Diversity harbours creativity, adaptability, and great ideas. Companies should strive to exemplify what diversity can bring to the table, and how it can contribute to each part of the company’s success.
A strong company culture that aligns with diversity should be one that greatly encourages open communication and feedback. When these aspects come from the mouths and minds of a varied group of people, it brings more ideas and ways to adapt your company culture to your employees’ needs. This includes eye-level communication across the board, and respect among employees, as well as between employees and senior management.
Part of respecting your diverse employees is to honour their time and commitment to the company but also to their personal lives. For that, flexibility is the name of the game. It would be smart for flexibility to take priority when it comes to employees handling their tasks as well as their personal issues outside work. Professionally, employees should be able to define their working routines and approach their tasks as they see fit, giving them the ultimate professional flexibility. This also helps them handle a healthy work-life balance.
An additional aspect of keeping a diverse company thriving is to instill a complete level of trust amongst employees, and between employees and senior management. Senior management should always listen to employees’ comments, concerns, and even criticisms, and take the necessary actions to adjust and enhance the company in any way possible. For example, a yearly anonymous survey asking employees for honest feedback about their positions, the company culture, activities, trust and more, is a good way to start. Companies can take said feedback and use it to enhance or replace processes and make necessary improvements.
On top of a yearly survey, roundtable discussions with each employee, where they can raise concerns and give feedback about the company and its operations, is also a great way to build a better company culture. Have the CEO and other key stakeholders in the company present to further encourage eye-level communication and respect between employees and senior management.
Another way to encourage diversity in the workplace is to recognize employee strength and excellency, regardless of their background, and promote them within. High volumes of internal promotions and mobility attest to the support employees receive in their roles.
To preserve and raise the levels of diversity and inclusion in the company, many tactics and processes should be deployed to find and continue to hire employees from different communities. Get in touch with organizations that help your company reach out to certain communities. Ensure your recruiting go-to-market strategy includes reaching out to various communities. You might also find an employee friend referral program beneficial to this cause. Encouraging employees to bring their friends from diverse communities to join the company, not only does it help the organization grow, but also helps with diversity.
It is important to remember that diversity is not just about the hiring process, but the employee experience on a day-to-day basis. Your employees spend so much of their waking hours with your company, so you want to ensure that their experience is a positive one. Let’s tale gender biases as an example. To ensure a fair work environment, monitor salaries to guarantee there are no wage gaps and employ and support women who are pregnant at any stage of their pregnancy. Such an approach will also allow you to reach out to a wider audience of men and women alike, especially if you consider allowing for paternity leave in addition to maternity leave. It is a win-win-win for all. Moreover, leading by example would be your best bet. Make a point to appoint women to management positions and maintain an equitable gender representation. As your company grows, keep the state of mind that women should continue to climb and be represented at top positions, allowing the company to grow from within. Although there are low numbers of women in tech, there are many excellent candidates. Make it a priority to actively seek out those women and hire them. This can be said for every group that lacks representation in the workplace, not just women.
From company culture, professionalism, and opportunities to senior management and employee advocacy, it is the diversity of the company that leads to greatness and not the other way around. It is with a diverse group of employees and senior management that allow for innovative solutions are brought about to everyday challenges. Championing diversity and inclusion teaches us to be flexible and adaptable and to instill trust and openness among employees. Adopting these principles would be a service to any company.
Written by Maya Steiner, COO at vcita