A diverse workplace is key to your bottom line. Research shows that a diverse workforce increases innovation and productivity, and enhances creativity. According to the Scientific American diversity “encourages the search for novel information and perspectives, leading to better decision making and problem solving.”
“Diversity can improve the bottom line of companies and lead to unfettered discoveries and breakthrough innovations. Even simply being exposed to diversity can change the way you think… a conclusion drawn from decades of research from organisational scientists, psychologists, sociologists, economists and demographers.”
Forbes states that employee diversity takes multiple forms, from inborn traits such as age, gender, ethnicity, race and sexual orientation, as well as outside influences such as areas of study, industry background, career path, veteran status and foreign work experience whereby one learns to appreciate cultural differences.
“Managers and teams having a mix of inherent and acquired forms of diversity appear to be most productive of all.”
An important but often glossed over aspect of employee engagement is inclusivity in a diverse environment. It can be hard work to keep tabs on the most up-to-date practices and terminology in a diverse workplace.
Language is a reflection of society in its current time, and it continues to evolve. Many of the phrases, words and titles that may have been used in the past are no longer appropriate and this should be considered not only when writing business documents or presenting to an audience, but even in your everyday language with your team and colleagues.
Universal Class offers the following advice:
Merriam-Webster defines bias as a specific inclination or idea about someone that is unreasonable or prejudiced. Change Recruitment Group goes on to say that conscious bias is easy to identify, by being based on physical attributes like skin colour, gender, or age, which has nothing or very little to do with the individual’s personality or professional experiences.
There are generally rules to protect against explicit prejudices based on race, age, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, physical abilities and religion.
Unconscious bias is however harder to determine as it exists in our subconscious and is normally triggered automatically and often without us being aware, yet it impacts how we perceive, interact and engage with others. CIPHR explains that unconscious bias includes:
There are ways to tackle bias in the workplace, including ensuring a diverse workforce, blind recruitment, gender neutral adverts and training.
Ensure that all your marketing materials from brochures to presentations are representative and inclusive. For example include people of different races, genders, same sex couples, different ages, differently abled people, different cultures and backgrounds, people with unusual physical attributes - make sure that everyone feels included. This will also go a long way towards employee engagement as your staff members will feel represented in all aspects.
Having a diverse workforce means ensuring that your workspace supports inclusivity. Ensure the following for optimal employee engagement in your workspace:
Having a diverse workspace can only benefit your employee engagement and your bottom line. When in doubt as to whether you are getting it right - ask your employees how you can improve. This is a sure-fire way to make them feel included, heard and respected. For more ways to engage your employees, with us today.