In recent years there has been a massive push for companies to work harder on creating a space for people from all walks of life. Although a lot of pressure has been on hiring practices and hiring a diverse group of employees is vital to any business, that’s not the only part that matters.
Here are four ways to help promote diversity in your workplace, and create a space where the business and employees can thrive.
When you hire your employees, be sure not to bring on new employees without a critical eye. Please pay attention to their resumes, why they were let go before, and what they’re capable of. You should also step back and check any of your own biases to ensure you’re not just hiring on a large group of people who are almost the same. Diversity creates new and incredible ideas, making room for invention and new ideas. If your employees are all one-note, you’re going to let your company suffer for no reason. Check your biases, pay attention to their references and background, and put together a team that will work well as a unit.
Training is the introduction to your company; it gives new employees insight into what you expect of them while also allowing you to show them their potential. It would help if you took the time to teach all new employees how to properly treat their coworkers and create a safe and friendly workspace. Be clear on what language and behavior aren’t allowed, and try to show your employees what it means to work in a place free of judgment or harassment. You’re not trying to create a utopia here; you just want everyone to be able to focus on work without fear of getting physically or emotionally hurt.
Reacting To Problems
Despite our best intentions, no workplace is perfect. Although we work hard to hire and train our employees to the best of our abilities, there’s no way to control everything they do or say. If someone does or says something hurtful to a coworker, it needs to be taken seriously. Even if it’s just a one-off comment that they meant as a joke, it can escalate if this behavior is allowed. Discuss it with them, let the employee know what they did wrong, and change their behavior and mind. If the action warrants it, you may even have to fire them rather than retrain, especially if the company wants to avoid discrimination cases.
Watching Your Wording
Small changes to everyday conversations can help people feel more comfortable at work. Gender-inclusive language like saying “Good morning everyone!” instead of “Good morning guys and gals!” can be a significant small step. You can also make small changes like calling the winter party that happens every year the new years’ party instead of the Christmas party. Although we’re not trying to exclude people with our language a lot of the time, we might be. It’s a good idea to keep an open forum about this and allow people to submit questions or requests anonymously if they want to.