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Building Diversity: Steps to a More Inclusive Organization

There’s no doubt that you’ve heard how important it is to create a diverse workplace where everyone feels valued for who they are and what they bring to the table; but in today’s competitive business environment, it’s not enough to just acknowledge that diversity matters.

Organizations need to take concrete steps to signify their commitment to diversity as a driving force in shaping their workforce.

It’s important to remember that diversity is not just about visible differences like race, gender, or age. Diversity is also about differences in the way people think and act, as well as the different perspectives that they bring from their unique life experiences. When employers embrace diversity through this broader lens, it gives them an opportunity to adopt different perspectives, ideas, and creative solutions to create a culture and workforce that will positively impact the success of their business.  

We recognize the process of fostering a more diverse and inclusive work environment can be overwhelming for some organizations. So, we’ve put together a few steps that can help kickstart your journey:  

  1. Look at the talent you already have. Conduct a demographic analysis of your current workforce to assess where you are now vs. where you want to be in the future. Again, it’s important to have a deep understanding of diversity and acknowledge the unique attributes that make your current workforce special.
  2. Set goals. Once you have a better idea of where there might be gaps in your current workforce, set some goals based on projected needs. Having clear goals will help you hire the right people.
  3. Communicate your goals and the motivations behind them. Then see them through! Make sure everyone feels valued and appreciated by promoting a culture where there is open communication, collaboration and a genuine interest in hearing what employees have to say. Share your mission with your team and get their feedback.
  4. Lead the way. Ensure all the leaders in your organization are leading by example and managing their teams in a way where everyone feels like their voice is being heard and celebrated.
  5. Ensure that your brand accurately reflects your dedication to diversity. Review your website and other social media. Do they tell the story you want them to? Consider including a diversity statement that reflects where you stand on diversity and how important it is to your organization. Be accountable!
  6. Train your employees. Offering training around DEI&B can help people understand their own biases that they might not even know they have. When everyone is rowing in the same direction, that’s when inclusion and belonging really kick in.
  7. Get out into the community. Connect with different professional groups and industry associations to learn about what they are doing to promote DEI&B within their own organization and share your own stories.
  8. Revamp your hiring process. Look at how you’ve historically approached hiring people to determine if your practices are helping or hindering your diversity efforts. This should include reviewing language in job descriptions as well as candidate screening criteria. Make sure your interviewers are a diverse group too. Candidates want to see and talk with people they can relate to and bringing unique perspectives to your job search may strengthen the candidate pool!
  9. Create connections. Instituting mentorship programs that help employees navigate their path from day one will help new employees feel connected to their colleagues and the organization. Support like this is key for keeping employees engaged, and an engaged employee will be more likely to stick around. 

Remember, hiring diverse talent is just the start. The real work lies in developing and nurturing those people once they join your team.  

Do you want to be a best place to work? Then get ready to roll up your sleeves, as this will require a level of commitment to ensure that your workplace is a welcoming environment where all employees feel like they have an opportunity to reach their full potential. 

OneDigital offers a range of customizable and cost-effective HR solutions that enable leaders to create an environment where all employees operate at their highest potential. Read our latest blog post on skill-based hiring.