August 7, 2023

9 steps to make your workplace more diverse

Increasing workplace diversity is an ongoing journey that requires dedication, smart strategies, and embracing different perspectives, and the rewards of it are incredible, find out here 9 steps to create an environment that thrives it.

Making your workplace more diverse isn't just a nice idea—it's crucial for your organization's growth and success. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to create an inclusive and diverse environment. Let's dive into the steps and strategies to bring the diversity to your company.

Step 1: Create a DEI Strategy

To get started, develop a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) strategy. Get everyone involved, including the big shots, to show their commitment and support. This strategy should outline clear objectives, timelines, and ways to measure progress.

Here are some tips on how to create it.

Conduct a thorough assessment:

Start by assessing your current organizational culture, policies, and practices. Identify any existing barriers to diversity and inclusion. This assessment will help you understand where your organization currently stands and identify areas that require improvement.

Set clear objectives:

Based on the assessment, define clear objectives for your DEI strategy. These objectives should align with your organization's values and long-term vision. For example, you may want to increase the representation of underrepresented groups in leadership positions or create a more inclusive and welcoming work environment for employees from diverse backgrounds, set the goal and some KPIs that later will help you measure how is the improvement going.

Engage stakeholders:

Involve key stakeholders in the development of the DEI strategy. This includes executives, managers, employees, and representatives from different departments or affinity groups. Seek their input, listen to their perspectives, and incorporate their insights into the strategy. This involvement creates a sense of ownership and ensures that diverse voices are heard and valued.

Establish timelines and milestones:

Outline specific timelines and milestones to measure progress toward your DEI goals. This helps create a sense of accountability and provides a framework for tracking your organization's advancement in diversity and inclusion efforts. For instance, you may set quarterly or yearly targets for hiring a diverse workforce or implementing training programs.

Develop actionable initiatives:

Identify specific initiatives that will drive your DEI strategy forward. These initiatives could include diversifying recruitment channels, implementing bias-free hiring practices, promoting inclusive policies, fostering employee resource groups (ERGs), conducting diversity training programs, or establishing mentorship opportunities for underrepresented employees. Tailor these initiatives to address the unique needs and challenges of your organization.

Allocate resources:

Ensure that you allocate sufficient resources, both financial and human, to support the implementation of your DEI strategy. This may involve budgeting for training programs, hiring diversity consultants, or dedicating staff members to lead diversity and inclusion efforts. Adequate resource allocation demonstrates your organization's commitment to driving meaningful change.

Communicate and educate:

Develop a comprehensive communication plan to effectively communicate your DEI strategy to all employees. Ensure that everyone understands the importance of diversity and inclusion and their role in creating an inclusive workplace. Provide educational resources, such as workshops, webinars, or online modules, to enhance employees' understanding of diversity issues and foster a culture of continuous learning.

Regularly assess and refine:

Monitor the progress of your DEI initiatives and regularly evaluate their effectiveness. Collect feedback from employees, track diversity metrics, and analyze the impact of your initiatives. Use this data to refine and adjust your strategy as needed, ensuring that it remains responsive to the evolving needs of your workforce and organization.

Remember, a great DEI strategy goes beyond mere lip service. It requires genuine commitment, active participation, and continuous improvement. By developing a comprehensive and well-executed strategy, you can lay the foundation for a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace that nurtures the growth and success of all employees.

Step 2: Expand Your Recruitment Horizons

Don't stick to the same old recruitment channels. Reach out to organizations that focus on minorities, women's groups, and institutions that serve diverse communities. This way, you'll have a diverse pool of candidates with various backgrounds.

For example, you can establish partnerships with local community organizations that champion diversity and inclusion. These organizations often have networks and resources that connect you to talented individuals from diverse backgrounds. By collaborating with them, you can tap into a wider talent pool that might otherwise remain untapped.

Also, consider attending career fairs and events that specifically cater to diverse communities. These events often attract a diverse range of candidates who are actively seeking opportunities. By participating and engaging with attendees, you can showcase your commitment to diversity and attract top talent from underrepresented groups.

Remember, expanding your recruitment horizons is not a one-time effort. It requires ongoing relationship building and consistent engagement with these organizations and communities. By embracing these expanded recruitment channels, you open doors to a more diverse pool of candidates, bringing fresh perspectives, unique skills, and innovative ideas to your organization.

Step 3: Avoid Bias at Hiring

Say no to bias! Implement blind recruitment techniques and structured interviews to minimize subjective judgments. Make sure you assess candidates based on their skills and qualifications, not on personal biases. Implementing blind recruitment techniques and structured interviews can significantly reduce the influence of subjective judgments and personal biases.

To implement blind recruitment, you can adopt software or systems that automatically anonymize candidate information, allowing hiring managers to assess applicants solely on their merits. This helps ensure a fair evaluation process where diversity and talent shine through without the interference of bias.

For example, let's say you're hiring for a managerial position. With blind recruitment, you review the candidates' qualifications, experience, and achievements without being influenced by their names or other demographic details. This allows you to make more objective assessments and select the most qualified individual for the role.

By keeping bias at bay in the hiring process, you create a more inclusive and diverse workforce, where individuals are valued for their abilities and contributions rather than personal characteristics.

