Having strong diversity in the workplace encourages growth and introduces new experiences and perceptions. When your employees come from different backgrounds, they can each bring something unique to the table. With different opinions and ideas coming together, the business will flourish.
Having a diverse workforce is crucial for business, but seeing those diverse individuals move up through the ranks is just as important. If you’re hiring minorities and women but not seeing them get promoted or advancing in their careers, your workplace diversity initiatives could be to blame.
To see diverse employees move forward in their careers, you may need to implement different diversity initiatives to help stimulate the movement. Here are a few ideas on how you can improve your workplace diversity initiatives to see more results.
1. Know the Differences Between Male and Female Workers
In 2016, less than 5% of CEOs of America’s 500 biggest companies were women. While these women definitely got there by working hard and showing that they won’t let being a woman hold them back from achieving their goals, they also probably got there because they understood how to work the same way a man would.
Men and women can work quite differently in the workplace. While many managers and supervisors tend to be more favorable to the way men work, we typically see women shifting their focus or attitude to work that same way. This may help them get ahead in their careers, but it doesn’t exactly provide diversity to the workforce.
In order for a business to be successful, you need to accept and acknowledge the different methods, perspectives and opinions that men and women can bring to the workplace. Educate upper level management to look for unique factors within each employee, regardless of their gender.
By looking at the unique work qualities of the individual, rather than comparing it to traditional standards, you’ll have different views and opinions at the top of the ladder.
2. Encourage Development Programs
If you’re consistently passing over women or minorities for promotions or upper management positions, you may be bordering on an employee discrimination lawsuit. An employee may believe you’re discriminating against them and attempt to sue you for unethical behavior. However, the fact that the employees are women or minorities may not have anything to do with why they were passed over for the job.
When considering a diverse group for a promotion, be sure you can list the exact reasons why another individual was given the job. You should then be able to report back to the employees being considered and give them clear instructions for what they can do to improve their performance or skills to be better-suited for the next promotion.
Helping those employees understand where they were lacking and where they can improve can encourage them to work harder to meet the qualifications of the next promotion. Giving these employees a better path to moving up the corporate ladder can also help protect your company from the possibility of discrimination lawsuits, as can staying up to date on the complicated and ever-changing laws relating to employment.
3. Acknowledge All Kinds of Diversity
Diversity isn’t only limited to gender or race. As America begins to acknowledge and accept more and more individuals for who they are, we see more employees becoming comfortable in their own skin in the workforce. While they may have hidden their sexual preference in the office, the LGBT community is asking to be heard.
In 2002, only 61 percent of Fortune 500 companies included the LGBT community in their nondiscrimination policy. In 2014, that number rose to 91 percent. While this shift largely has something to do with a broader acceptance of the LGBT community in America, it also came from companies setting a new standard for discrimination policies.
In order to make your office a positive environment for all individuals, you need to stay open and aware of different kinds of diversity. Consistently make adjustments and changes to your nondiscrimination policy as new groups begin appearing in your workplace.
Adding diversity to the workforce can be a challenge. While you want to hire the individuals most capable of doing the job, you also want to create a community of employees with different opinions, experiences and perspectives. When employees don’t all think the same way, they push each other to try new things, get outside their comfort zone and grow professionally.
Your company can also experience a great amount of growth when you have a diverse team. In fact, gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to outperform financially, and ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to do the same.
When considering new hires or employees to promote within your company, look both at the qualifications they can bring to the position and the different perspectives they can contribute. If you want to have a team that’s always thinking ahead, the right diversity mix can be the best way to do so.
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