Authentic ways to build a culture that supports diverse talents

Nothing will ensure your success as well as a well-coordinated team. While an all-round good team is usually defined by their skills and experience, it’s time to think about it a little differently – from a diversity perspective.

Because people care. Both job seekers and consumers (especially Generation Z coming and preaching) want their values ​​to be reflected in the companies they interact with. And while this is certainly important, demonstrating a commitment to diversity leads to other significant benefits to the inner workings of the company itself.

A diverse team brings great value to an organization. Different perspectives and backgrounds lead to thoughtful decision-making and greater innovation. What’s more, employees are more engaged because they feel heard, represented and appreciated.

All this translates into higher profits, brand reputation and employee retention. Here are three ways to attract and retain employees through a strong commitment to diversity:

1. Define diversity at the organizational level

Differences of race, gender and origin should be celebrated in the workplace. It all comes down to senior leaders who set the tone for the conversation and steer the vision of the organization.

So it’s also up to leaders to prepare the ground for diversity and define its purpose. It’s a common word, but its true meaning is somehow lost in its overuse and intentions – however noble it may be. For some, diversity has been reduced to “filling gaps” in the workforce without a second thought Why these gaps must first be filled. This is the classic relationship between intention and influence. To reap the benefits of diversity in the workplace, it must be clearly understood and defined.

The key is the conscious pursuit of diversity. Why is it important for your organization? And where Does it matter? It’s not just about gender and race ratios. It’s about having representation in leadership and departments, in skill sets and roles. This not only helps each team member feel included and seen, but also broadens everyone’s horizons and opens them up to new perspectives and experiences. That is why it is so important to consider every aspect of the organization and its goals. What different experiences, skills and perspectives are missing and how can the organization bring them to the group?

Don’t forget about the customer-centric aspects of the company. Who does the consumer want to see as a representative of your product or service? Who they want to see develop this product or service? Consumers want to see someone who has experienced what they have experienced and sees the world as they do. There is a certain lack of trust that comes from a long history of assumption and discrimination. Consumers want to see themselves in your brand to know that it means something to them and is presented with an empathetic, authentic place.

2. Optimize your recruiting strategies and goals

Culture starts with people. Therefore, to create a culture of diversity and inclusion, it is important to consider the talent your organization attracts and whether this translates into a diverse team. If not, your recruiting strategies will need a good hard look (and possibly a complete overhaul).

So what needs to be done to encourage diversity in recruitment? In addition to the obvious step of including people with different perspectives and backgrounds in the recruitment team, check the language you use in the recruitment process. One of the most inconvenient truths is that everyone will always have unconscious, unintentional biases because of their own upbringing and experiences. Training to spot these points of bias within your recruiting team – as well as promoting open language in posts and interviews – is one way to make the entire hiring process more open. Brett Carter, Director of Engagement at The Jacobson Group, suggests compelling ideas for screening resumes without going through personal information and using biased language detection software to fix human errors in this area.

In addition, set milestones and results for diversity in talent search. This will be easier after considering the definition and purpose of diversity and inclusion in your organization. However, this is not the end. Once promising talent crosses the threshold, leadership must keep it there. Principles with an emphasis on inclusion, transparency, flexibility and empathy are crucial. As mentioned, everyone is guilty of prejudice. That’s why it’s so important to foster a culture that recognizes and creates pathways to confront prejudice to ensure employees from all walks of life feel heard, considered and valued.

3. Lead by example

It is the leader’s responsibility to prepare the ground for diversity and inclusion in his organization. It’s not as easy as appreciating diversity on your own. You need to emphasize it in steering committees and interviews, promote it in policy and strategy, and instill it in other team members. In other words, encourage each person to feel empowered to recognize and prioritize diversity, especially other members of the leadership team. As Anita Raj, vice president of product marketing at ThroughPut Inc., a Data Consultant Automation firm that helps companies uncover bottlenecks and prioritize, explains, it’s felt at all levels.

“To remind senior leaders on the importance of diversity and inclusion as part of the company’s overarching vision,” he writes. “Communicate the impact of diversity on leadership, workforce and customers. Lead by example to inspire lasting change at all levels of the organization.”

Management should be educated and trained on the importance of diversity. Does your company have a Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Statement? If not, make one. Add it to your job postings, employee handouts, and policies and procedures so no one can become part of your team and have any doubt that DEI is your top priority.

And, as always, leave the door open for conversation. Encourage it! Be honest about race, gender and sexual orientation. Make it clear that the company is a safe space to speak openly. Employees should feel welcome to express themselves in a language they are comfortable with and to dress appropriately for the job, which also reflects their individuality and beliefs.

The world is full of people with different backgrounds, beliefs and cultures. And a workplace that doesn’t reflect the world outside isn’t authentic or effective. Senior management is responsible for driving change in their organizations each level celebrate and engage in diversity. After all, it’s great for business and people — and that’s what it all comes down to.

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