Step 4: Foster an Inclusive Vibe

Building an inclusive culture is key. Create policies that embrace diversity and establish a code of conduct that kicks discrimination to the curb. Encourage open communication and make sure every voice is heard and valued.  Here are some actions you can take to promote inclusivity

Develop Policies that Embrace Diversity:

It's important to create policies that explicitly promote diversity and inclusion. For example, you can implement policies that actively encourage diverse representation in hiring, promotions, and decision-making processes.

Establish a Code of Conduct:

A well-defined code of conduct sets clear expectations for behavior and helps create a safe and inclusive environment. The code should emphasize the importance of treating everyone with respect, valuing diverse perspectives, and prohibiting any form of discrimination, harassment, or bias. Dont forget to communicate it to all

Encourage Open Communication:

Actively encourage open and respectful communication within your organization. This involves creating channels for employees to express their ideas, concerns, and suggestions without fear of retribution. Consider implementing regular feedback sessions, town hall meetings, or anonymous suggestion boxes to ensure that every voice is heard and considered.

Celebrate Diversity and Success:

Recognize and celebrate the diversity within your organization. Highlight the accomplishments and contributions of employees from various backgrounds. This can be done through employee spotlights, diversity-focused events or initiatives, and acknowledging cultural observances and holidays.

Foster Collaboration and Teamwork:

Encourage collaboration and teamwork among employees from different backgrounds and departments. Create opportunities for cross-functional projects and diverse teams.

Step 5: Educate and Empower Your Team

Educate your workforce regularly on the value of diversity and how to create an inclusive environment. Offer training programs that tackle unconscious bias and cultural competency.

Conduct training programs that specifically address unconscious bias. Unconscious bias refers to the subconscious attitudes and stereotypes that influence our perceptions and decisions. By raising awareness about unconscious bias, employees can learn to recognize and challenge their own biases, leading to fairer and more inclusive practices in hiring, promotions, and daily interactions.

Additionally, cultural competency training is essential in fostering an inclusive workplace. This type of training helps employees understand and appreciate different cultures, beliefs, and perspectives. It encourages individuals to embrace diversity and be more sensitive to the experiences and needs of others. Cultural competency training can include activities such as workshops, case studies, and interactive discussions that promote cross-cultural understanding and collaboration.

Step 6: Build Support and Connection

Set up employee resource groups (ERGs) for underrepresented employees. These groups provide support and play a crucial role in nurturing an inclusive workplace culture.

Employee resource groups, also known as affinity groups, are voluntary groups formed by employees who share common characteristics or experiences. These groups can provide support, networking opportunities, and a platform for underrepresented employees to voice their perspectives. Encouraging the formation of ERGs and providing resources to support their initiatives, is a good way to lead the DEI.

Step 7: Keep an Eye on Progress

Set milestones and constantly monitor the progress of your DEI initiatives. Gather feedback and be open to adapting your strategy as needed. Celebrate successes and be transparent with your crew about areas that need improvement.

Step 8: Use Tools for Inclusivity

Foster Inclusive Language

Language matters! Make sure your organization's communications don't exclude or marginalize any group. Utilize tools that can check for inclusive language and offer alternative suggestions when needed. For example Dara, the Slack bot that improves the use of inclusive language.

Grow with Mentoring and Development

Introduce mentoring programs that support diverse employees in their career growth. Provide access to development resources to help them build their skills and competencies.

Step 9: Embrace Diversity in Leadership

Diversity shouldn't stop at the entry level—it should reach the top. Encourage the promotion and inclusion of diverse individuals in leadership roles.

Here are some benefits of doing it:

  1. Enhanced Decision-Making: A diverse leadership team brings together individuals with unique backgrounds and viewpoints, leading to more comprehensive discussions and more informed decision-making. Diverse perspectives challenge the status quo, encourage critical thinking, and help identify blind spots.
  2. Increased Innovation and Creativity: Research consistently shows that diverse teams are more innovative and creative. By incorporating a variety of perspectives, organizations can generate new ideas, develop novel approaches, and adapt more effectively to change.
  3. Better Understanding of Customers: A diverse leadership team can better understand and connect with a diverse customer base. It enables organizations to develop products and services that cater to the needs and preferences of a broader range of consumers, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  4. Improved Employee Engagement and Retention: Inclusive leadership fosters a sense of belonging, leading to higher levels of employee engagement and retention. When employees see leaders who reflect their backgrounds and experiences, they are more likely to feel valued and motivated to contribute their best.

DEI in the Workplace

Now you know it, increasing workplace diversity is an ongoing journey that requires dedication, smart strategies, and embracing different perspectives. The rewards are incredible—more creativity and happier employees are just the beginning. As the workforce becomes more diverse, it's vital for organizations to create an environment that not only accepts diversity but thrives on it.

Language plays a massive role in fostering an inclusive environment. Inclusive language ensures that our communications don't unintentionally exclude or marginalize anyone. So, it's crucial for organizations to integrate tools that promote inclusive communication.

Using Dara, the inclusive Slack bot, will help your company in its efforts to promote inclusive language in the workplace and thrive in diversity. This tool can make a real difference, ensuring that your organization's communications are respectful and inclusive, reflecting the values of DEI.

Download here and take the leap and embark on your diversity journey while witnessing the incredible benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace unfold before your eyes.