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Best Practices - Diversity at the workplace

Updated: Nov 22, 2023


Diversity at the workplace best practices

In an increasingly globalized world, embracing diversity at the workplace is a key driver of building successful businesses that value their employees and put them first.


What is diversity at the workplace?


Diversity at the workplace is the presence of individuals with distinct identities including but not limited to race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, age, life-stage, disabilities and professional experience. A diverse workplace is a reflection of the diverse society we live in. The combined power of the varied and rich experiences of a diverse workforce can lead to innovation in products, policies and processes.


Best practices for diversity at the workplace


Diverse Hiring


Companies should evaluate the composition of their workforce against demographic and cultural parameters and make a note of any skews or gaps in the data. They should then scrutinize the hiring process and identify the practices that are causing the skew in data. For example, if women constitute less than 20% of the applicants, it would be advisable to evaluate job descriptions for gender-specific language that discourages women from applying. It is best for companies to have hiring processes that are free of bias but are cognizant of the challenges of underrepresented groups. Conscious efforts to mitigate unconscious biases will help create and maintain a diverse workforce.


Diversity within teams


Organizations should ensure diversity permeates within teams. This implies going one step further beyond diverse hiring and providing equal opportunities in different departments. A marketing team that is diverse will be able to create marketing communication that resonates with a wider audience and will also be mindful of the language and images used to convey the message. Similarly, a diverse product development team can provide practical suggestions to improve the product and make it more accessible to all.


Celebrating Diversity


Diversity should be celebrated at the workplace. Having a dedicated Employee Resource Group (ERG) program with multiple ERGs is a great way to acknowledge and celebrate diversity. By providing a platform for ERG members to share their personal and professional stories, experiences and challenges, ERGs create a safe space for diverse employees. Organizations can celebrate Heritage months to increase cultural awareness among employees. Multi-ERG events are also effective in driving the message of diversity and inclusion through collaboration.


Diversity Training


Diversity training is a formal initiative taken up by organizations to educate employees about what respecting and embracing diversity at the workplace entails. It addresses unconscious bias and microaggressions and how they can be identified and overcome. The training program should ideally be customized for your organization and its D&I goals. Workplace sensitivity initiatives can create a positive work environment and make employees feel valued. Diversity training should not be a one-time activity. It should be a continuous program for the entire workforce irrespective of their designations.


Mentoring


Organizations should create mentoring programs tailored to support diversity at the workplace. Mentoring programs that provide employees from underrepresented groups with mentors help increase diversity in leadership positions by creating a pipeline of high-potential diverse employees. Similarly, employees belonging to diverse backgrounds can provide reverse mentoring to those in leadership positions to help them understand the lesser known issues of underrepresented groups. ERG mentoring is a type of mentoring within ERGs, among ERGs and by ERGs for the organization. It combines the value of ERGs and mentoring programs to create a more nuanced employee program. ERG mentoring programs can be created and managed in comprehensive employee engagement software solutions like Teleskope which has ERG management as well as mentoring capabilities on one platform.


When best practices for diversity and inclusion are implemented by an organization effectively it creates a workplace that cares for employee well-being.


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