Hispanic region such as Southern California, your Spanish-speaking recruiter will probably have an easier time filling positions in those area.
Tip: Incorporate translation technology.
It can be hard to hire multilingual employees, which is why Microsoft offers several translation tools that “can go a long way toward making your company more inclusive, more creative, and stronger.” Such tools include:
- Built-in text translators
- Video conferencing with translation services
- Group collaboration software with voice and text translation services
4. Workplace diversity personifies equal opportunities.
Job seekers are drawn to companies with diverse workforces because they know the company doesn’t practice employment discrimination. Put simply, potential employees want to know that of race, ethnicity or gender. Not only do these equal opportunity employers attract more talent, they’re also better positioned to retain existing talent because workforce diversity is directly correlated to high employee morale. And as we all know, a higher morale means more productivity.
Tip: Promote your diversity online.
When you’re marketing your brand on your websites and social media, make conscious decisions of who you’re depicting and why. According to Workest, you should “choose images that best reflect the visible minorities, women, or differently-abled individuals that make up your workforce.”
Be careful, though. As with all things social media, you’re running the risk of misrepresenting yourself or others—and the negative fallout from social media mistakes can be devastating. With this in mind, here’s the best piece of advice: be authentic.
For more insights about talent and recruitment strategies from Melvin, connect with him on LinkedIn!