How can I make my workplace more diverse?

Many employees are sceptical when considering whether employers are doing enough to support diversity, inclusion and equality in the workplace. It is important to improve diversity within the law but there are many ways to improve representation in the workforce. Changing the culture of your organisation will take time but with a buy-in at board level and training for managers and employees, benefits can be gained for all.

Why is diversity important at work?

Having a wider range of employees from different backgrounds in the workplace will give you different viewpoints. Your employees may come up with ideas which otherwise would never have been put forward.
When diversity is the norm, harassment is more likely to be avoided. Being treated differently at work can impede an employee’s performance and contribution at work.
Engagement can be improved if differences are embraced. Turnover can be reduced if employees feel included.
Highlighting diversity to your clients can be of benefit, showing that you are a modern, forward- thinking organisation which embraces workers from all walks of life, giving you a competitive advantage.

 Set goals and update policies

Use a range of sources when recruiting to increase diverse candidates. Think about how your recruitment adverts are worded so as not to make candidates feel excluded. Remove barriers. Women, for example, are only likely to apply for jobs where they feel they have 80% of the skills required and men exclude themselves 50% of the time. Think about the picture you include with your advertisements. Consider inviting blind applications where recruiters do not know the names of candidates.
Your aims should include gaining the widest range of benefits by cultivating a diverse workforce.

Diversity training for all

Providing diversity training for managers can help create a varied workforce as well as making employees feel valued, included, involved and having their needs recognised. With a supportive and inclusive manager workers can reach their full potential. Employee retention can be improved.
Take the opportunity to identify and remove stereotypes and biases. Remove barriers to allow effective communication.

Changing a workplace culture to embrace diversity

A diverse workforce could include people of variable races, disabled people, people of different ages and sexes or sexual orientation, employees with differing religions and people of other nationalities and cultures.
Showcase your diverse workforce on the company website, press releases and social media.
Ensure interview panels involve people from different backgrounds where possible. Make sure there is no pay gap between male and female employees and raise awareness internally of your diverse culture.
Ensure your premises are accessible and appropriate to your whole team.
Increase collaboration and mentoring for minorities within your workforce to encourage inclusion.
Consider the members of your board and senior leadership team and whether it represents your organisation.

This may seem overwhelming but take one step at a time and every change will make a difference.
Contact Liz Jewer on 07803 007591 if you want to embrace a more diverse workforce.

Get in touch

Contact Liz Jewer on 07803 007591 if you need advice about this topic or HR related services HR Think offer.