A diverse workplace with employees of different ages, race, religion, gender orientation, and life experiences can enhance the rich culture of any business. However, “diverse” and “diversity” can sometimes be interpreted differently, so it is important for company leaders to set the standard for cohesive diversity within the company.
Here are some ideas for best practices to create and maintain a successful and diverse workforce:
- First, be sure to follow all applicable local, state and federal laws in regard to diversity and ensure all workplace policies are applied consistently and without discrimination.
- Next, define the term “diversity” in relation to your workforce and company culture. Consider what your definition means and how it relates to obtaining the best and most qualified workers, as well as how this definition of diversity can be linked to business strategies and goals. Reflect on the background of the workplace, the organizational structure, and look for areas where diversity can positively impact the business.
- Then, define key stakeholders and work together to establish a clear and concise strategy which identifies any needed and/or desired changes to the current structure along with potential barriers that could prevent it from being successful.
- Next, outline processes for implementing your new diversity plan, which can include:
- Identifying clear goals and spelling out steps needed to obtain them
- Explaining how the steps will be applied and tested
- Noting potential employee involvement
- Defining how you will measure success (efficiency, benefits, retention)
- Identifying resources that will be needed
- Creating key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure effectiveness
- Involve all employees in the creation and implementation strategies, to help determine how the diversity will impact the organization. Clearly outline participation and expectations, along with training and cooperation at all levels. Every individual should have a sense of accountability in supporting your business’ diversity strategies.
- Finally, set measurable future goals, analyze results of all diversity efforts, and consider ongoing areas for improvement to ensure continued development and consistent successes.