Diversity and inclusion are the key to being a successful organization. A commitment to building a diverse workplace environment can not only make all employees feel welcomed and comfortable, but it can also help attract and retain the best performers, boost morale and engagement, and strengthen the employer brand. Managers are often the most powerful tools a company has for becoming a more diverse workplace, so it’s crucial to provide them guidance on how to help the cause. Learn more about what your managers need to know about diversity:
Diversity should not be an initiative, but rather a core value influencing all aspects of company culture
When diversity is thought of as a goal to achieve and mark as done, a company is at risk of tokenism instead of authentic inclusion. Managers should understand that diversity is what needs to be at the foundation of all of their decisions and strategies. Anything they do, from writing a job description to creating department policies, should start by asking themselves whether the outcome could potentially support or hinder diversity in their areas. Diversity improvements require accountability and constant reflection, so managers should make it a priority to solicit employee feedback regularly.
Diversity is crucial for innovation
Thinking outside the box and developing creative new ideas is how companies can continue to thrive in the marketplace. A lack of diversity can unfortunately discourage innovation because there aren’t that many different perspectives present during brainstorming or decision-making processes. Managers need to know that representation from various demographics will help to make the organization flourish and be in a more informed position to better serve its core customer/client base.
Diversity issues are often unintentional
Managers may understandably feel confused or defensive when they are told they need to build a more inclusive workplace environment, as they may value being accepting and would never think to discriminate. However, they should recognize that most issues with diversity are not deliberate or due to any malice but because of unconscious bias. It is very common for people to be naturally drawn to those who remind them of themselves or to have preconceived notions, and managers may not even realize it is happening. The solution is to raise awareness of bias and take steps to prevent it from being able to occur, such as by taking training to explicitly address it, as well as creating criteria for scoring candidates versus making decisions based on gut feelings or subjective judgment calls.
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