Maintaining diversity requires constant time and effort. You have to consistently cultivate an open and inclusive environment, and that can only be done if you’ve built the right foundations and continue to foster a culturally sensitive environment. One of the best ways to ensure that diversity in the workplace is respected is to provide regular Indigenous cultural awareness training online, such as Evolve Communities’ on-demand Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competence course. These programs help teams reconcile differences and establish a sense of allyship that strengthens workplace diversity.
What Is Workplace Diversity?
Workplace diversity is the coexistence of employees with different identities, such as age, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, language, education, etc. A workplace that fosters diversity is open, accepting, and inclusive, and provides equal opportunities to everyone. It’s free from discrimination and harassment, especially towards the differences of others.
Benefits of a Diverse Workplace
Workplace diversity brings a lot of benefits to companies, from empowered and engaged employees to an improved brand reputation. Here are some reasons why diversity is important in the workplace:
A diverse workplace enjoys input from people with various perspectives based on their different environments, cultures, and situations. These can turn into creative and innovative ideas that can improve a company’s products and services. Plus, hearing from all types of people will help brands connect to a wide market, welcoming more marketing opportunities and enabling more effective growth strategies.
Improved Company Culture
Workplace diversity improves company culture by ensuring that people with different identities coexist and collaborate with respect and understanding. When a workplace cultivates this environment, employees are happier, more engaged, and more productive, which reduces turnover.
Additionally, companies with great internal culture statistically bring in up to 35% more in returns versus businesses that don’t have diversity and inclusion.
Diverse workplaces tend to have a more positive reputation. Potential employees see them as better bosses; customers perceive them as more relatable and accessible; stakeholders consider them more trustworthy.
How to Achieve Workplace Diversity
Achieving workplace diversity starts with initiatives from management and human resources. Here’s how to ensure that there is workplace diversity in your company:
Provide Cultural Competency Training
Cultural competency training, such as Evolve Communities’ on-demand Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competence course, equips people with the tools and concepts they need to build and practice diversity.
Review Existing Guidelines
You probably already have a company handbook or code of conduct, but it’s good to review them regularly to ensure that your rules and practices promote diversity, especially your hiring practices.
Know How to Handle Issues
Conflict resolution is one of the trickiest parts of workplace diversity settings, but if you empower your employees to be open with their problems and set up proper resolution management practices, it should be a breeze!
How to Respect Workplace Diversity
To maintain workplace diversity, everyone must practice it with deep understanding. Here are some ways that you can encourage your employees to respect workplace diversity:
Reflect on Your Own Biases
We all have biases; it’s natural. But it can be harmful when we use these to justify discriminatory language and behaviour. Before you speak or act, reflect on whether or not your reactions are based on your own biases; if you recognize that you may have skewed perspectives, try your best to learn better.
Understand that everybody is shaped by their backgrounds, cultures, and experiences, and accept that others may think differently from you. Better yet, learn about these differences.
Don’t cage people into preconceived ideas that you think you may know about them. Get to know people; make conversation and learn about their perspectives, as well.
Don’t Tolerate Exclusive Behaviour
Have a zero-tolerance policy for any behaviour that goes against workplace diversity. This is especially important for those in higher roles as it sets a good example for all employees.
Respect Cultural Traditions
Take note of any religious events or cultural traditions that your employees and workmates may celebrate during the year. Give them the chance to practice their customs and maybe even take the time to get to know about these, too.
Cultivate Workplace Diversity With Evolve Communities
Building workplace diversity by providing your company with the tools and training they need to uphold an inclusive and respectful environment. Check out Evolve Communities’ on-demand Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competence course to get started!