For many corporate leaders, diversity and inclusion are just buzzwords. They know that their company needs to be more diverse and inclusive, but they don’t have the plan to make that happen. At the same time, other companies have proven that a diverse workplace can be profitable and effective for employee retention and satisfaction. Diversity in the workplace can improve employee engagement and inspire innovation, which is critical for businesses to remain relevant within their industries. Here are five ways diversity in the workplace can improve your organization and inspire innovation.
Define Diversity Within Your Organization
Defining diversity for your team is essential. When you have a clear picture of what diversity means to your team, it’s easier for people to be themselves and embrace their differences. The first step in defining diversity for your team is to list all the different types of diversity important to you. Remember that diversity is multifaceted and can include everything from culture, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation; values, beliefs, interests; skills, capabilities; experience, or age. In other words: Think about what makes people unique. By recognizing these differences between people, you can encourage a more accepting and tolerant workplace that values the skills and contributions of individuals. Once you have diversity defined for yourself and your team, come up with an actionable plan on how you will apply these values to practice at work.
Create a Culture of Openness and Communication that Celebrates Diversity
Your company culture should be built to celebrate diversity in the workplace and foster openness and communication between employees at all levels. Company culture is an essential aspect of a successful and innovative workplace. Without a sense of openness and transparent communication, employees will not feel encouraged to share their ideas and insights. You can promote a positive and open company culture by holding regular meetings with all employees, holding one on ones with employees, and establishing an open-door policy for all employees. Encouraging your team to come to you with ideas, problems, and insights will help promote innovation and ensure that all employees feel valued and heard within the organization. Be sure to celebrate diversity when you can and create a culture of praise that leaves employees feeling positive and appreciated. Your organization’s culture goes a long way in retaining employees and promoting innovation at all levels.
Offer Clear Career Paths and Mentorship Opportunities
Mentorship is one of the most effective ways to retain and attract diverse talent. Mentoring can help employees grow professionally, feel more connected to their companies and confident in their careers, learn new skills, and get promoted. Mentorship programs can also increase diversity within organizations by providing a clear career path for underrepresented groups like women or people of color—which helps these groups stay engaged with their jobs. Effective mentorship programs will include employees at all levels of the organization.
When hiring and retaining diverse employees with various skill sets, it’s essential to showcase your diversity at all levels of the organization and offer clear career paths for all employees. Career paths show employees that you are invested in their professional success and development within the workplace and will encourage them to be active and engaged.
Professional Development Opportunities
Provide opportunities for employees to participate in professional development activities. This can include providing opportunities for employees to attend conferences and workshops, attend training and certification programs, or even allow them to take time off work if they are pursuing a degree at night or online. Successful leaders like Sasan Goodarzi, CEO of Intuit, understand the importance of supporting the professional development of all employees to encourage innovation within the workplace. Employees who feel confident in their growth and development will be more willing to bring those skills and insights into the workplace, where they can foster innovation and diverse thinking. Encouraging and enabling employees to pursue their professional interests contributes to an engaged workforce, a diversity of skills, and a positive work-life balance for your employees.
Hire and Promote According to Potential, Not Just Experience
Hiring and promoting according to potential, not just experience, is essential for creating a diverse workplace. You want people who have a proven track record of success. But you also want people with the will and drive to keep getting better at what they do. These are your future leaders, so don’t limit yourself by only hiring based on their current level of proficiency.
Instead, look for candidates with the right attitude: someone who has demonstrated an aptitude for learning new skills and improving over time; someone with a desire to take on more responsibility; someone who wants to learn from those around them to achieve more than they could on their own. When you hire these individuals, give them all the tools and opportunities they need to reach that potential and become essential team members. Hiring diverse team members from varying backgrounds with high professional potential and a willingness to achieve will go a long way in promoting innovation and engagement within the workplace.
Diversity is not just about race or gender. It’s about how you think, approach problems, and solve them. Diversity ensures that everyone has a voice and a seat at the table. Companies must have definitions, expectations, and a culture of diversity to encourage innovation and participation from their workforce. Creating a more diverse and mysdmc sso gocsn login inclusive organization is essential for companies to remain competitive, retain employees, and foster a positive workplace perfect for innovation.