While it is essential for management and those in higher up positions to promote and enforce diversity at their company, it is equally important to promote diversity throughout all levels of the company. Many recommend working from the top-down and bottom-up, meeting in the middle, to ensure that diversity is actually being achieved on all levels. It is extremely important to let employees know how to contribute to diversity efforts in their everyday work environment. By consciously engaging workers on all levels, a company can maintain a truly inclusive and welcoming work environment.
Encourage Commitment to Goals
Make sure that employees on all levels know the diversity goals of your organization and how they relate to the business. Each and every employee, regardless of rank or status, should be made fully aware of the company’s diversity efforts, whether this is taught through training, memos, meetings, or manuals.
Promote Open Communication
Each and every employee in a company should feel comfortable voicing their opinion, whether it is to raise an issue about current diversity efforts or applaud the inclusive work environment. This can be done by not only verbally stating an open communication policy, but also by developing routine surveys that allow workers to anonymously offer open and honest concerns or advice on addressing diversity in the workplace. There should be multiple communication mediums for employees to voice their opinions. Some people are comfortable participating in verbal group discussions, while others prefer to voice their opinion through anonymous forums.
Workshops that educate employees on tolerance and multiculturalism are incredibly beneficial to ensuring respect in regards to diversity in the workplace. These workshops will push workers to confront worldviews that are different from their own. Learning promotes understanding and acceptance of things that are different or unfamiliar.
Add Diversity Events
Events can include already celebrated holidays or the company can create their own. One idea is to create a Cultural Appreciation Day where employees are given time to learn and discuss each other’s cultural backgrounds through posters, activities, music, and food. This provides a fun, relaxed environment for employees to take a break from working and get to know their coworkers.
Join ERGs (Employee Resource Groups)
For those unfamiliar with that an ERG is, it is an organization of employees joined together on the basis of common characteristics such as ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, religious beliefs, or disability status. In other words, they are all about promoting diversity. They are incredibly important in giving employees a sense of inclusion in the workplace. The beauty of ERGs is that you do not need to fit one of the characteristics of the group to join, because it is all about inclusion and enhancing cultural competence. ERGs can prove beneficial to companies looking to promote diversity, enhance cultural awareness, and maintain an inclusive environment. Most ERGs have a specific goal in mind, which helps promote diverse thinking and employee engagement.
Written By O.Greendyk