In a well-functioning diverse and inclusive workplace, team members of different ages, ethnicity, and gender work together, respecting and valuing each other’s skills and the differences each brings to the workplace.

The Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace

Diversity is much more than just keeping a workplace free from discrimination or harassment. Study after study shows that a diverse workforce is a significant asset.

By mixing different viewpoints and perspectives, organizations can make better decisions. A Deloitte study reports that diverse teams working together produce 20% better decisions. There’s a significant financial component, too. Diverse companies generate, on average, 2.5X cash flow per employee.

In today’s challenging labor market, 75% of job seekers and workers say they prefer working for a company that demonstrates its commitment to diversity.

Implementing Workplace Diversity

Improving diversity and equity in the workplace rarely happens by accident. It takes a commitment from company leaders. Here are some of the steps to take.

Create Goals and Strategies

Diversity and equity need to be an organizational priority, embraced by hiring managers. This strategy should have clear goals and performance measures to monitor improvement.

Broaden Hiring Sources

To improve diversity, you need to recruit from a broader range of sources. Seek out job boards and groups that represent diverse communities. Promoting diversity on your website’s careers pages may also help attract candidates.

Some companies have success by asking employees to refer job candidates from under-represented groups and offering bonuses or incentives when candidates are hired.

Create Mentorship Opportunities

Whether you have a formal internship program or not, you can create a mentorship program for under-represented groups to provide training and career development opportunities. Not only can this help find and produce potential employees for your company, but it can expose your company to additional candidates. Some companies create scholarships for diverse candidates as well.

Mentorship also applies to those you hire. Studies show that internal mentorships can improve retention rates by 72%.

Train HR Teams and Managers

Larger companies often deploy hiring committees that have representation across diverse groups. For smaller companies, it may be necessary to undergo diversity training. Unconscious bias can be powerful and often difficult for managers to see. Training HR teams and hiring managers to recognize and avoid bias during the recruitment, interviewing, and hiring process can help.

Educating managers about the value of diversity in the workplace can also help create a more inclusive culture.

Hire More Diverse Managers

Hiring diverse managers sends a clear message to your team and job candidates that there are opportunities for success at your company for others.

Hold Your Team Accountable

For any initiative to be successful, you have to set up goals, measure progress, and hold team members accountable for the goals. The same applies to creating a more diverse workplace. Regularly review progress (or lack of progress) and assess performance.

Diversity Must Be Intentional

Creating a diverse workplace has significant benefits, but it must be intentional. Following these steps can help you create a more inclusive workplace that values diversity.