7 Aspects You Should Know About Diversity Management
As an HR manager, you know that diversity within your staff is important. Scientific evidence doesn’t leave room for doubt: Teams with people from a variety of backgrounds, traits, and experiences outperform teams where everyone more or less shares those aspects. But what can you do to ensure you have a diverse company?
Generally speaking, the foundation for a diverse staff is a corporate culture that embraces the perks of diversity and promotes respect for individual backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences. Beyond that, there are a few very specific aspects that are worth paying attention to:
- Get rid of hurdles.
No, this is not just about installing wheelchair ramps – although that’s a good idea, too. Hurdles are anything that prevents your employees from doing their job as well as they could. If an employee can’t concentrate because of back pains caused by inferior office chairs – that’s a hurdle right there.
- Fish with a wider net.
How to pick the right person? Make sure that your selection criteria for vacancies are skills and character, not age, gender, or ethnicity. But if you have a situation where several people meet your criteria, consider which of the candidates would bring something new to the mix.
- Keep it real.
Embracing diversity means implementing it in your staff setup, your procedures, your workflows. It won’t help anyone if this is reduced to a mere talking point, if it’s just something written down in mission statements and press releases.
- What’s your plan?
In order to make diversity a reality in your organization, you need to have a plan. You need to know what measures you want to take and who will be responsible for implementing those measures and for making sure they’re sustainable.
- I feel you.
If you want to support all of your employees and grant everyone the opportunity to achieve the best work they could possibly do, you need to know what their challenges are and in which areas they may need some help.
- Mix it up.
A key benefit of having diverse teams is that they’re proven to be more productive. Encourage diversity within teams by setting up structures and processes that foster cooperation across departments and disciplines and let people rotate their job roles on a regular basis.
- Fair play
Going back to the introduction, a corporate culture that celebrates diversity is essential for a diverse team to prosper. You can positively influence that by making sure that your employee assessments focus on skills and performance only – and that your people managers are fair and have no prejudices against any group.
This isn’t a complete list of course. Depending on the specific situation within your company, other issues may need to be addressed as well. But these seven points are a good start. If you try to adhere to them, you are on a good way towards a more diverse company.