In the business world, day by day, ways to be more productive and obtain a return on each Investment are sought. Still, at the same time, it is about being more aware and establishing a better relationship with each company’s social context.
Within this philosophy, labor diversity is born as an element that seeks to make companies more productive by hiring talent regardless of origin, nationality, or ethnicity to which they belong, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
However, something should be clear: when it comes to workplace diversity or inclusion, it is not about hiring diverse people just because they have a diverse workforce. The idea is to hire capable employees with skills and experiences who enrich the organization with their knowledge and ability regardless of aspects of their lives that, in times past, might have been stigmatizing.
What Are The Benefits of Workplace Diversity?
When people from different cultures are integrated into a work team, who have been trained with other life criteria, in different latitudes where daily life and work aspects are varied and who have different conceptions of life, the company will see the following benefits :
Diversity of Perspectives
Labor diversity provides multidimensionality of perspectives that can represent an effective and quick solution to the problems that originate in any company.
But it’s not just about problem-solving. It has to do with the fact that each member of the staff of a department can offer their work (and life) experience based on their worldview, which translates into more opportunities.
I have a diverse team that provides various perspectives on different situations, increases productivity and, therefore, the economic gains of any company.
In addition to this data, the Generation & Talent Observatory highlights that 93% of companies carry out diversity policies above legal frameworks as their strategies.
The data showed that of the companies that apply workplace diversity, all do so with generational diversity. Regarding gender diversity, 93% apply it, 66.70% put cultural diversity into practice, 53.30% include staff of different sexual orientations, and 53.30% have people with some sexual orientation on their staff. Disability.
Global Brand Impact
Although a company or business wants to be productive and generate the most significant dividends, it also wants to be an integral part of society and live in harmony with its context. Racism, sexism, or exclusion of any kind are increasingly publicly condemned issues. No company or organization wants to tarnish its image by rejecting people with disabilities, gender diversity, or their racial origin or nationality.
In addition, there is also the legal aspect. Every day more nations or regions of the planet pass laws that legally condemn exclusion. So, it is also about global brand positioning as a social and legal change factor.
Keys To Promoting Workplace Diversity
It has already been mentioned what it is and what advantages labor diversity has for companies, but how to implement it? How do you make it doable? This is not as easy as one thinks because it implies a paradigm shift that not all the components of the companies can understand perfectly. It is, therefore, a process that must go slowly but also without pause and that must follow the following steps:
Eliminate all bias in recruitment and selection of staff
This is the first step and the first filter to remove. It is about ridding all the selections made by human resources in hiring personnel from prejudice.
It is possible to achieve this with an automated hiring system or process, through which only the abilities and skills of a person are sought to fill a position. Letting a program do the procedure leaves any bias the human resources staff may have.
But if you don’t have automation, you need to reevaluate the biases of HR staff. All humans as social beings formed in a cultural context have prejudices, which is undeniable.
For this reason, when looking for candidates for a position, you can follow these guidelines:
- Not seeing names or photos on applicants’ resumes.
- Level or normalize the questions asked during the interview
- Prioritize questions about the candidate’s skills above any other topic.
However, without a doubt, the best way to eliminate stigma in human resources personnel is to evaluate the recruitment manual. Often, the guidelines established in it are too rigid and use inappropriate language when describing the profile of a position.
Also, in some cases, the requirements to fill a position are so long and fussy that many candidates decline without even trying.
On the other hand, the company must reassess its entire human resources policy and its publications on websites and social networks to adjust them to reality and to what is pursued in terms of workplace diversity.
Revalue cultural affinity
The term cultural affinity is understood as what recruiters and human resources personnel look for in a candidate to occupy a particular position and to anticipate how this new worker would fit in with the rest of the team.
The purpose of considering cultural affinity when hiring someone is not harmful. On the contrary, harmonious work teams are sought, but they are built on foundations that are tottering today.
