Want to increase workplace diversity? Here’s how.

You’ve got a problem, and you’re not afraid to own up to it. Your company isn’t diverse.

You know you can do better, and you want diversity and equity to be a priority in your organization. So, what now?

Let’s jump right into this important topic and get clear about:

  • What diversity in the workplace really looks like
  • Practical practices you can start implementing
  • Your goals and timeline to increase workplace diversity
  • Some mistakes you’ll want to avoid

Diversity, equity and inclusion: a business strategy

When we think about workplace diversity, usually, we think about the demographics of our employees. We ask ourselves if we have diversity based on factors like:

  • Race
  • Gender
  • Age
  • National origin
  • Physical ability
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation
  • Socioeconomic background
  • Veteran status
  • Parent or family caregiver status

This is called representation – simply who is represented within your organization. And while representation is foundational to workplace diversity, it’s just the ground level of what we should be aiming for.

The next important piece is inclusion – assessing whether you have an environment that accepts, appreciates and acknowledges all job applicants and employees.

But diversity in the workplace should be more than just a staffing or HR consideration. Diversity, equity and inclusion should be part of every single component of your company’s business strategy.

This means when you’re developing your:

  • Marketing strategy
  • Recruiting strategy
  • Vendor relationships
  • Corporate and social responsibility policies
  • Finance strategy

Companies who lead in the diversity, equity and inclusion space bring that commitment into every element of their overall business strategy and goals.

Recognizing where you can improve

You can become a more diverse workplace following the same strategy you would use for any other type of business initiative.

Step one: Assess your current status.

Representation is easy to measure. Whether you run simple reports or have access to in-depth people analytics, you’ll know quickly how you’re doing in terms of representation.

However, inclusion is harder to assess. Most companies use surveys to find out if their employees really feel included. You can conduct surveys yourself or through a third-party, which may help some of your staff open up more.

Step two: Determine your desired status – where you want to go as an organization.

This is what we talked about above, applied to your organization and what you feel is attainable.

You may also want to look at diversity factors in your local community and customer base to help you determine where you want to be in the future.

Step three: Build an action plan that helps you reach your goals.

It may take you three-to-five years to reach your desired status as a diverse organization, but you can set benchmark goals along the way. 

Finish this article on Inserity.com for our list of practical steps on how to build your action plan and increase workplace diversity, equity and inclusion.

To learn more about Insperity’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Services, contact Ashlea Clegg at 737-242-5272 or ashlea.clegg@insperity.com