June 30, 2020
By Heidi Lynne Kurter, Forbes
True diversity isn’t about checking the box. It’s about recruiting a workforce that includes individuals with different worldviews, ethnicities, religions, backgrounds, abilities and ages. Gallup stated “a lot of companies consider lifestyles, personality characteristics, perspectives, opinions, family composition, education level or tenure elements of diversity, too.” However, diversity is only half of the equation. Hiring diverse individuals means little when they don’t feel included. This is a challenge many companies face when trying to create a well-rounded culture.
Diversity and inclusion isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach as each culture has their own unique circumstances. Furthermore, one can never fully anticipate the comments, situations and behaviors that will unfold. It’s paramount companies and HR prioritize having policies in place to demonstrate what’s acceptable and what isn’t.
Here are six ways companies and HR professionals can ditch the check the box mentality and cultivate a workplace culture that inspires diversity and inclusion.
Drive Change Through Education
Education comes in many forms such as trainings, team building exercises, workshops and courses, to name a few. The goal of educating employees is to make them aware of their own unconscious bias, instill a new perspective, bridge gaps and strengthen relationships. Leaders, especially middle managers, need to be fully onboard and dedicated to educating themselves and being aware of their own unconscious bias.
HR must remain committed to exploring various learning opportunities to keep leadership and employees engaged in learning. Organizing an inclusion council can help address underrepresented employee groups and advance diversity internally through hiring, developing, promoting and retaining diverse employees. Members of C-suite should be actively involved, but employees, ideally with diverse backgrounds, should be leading the committee.