These prejudices must be discarded because it is assumed that the new employee will not fit into the work group. After all, they are different, and, to be honest, this cannot be known, especially with the large number of studies that show the advantages of a diverse team when it comes to offering perspectives.
This is well explained by Katherine Klein, a professor at Wharton University, when she states that cultural affinity, far from benefiting work teams, makes everything more confusing because it is not known for sure what the recruiter is worried about. of that diversity in question.
This idea is further reinforced if the results of the international Survey on work and cultural adjustment are reviewed. This specialist organization in human resources determined that only 54% of the organizations consulted claimed to have a well-defined culture. This confirms that much of this “cultural affinity” goes through the prejudices of human resources personnel.
Lead by example
There is a famous saying, “you are what you do and not what you say.” Well, it is true, since by taking the first steps, overcoming prejudice and discrimination, and incorporating different people into the workforce, the entire organization shows that diversity is an actual policy and not just pretty words.
Celebrate the diverse
There are important dates for various cultural, ethnic, gender-diverse groups and many other minorities. If people who celebrate them are hired, they should be added to the company’s commemorations as a fundamental part of the work calendar.
These are not parties or celebrations in which vast amounts of the budget are invested or wasted productive time. Still, details are well worth it so these minorities feel appreciated and these dates are not overlooked.
Training for Diversity
Companies that wish to implement workplace diversity must use continuous training tools to serve as constant learning to live within this variety.
Establishing effective communication channels, elucidating the fears of minorities to express themselves, and training leaders in this area are essential.
Technological tools are available to companies for communication channels such as chats or other platforms that allow constant employee interaction.
Although not everything should be left in the hands of technological channels, the formation of committees to support inclusion and diversity underpins learning to deal with diversity since this cannot be achieved only from the management policies of a company or individual efforts. It is necessary to create awareness of the group to achieve better results in accepting labor diversity and normalizing it.
Within an organization where it is being implemented or in which it is sought to establish labor diversity, rigid structures must be made more flexible and horizontal relationships favored, through which the leaders and the rest of the workers feel comfortable for dialogue with everyone—the components of the company.
It is not about breaking down the hierarchy but about opening spaces conducive to communication without prejudice. Employees often do not speak up for fear of not being taken into account, and this is corroborated by a study by Sideways6 published by Small Business, which concludes that 34% of workers in organizations do not speak or give their opinion on labor issues for fear that their opinion will not be considered.
But how do you encourage communication between employees and their superiors? These ideas can be followed:
- Promote meetings for the staff to express themselves: Periodically, conversation groups can be organized in which feedback or feedback is sought on daily matters and tasks within each department.
- Create groups of volunteers who carry out consultations among the staff to establish communication channels and provide support and assistance in both personal and professional development, through which a space is created in which workers feel safe. These groups may be people who share cultural, religious, ethnic, or gender affinity characteristics.
Flexibility in schedules
Flexibility in working hours allows the different components of labor diversity to satisfy their cultural, religious, family, or personal needs, which will improve the work environment because it offers these advantages:
- employee satisfaction
- Notable improvements in the work environment
- Productivity increase
- Avoid brain drain
- Reduction of absenteeism
It is not about all employees leaving their jobs. But to allow each worker the freedom of what makes them different within the company. Now, how to do so that this does not have a negative impact? Well simple, you can manage shifts or have an automated time control system.
Getting To The Finish Line
It is not easy to remove prejudices to make way for cultural diversity. So any company that wishes to follow this path must be transparent that it is a path that must be planned to achieve gradual goals.
It is not easy to build a diverse team that is prosperous in just one step because homogeneous work groups reached a point of great standardization and normality.
Therefore, it is necessary to unlearn the path trodden to begin to travel a new one. But, with clear policies, constant education, and fluid communication, successful work teams between dissimilar people can be achieved.
It is true that sharing a work team where everyone acts and thinks. It expresses itself similarly and is very comfortable, but seeing the personal and work benefits of cultural diversity, any group of employees will feel equally comfortable. The best thing is that these changes will radiate new forces that satisfy the worker’s expectations.