If you’re into building awesomely diverse teams and producing above-average profits, you probably have an employee diversity and inclusion program in place. That’s the good news. The bad news is that 75% of employees are aware of their diversity programs in their workplaces but say they aren’t effective (just ask Harvard Business Review’s survey of more than 16,000 employees in 14 countries).
So what can you do to create diversity policies that your employees actually want? And once they’re in place, how do you ensure that applicants and employees:
To put it simply, how can you make sure that diversity and inclusion aren’t just fancy buzzwords at your office? We’ve got the answers you’re looking for.
The global #MeToo movement has pushed the issues of women’s rights and gender equality into the spotlight—and hey, we’re big fans. But diversity and equality in the workplace means more than just gender representation or empowerment; organizations that truly promote equality and diversity focus on creating workforces that engage employees from different genders, cultures, ethnicities, backgrounds, ages, and specialties.
It’s kind of like the Pokémon card game—the more diverse your deck, the more powerful you are. Is football more your style? Let’s just say that you can’t expect to make a well-rounded team using only strikers.
That’s why the most innovative and inclusive companies go beyond welcoming talented professionals into their workforce; they proactively source diverse employees that can help them become more inventive and profitable. They do things like:
You can’t overcome your weaknesses if you don’t know they exist. It’s time to put on your scientist cap and conduct a litmus test of policies and procedures in your workplace.
Oftentimes the best place to start when trying to identify biases is your employees. Try an anonymous survey to gather information confidentially and analyze larger patterns of bias.
Let’s say after your analysis in step one, you notice that your minority employees constantly feel passed over for promotions. This is a common area for improvement because women and minority employees are often underrepresented in leadership positions. In fact, 50% of diversity employees say that they experience bias on a daily basis.
If there are no women or people of color within your organization’s leadership positions, you’re sending the message that women and people of color are not welcome at the leadership table. That message may be completely unintentional on your part but you still have to take actionable steps to combat this bias, such as:
Minority employees may not have access to the same informal networking opportunities that tend to organically develop between senior members of an organization and non-minority employees within the company. Help to foster networking opportunities that may not otherwise develop for employees of color.
You have some incredible policies that employees are going to love. Now, make sure that they know how to take advantage of these policies from their very first day. Onboarding is the key moment to introduce the various ways in which you help your company mission come alive.
Create a custom onboarding experience that includes a rundown of all the tools and trainings offered at your workplace—and most importantly, why you have these tools and trainings in place. It all comes back to empowering employees to be their best and feel their best at work.
Connecting diversity and inclusion programs to your company mission shows that these are foundational parts of your organizational culture and promotes employee buy-in from the start. So don’t stop at just creating world-class diversity policies—show them off in your customized onboarding program.
Don’t have a customized onboarding program that encompasses employee diversity? Check out Talmundo’s employee onboarding solution that is designed to educate, inspire, and engage.