Workforce diversity is the bringing together of a variety of people to one workplace. This workplace would be comprised of people with a wide range of experiences, backgrounds and characteristics. Those key characteristics that make workforce diversity include: race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, ability and sexual orientation. Why is this important to your business? Companies that embrace workforce diversity are growing and can become more competitive, but with that workforce diversity also brings its own issues and challenges. It may be time for your business to get on board!
So why is workforce diversity important to your business? Increasing workforce diversity has a number of benefits including: creativity, innovation, positive reputation and more! Having different perspectives at your business can increase your creativity and allow people to positively collaborate with one another. This collaboration could bring additional innovation and the ability for your business to stay ahead in these changing times! And of course, celebrating diversity within a business can encourage a positive public reputation and create more devote brand fans. So why not consider workforce diversity?
With the many positives come some disadvantages including: communication barriers, resistance to change and negative attitudes. It may be difficult to bring together employees of different cultures and communication styles. Meetings and discussions could be sidelined while dealing with what should be a simple issue- communication. Your business may come across employees that are resistant to change or harbor negative feelings towards diversity.
How can your company overcome these disadvantages to make workforce diversity a well-received practice? Here are a few ideas:
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Since one of the biggest concerns with workforce diversity is communication, why not create an internal communication plan or training for your employees? Getting everyone on the same page early-on could relive unneeded stress on-the-job.
Although it may not be the easiest program to implement, mentorship opportunities can provide a great return on investment for your business. Taking the time to set up this on-going program could be a great training resource for years to come.
Open door policy
Have you ever thought of instating an open-door policy at your business? Employees are welcome and encouraged to bring concerns to higher management for discussion. This could help employees feel “heard” at your company and make them feel like part of the team.
Update policies to accommodate different cultural perspectives
Ideally, your business should update all its policies to welcome a variety of cultures and perspectives. It may be difficult to update lengthy policies at first, but making this investment in your overall business could put you at the forefront of the workforce diversity discussion.
Embracing or ignoring workforce diversity isn’t an easy choice. Whether or not you decide to utilize the ideas above- encourage everyone at your company to keep an open mind. Whatever your business decides to do- workforce diversity is a topic that cannot be ignored in today’s ever-changing world.