Companies that create cultures that support diversity and inclusion often outperform competitors that don’t make that effort. However, while managers are typically aware of that benefit, not all know how to make positive changes in those areas. As a result, while they may have the best of intentions, their execution can be lacking.
By examining the issue from the right angle, it is possible to identify pathways for meaningful change. If you want to make sure that your company has a culture of diversity and inclusion, here’s how to go about it.
Full Support Is a Must
In many cases, hiring occurs within a bubble. Human Resource departments may play a part in the equation, as well as the hiring manager. However, company leaders aren’t often concerned about the outcome of individual hiring decisions, creating a level of disconnect between the top tiers of the business and the rest of the company.
If diversity and inclusion are going to become part of the culture, full support from all layers of the company is essential. Leaders need to not just recognize the value diversity and inclusion bring, but must openly tout their benefits. Additionally, they need to legitimately consider – and, when appropriate, implement – measures that lead to improvements in those areas, even if they require substantial operational changes to make it happen.
Transparency and Honesty Are Essential
Meaningful change isn’t something that can happen in the shadows. Management needs to be both open and honest with other leaders, employees, and even the general public if it’s going to see diversity and inclusion improve.
The company needs to define its diversity and inclusion mission completely. Additionally, it needs to welcome conversation regarding the goal and any measures used to facilitate positive movement.
Without those discussions, gathering data and input from your workforce is incredibly challenging. By talking about the program openly, it creates a sense of safety. That increases the likelihood that all employees who could help make a difference get involved, allowing everyone to come together under a singular purpose.
Inclusion Is the Foundation
While some companies may assume that they need to improve diversity first to create an inclusive culture, it’s often the other way around.
Without inclusion, diverse hires may not feel comfortable in the environment. That can lead to higher turnover or more conflict, as those who are being introduced to the workplace aren’t getting the ideal impression of the business.
When a workplace is inclusive, it becomes a welcoming place for all kinds of people. That attracts professionals from all walks of life, leading to easier recruitment. Plus, the positive culture bolsters retention, increasing the odds that all new hires will stay on board and make the workplace an even better place.
Ultimately, reaching your diversity and inclusion goals usually takes time. By following the tips above, you can set your company up for culture improvements, increasing the odds of hitting your targets and cultivating a capable, welcoming, and supportive workplace.
If you’d like to learn more, the team at The Squires Group can help. Contact us today.