Say the word diversity and some employers will start nervously googling ‘discrimination legislation’..! And yes, it goes without saying that complying with the Equality Act 2010 is essential.
But diversity is about so much more than that. It goes way beyond a legal compliance issue. Morally it’s important and from a business perspective it makes sense; a workforce comprised of many different types of people means a wealth of knowledge, experience and perspectives that can benefit a company.
Start with recruitment
Diversity needs to be part of the recruitment process from the word go. Are you challenging managers to make sure you’re flushing out biases that could otherwise creep in at those very early stages? Are you doing everything possible to encourage a wide breadth of applications for example? Are job descriptions and adverts drafted not only to reflect what the jobholder needs to do but also to reflect the cultural fit within your organisation? What are you doing to spread the net far and wide when it comes to recruitment? You need to continually scrutinise whether everything is being done to find applicants from as broad a group of people as possible and that the selection process is carried out fairly and consistently.
How are you nurturing diversity inside your company?
Diversity doesn’t begin and end with getting your recruitment processes in shape. Even if you have an incredibly diverse workforce at this moment in time, you won’t benefit from it (or keep it longer term) if you aren’t making efforts to sustain it. Here are a few pointers that might help:
- Measure it: to give diversity a proper focus you need insights into where you are at right now so you can then identify any steps needed to improve it.
- Does your culture promote diversity? Be alert to any indications of attitudes or views expressed that might cause problems. Diversity awareness training can be helpful as a way of explaining why having a diverse workforce is so important.
- Create ways to connect: diversity is all about the difference but that doesn’t remove the need for people to feel socially connected. Think about how you can create networks for people who might value some extra support or mentoring to avoid them feeling isolated.
- Look at ways you can facilitate flexible working practices as this can open up employment opportunities to people who might otherwise struggle to fit in with company requirements. There are many things you can consider such as flexible hours and remote working.
As experienced HR and recruitment professionals, we can help you with improving diversity in your workplace. Please get in touch with us for a free consultation.