Focusing on is diversity and inclusion practices has become a welcome and growing trend. Many organizations are establishing a D&I team often led by a Chief Diversity Officer, and for good reason. Besides the altruistic importance, inclusive companies see a 2.3x higher cash flow per employee over a 3 year period, and ethnically diverse companies are more likely to perform 35% better.
Having a diverse organization not only promotes inclusion but fosters creativity and innovation. When you hire people who are all similar to one another you create an organization destined for “group-think” results. If everyone is the same, how will you generate new ideas or be challenged? Hiring individuals from all walks of life with various backgrounds will give you diverse perspectives which more times than not leads to a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Here are 4 Ways to Improve Your Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Practices:
1. Optimize Job Descriptions to be Gender Neutral – To help with your diversity and inclusion efforts, the words used in a job description will make a difference with the type of candidates you attract. Make sure to use gender-neutral titles, check pronouns, avoid gender-charged words, limit the number of requirements, and avoid superlatives. Need an extra set of eyes to review your job descriptions? Check out some services like textio to help.
2. Create Core Values for a Position During the Interview Process – Instead of looking for someone who is a cultural fit, look for individuals who meets the core values of the position. This will help you avoid creating a homogenous workforce. Hiring individuals from diverse backgrounds allows for innovation and creativity.
3. Include Leadership in Communication to Employees – What message does your leadership send to the company about culture and inclusion? Do you host inclusive events at your company? For example, you can create gender-neutral restrooms in your office if feasible, and establish a diversity and inclusion committee to review policies and events to ensure each are representing everyone at the company.
4. Don’t Focus on Demographics, Emphasize Your Inclusion Efforts – In addition to your recruiting efforts, its important to focus on inclusion efforts for your current employees too. Your workforce should feel their work environment is inclusive and respects all of their backgrounds. A great way to start doing this is to create team lunches with various members from different teams in the company- this will allow everyone to share what they contribute to the company and foster new relationships.
Addressing diversity and inclusion is a large undertaking, however making it part of the foundation of your culture will allow you to retain top talent, recruit bright individuals, improve your employer branding and be recognized as a fantastic place to work for all.