Not-so-breaking news: Companies are starting to see the value of weaving in diversity and inclusion initiatives in their corporate strategy. Thanks to the shift to digital, workplaces are becoming more and more distributed. This means that it is now crucial to be inclusive of people across the social spectrum.
Diversity and inclusion also have a direct correlation to profit-making. According to a 2019 study by McKinsey & Co., companies that exhibit gender and ethnic diversity are, respectively, 15% and 35% more likely to outperform those that don't. Simply put, diversity can bring forth a variety of ideas that can lead to business success for the company.
Big ways to promote workplace diversity
1. Make diversity a priority while hiring
Workplace diversity starts from the hiring stage. When you’re hiring for a particular role, ensure that your hiring manager has a diverse set of candidates to shortlist for the interview. Give your recruiters clear metrics about the number of diverse candidates to source on LinkedIn or other job boards. Another important aspect to consider is that you have a diverse interview panel. That is, if your interview panel is all men, there are chances they might lean into hiring more men. Conversely, if your panel is representative of all genders and gender identities, you are more likely to mitigate any unconscious or implicit biases.
2. Create an inclusive onboarding process
Onboarding is all about getting new hires ramped up and contributing to their teams. But before you know it, it becomes a process-oriented experience, rather than letting employees connect with their team, role, or the company’s larger goals. A simple way to make new hires feel included is to share your company’s commitment to diversity during the onboarding session. Contextualize their experience via a buddy system or one-on-one lunches with their teammates. Ensure that onboarding content - documents about processes, the employee handbook, or an email outlining your company’s vocabulary - is available easily.
3. Build a bias-free performance review process
Unconscious biases are hidden within a blind spot in our brains. We might be influenced by these hidden biases toward members of particular social groups. Here are some examples of unconscious biases:
Small ways to promote workplace diversity
1. Infuse diversity into the company culture
If diversity is truly a priority, make sure that you turn it into a foundational element of your business strategy and company culture. Show your commitment by including a statement on diversity in your organizational values. Educate your employees on stereotypes and raise awareness about unconscious biases. Set expectations and let teams know that you are prioritizing bias mitigation. A great way to start off would be by using inclusive terminology. You could also host regular lunch-and-learns on topics like how to collaborate with diverse team members.
2. Positively reinforce diverse experiences and perspectives
Rather than having a speaker come over to talk about diversity in the workplace once a quarter, it might be more effective to create a culture of open, diversity-based conversations. Not only does this educate and build trust among your employees, but it also reinforces your company’s values. You should also make meetings inclusive - make all employees feel listened to. If you disagree with a person, make sure to respond constructively. Most important of all, have your leaders be responsible. When decision-makers stay accountable to the company values, it will demonstrate to your employees the importance of an unbiased work culture.
Reducing the impact of unconscious biases can take time, effort, and a lot of strategizing. But it is increasingly becoming important to women, Gen Z, and Gen Y workers. Taking concrete steps to mitigate such biases will yield positive results such as increased retention and employee engagement, and a healthier balance sheet.
P.S.: If you’re looking for a performance management software on your journey to create a more transparent and collaborative workplace, you’re at the right place! Book a free demo with Mesh today!