The workplace is becoming more diverse. Immigrants and their children will constitute 83 percent of the US labor force in the next 40 years, and businesses must keep up with the times by building inclusive workplaces.
An inclusive workplace is good for business. It promotes higher job satisfaction, productivity, and employee morale, and reduces turnover. Employees are more motivated to work harder when their workplace respects class, gender, and racial differences. Furthermore, diverse teams can be more productive than non-diverse ones, able to generate innovative ideas because of a wider talent pool.
Following are some ideas on ways businesses can create an inclusive workplace.
Acknowledge the Fact That Diversity Makes Good Business Sense
Diversity is beneficial to businesses. Aside from the ability to come up with more creative solutions to problems, diverse teams represent a company’s entire customer base.
An employee from a minority group, for example, can give inputs on how products and services should be sold to that group, and the company can integrate those ideas when formulating an advertising campaign, ultimately leading to better customer engagement and higher profits.
Practice Unbiased Recruiting and Retention
Impediments to an inclusive workplace include myths about specific age, gender, and cultural groups. X people are (insert negative characteristic here). This job is too hard for Y people. Only Z people can do that. Such myths are demeaning and may drive away talented candidates, who could be valuable assets to a company.
The inclusive workplace does not let unconscious biases affect talent hiring and retention. Inclusivity is incorporated in the entire organization, from top to bottom. Time and money is invested in training all employees, regardless of seniority, to help ensure a culture of inclusion and respect. These investments will pay off in the form of a competent workforce and talent retention.
Look Beyond Traditional Talent Pools
An inclusive organization adopts a creative recruitment strategy, identifying new talent pools.
An inclusive business understands that competence transcends age, gender, race, creed, and social status. A telecommunications company, for instance, may consider hiring retirees as telephone operators. With an economy driving some retirees to go back to work, the pool now includes candidates with many years of work experience, as well as passion and discipline.
An inclusive workplace benefits employees, businesses, and the economy alike. When workplaces are inclusive, everyone has an opportunity for quality employment, which in turn stimulates the economy. And, when the economy is strong, progress can be shared by everyone.
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