You've built a diverse workplace culture... now what? It's a question that many companies ask themselves when they start to develop their diverse work culture. The answer is simple: now you need to protect it.
Diversity and inclusion are not just buzzwords or initiatives — they're the foundation of any successful business. But how do you ensure that your company continues to grow and thrive in today's climate? It's simple: by protecting your investment. And the best way to do that includes leveraging DEI strategies like diversity training, mentorship programs, and employee resource groups (ERGs).
Additionally, if you want to continue the momentum you've built in your workplace, here are some of the most important things you can do.
1. Keep building your diverse team
The most important thing you can do is to continue to build a diverse staff and leadership team. There are plenty of great resources available on how to do this, but here are a few tips: A) Look for people who have different experiences from the ones you already have, even if that means looking outside your usual networks or hiring people with less experience. B) Hire people who bring different perspectives and ideas into the workplace — people who aren't just like you (and don't just look like you). C) Be sure that diversity is baked into every step of your hiring process — from sourcing candidates to interviewing them to making offers — so that it's not just something that happens at one point in time but rather an ongoing process.
2. All employees are accountable for workplace culture
When it comes down to it, all employees need to be held accountable for creating a diverse workplace environment, whether they're part of the hiring team or not! This means making sure everyone knows their role in making diversity happen throughout the organization. It also means holding them accountable so the entire company feels brought into the movement of enriching the diverse workplace that is being built.
3. Create feedback opportunities in the workplace
Make sure there are multiple opportunities for feedback and input from all levels of the organization from interns up through executives (and everything in between)! When every voice is heard, everyone gets better at what they do.
4. Keep your employees engaged
Having diversity on staff means that people from different backgrounds bring unique perspectives to the table — and those perspectives can make a big difference when it comes to solving problems creatively or coming up with new ideas for products and services. A diverse team also means that everyone has something different to offer and contributes something unique; this leads to better teamwork and more collaboration among the staff members themselves.
5. Pay attention to workplace communication and behavior
Be conscious of the language used in meetings. As a manager or leader, it's important to be mindful of certain words that may offend or cause discomfort. Developing a sensitivity towards these issues can enable quick resolution with minimal disturbance.
Additionally, ensure that everyone feels comfortable speaking up and voicing their opinions without fear of criticism or backlash. Make sure to address any issues quickly and thoroughly as they arise to set a culture of safety and respect in the workplace. Finally, take note of body language — people should feel at ease and respected even if they don’t necessarily agree with what has been communicated.
6. Create a regular meeting schedule
If you want diversity initiatives within your company culture, then make sure everyone knows when those meetings are taking place so they can plan around them accordingly. If possible, set up regular times each week/month when everyone meets together in person or online so that everyone knows what is happening and how they can participate.
7. Make sure managers understand diversity and inclusion
It’s critical to ensure that all managers understand what diversity and inclusion means — and why it's important for their teams' success. It's essential for them to understand how different types of people think, behave, communicate, and make decisions so they can better relate with each other in meetings and conversations around the office. This will help them create more open-minded environments where everyone feels comfortable being themselves at work.
8. Develop workplace culture norms
Make sure everyone has access to resources that help them feel welcome in your company's culture — this could mean providing training on things like implicit bias or giving employees access to experts who can help them understand what it means to be part of a diverse and inclusive workplace environment.
We know this sounds like it could be hard — but it doesn't have to be! The key is finding ways to make sure that every employee feels welcome and valued at work, no matter who they are or where they come from. That way, everyone has an equal chance at success within your organization.
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