Diversity in the workplace brings many benefits to the workforce. From increasing innovation and performance to improving engagement and creativity, supporting workplace diversity is a crucial factor for many modern-day workers. In conjunction with Pride celebrations this June, here's a look into what it really means and how we can celebrate in style and with pride!
What is diversity in the workplace?
According to CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, diversity is about valuing every individual in the organisation regardless of their age, disability, race, religion, ethnicity, cultural background, languages, abilities, gender, sexual orientation or any other personal aspects. In essence, true diversity in the workplace extends beyond symbolic numbers or compliance to value each individual appropriately and equally.
In the same diversity and inclusion report, CIPD explains that "the moral case for building fairer and more inclusive labour markets and workplaces is indisputable: people matter, and organisations must ensure their people management approaches do not put any group at a disadvantage."
"Regardless of our identity or background, we all deserve the opportunity to develop our skills and talents to our full potential, work in a safe, supportive and inclusive environment, be fairly rewarded and recognised for our work and have a meaningful voice on matters that affect us."
At the workplace, diversity also plays a crucial role in ensuring the sustainability of businesses and economies as a whole. And the reason why is because "everyone stands to benefit when we embrace and value the diversity of thoughts, ideas and ways of working that people from different backgrounds, experiences and identities bring to an organisation."
The key benefits of ensuring diversity at the workplace include:
- positive influence on mindset and their willingness to learn
- the utilisation of minor or hidden skills
- increased performance and potential
- better decision-making and problem-solving skills
- higher engagement and satisfaction
- more diverse perspectives and creativity
- better innovation
Here are a few ways you can promote and celebrate workplace diversity:
1. Adopt a gender-neutral language in all job descriptions
The best way to be more mindful and inclusive is to convert any gender-specific pronouns used like 'he' or 'she' to 'they' or 'you'. Although this may seem like a minor detail to most, using inclusive pronouns can be a great way to build and promote a more understanding and diverse culture at the workplace.
2. Create and foster a comfortable working environment
It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks but, it's crucial to take the time and initiative to understand if the working environment is comfortable for all members of the team. According to the Gensler's Workplace Survey, the design of the workplace will impact performance, engagement, satisfaction and even innovation so, it's essential for businesses to invite all members to weigh in on what can be improved.
3. Celebrate holidays and events for underrepresented minorities
Whether it's Black History, Pride, Women's History or Eid, foster a diverse and positive working culture by celebrating holidays of your team members. Simple gestures like sending a greeting card or decorating the office (just like you would for Christmas) will go a long way to helping all members feel welcomed and embraced.
4. Introduce a rotating art-board or decoration
Tying in with number three, consider introducing a rotating art-board at work to help highlight and showcase employees' diverse backgrounds. This can be an easy way to celebrate all the different events and encourage a healthy conversation when it comes to cultural differences. Better yet, consider corresponding the office decor to these art-boards. To implement this with ease, simply allocate and assign monthly or quarterly rotations among team members.
5. Schedule time for team socials and bonding during the day
Working parents and caregivers may not be able to participate in after-work socials or gathering so, why not consider scheduling just an hour of the day per month to help members with different lifestyles engage with each other. In a Forbes report, they've found that a strong working relationship between employees and employers can boost performance by as much as tenfold!
6. Ditch the baked goods and opt for a multicultural food potluck
Most businesses bring in baked goods for their employees every now and again. To be more inclusive for all members, take it a step further and hold an international food potluck day instead to really foster and encourage diversity through food. Cuisines and dishes from different cultures can help to highlight and stimulate healthy discussion! After all, everyone loves food so, this is sure to be a hit among team members.
7. Give visible recognition for employees that go above and beyond
An effective way to make employees feel appreciated is to acknowledge and reward those who go above and beyond their role. Why? Because it's important to value people for their work and contributions. This will motivate, encourage and foster an impartial approach that values hard work.
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