6 Tips for Incorporating Diversity Among Your Company’s Employees

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Companies are most successful when they embrace and learn from different viewpoints. We live in an increasingly global marketplace – our world is shrinking. Successful leaders know that a diverse workforce is key to long-term success. Following are six steps you can take to promote diversity among your employees.

Broaden Your Talent Search
There are more talent pools that students coming straight out of a university or job seekers who post their resumes online in hopes of getting noticed. Consider recruiting veterans or enlist the help of non-profits such as the Urban League or the National Council of La Raza. Local churches, non profits and other community-based organizations also can serve as excellent sources for top-notch talent.

Be a Good Neighbor
Encourage employees to get involved with community organizations that promote diversity and inclusion. Employees can develop necessary leadership skills by volunteering and serving on local non-profit boards, your community will grow stronger and your employees will develop more meaningful work relationships while improving the lives of others.

Implement Good Policies and Benefits
Increasingly, companies are learning that today’s workforce doesn’t fit into the same cookie-cutter benefits package, so take a look at what you’re offering, and how you could better adapt to the needs of modern workers. For example, could you offer flex hours to attract more working moms? Could you allow time off for religious holidays outside the traditional? Could you offer on-site childcare, or is there a local childcare facility you could partner with to offer discounted rates for your employees? Today’s’ benefits policies and programs require outside-the-box thinking.

Require Training
It is important to reinforce your commitment to diversity and ensure that your employees are equally committed to an inclusive work environment. Periodically, review your diversity initiatives and implement training programs that support your objectives. Your training needs may differ, but employees should learn conflict resolution skills, respecting the rights and views of others within the company and how to further develop a diversity-conscious mindset.

Make It Fun
Schedule an afternoon for a potluck, and encourage employees to bring dishes from their home country. They could dress in traditional garb, and discuss the traditions and history of their culture. These on-the-job networking opportunities allow employees to spend time and learn about one another in a more causal, relaxed setting. Bonus: They’re likely to learn something they didn’t know, and you’ll be recognized as someone who promotes an inclusive work environment.

Lead From The Top
Educate yourself. Learn about your employees’ cultures, the global events that have shaped them and the challenges they face. Remember that diversity isn’t just about where we come from, but what we’ve experienced. Treat others not just how you would want to be treated, but how they want to be treated. When in doubt, ask, and when you make a mistake, apologize.

Embrace the diversity your colleagues and employees bring to the table, and you will be able to provide a welcoming work environment for all.

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