Take a look around your workplace – what do you see?
If you don’t see a diverse range of people, with a mix of age ranges, physical abilities, genders, religious beliefs, sexual orientations, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, the chances are you’re missing out on an opportunity to unlock some serious benefits.
We know that diverse workplaces do more than just add variety to a work environment – employee diversity not only increases productivity, innovation but also profitability.
In the United States, studies have shown a direct relationship between racial and ethnic diversity and increased financial performance to the tune of around 10 per cent.
Here in Australia, companies are realising the benefits of diversity, with an increase in ASX-listed companies adopting a diversity policy, and companies such as Westpac publically committing to a target of 50 per cent of women in leadership roles, which they achieved in 2017. Research from PwC has found that Australian millennials value diversity and tend to seek out employers with a strong record on equality and diversity.
These days, competition for great talent is fierce. Every company needs to have a plan for how they are going to attract, engage, nurture and retain a diverse workforce.
Reaping the rewards of workplace diversity begins with having an inclusive recruitment policy.
How to attract diverse candidates
In order to position your organisation as an industry leader in diversity and inclusion, you need to attract candidates from a wide variety of backgrounds.
Some of the best ways to do this are:
· Collect referrals from current employees and ask them to share the position on their social media and with their networks
· Promote your diversity and inclusion policy widely (on your website, in your job ads and in interviews)
· Ensure your job advertisement is free from bias by using gender neutral terminology and gender neutral job titles
· If you offer flexible working arrangements let candidates know (this is likely to appeal to women returning to work and millennials)
· Set annual diversity targets
Keeping employees engaged and nurtured
When Tracey Burton was the director of diversity at Target Corporation, she said that diversity drove innovation. According to Burton, if people from different backgrounds engaged in thoughtful debate, it led to ground-breaking solutions. Many workplaces have also implemented flexible working options, and we have seen that these tend to lead to employees being more engaged.
How your diversity policy will lead to employee retention
Once you’ve decided to attract a diverse range of candidates to your company, you will find that your company appeals to a broad range of employees who have appropriate skills and experience.
A diverse workplace also indicates to employees and candidates that your organisation embraces and accepts difference, and is therefore an employer of choice.
This means that existing employees and candidates are more likely to be committed to the company, as they feel valued and appreciated for who they are.
There is no doubt that diversity and inclusion is good for business, and that having happy staff who feel connected and engaged with your company will benefit your business.
Want to know more about how you can benefit from diversity and inclusion? Register for a free diversity and inclusion assessment and become an employer of choice today.
Corporate Diversity Pathways is a full service diversity and inclusion advisory focussed on empowering women for diversity, happiness, inclusion and peak performance. We do this through Careers for Women, Executive Development Programs, Coaching for Peak Performance, Workplace Wellness, D+I Advisory and Action, D+I Leaders Network and The Power of Mentoring.