Pro tips for creating a more diverse workplace

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(Image: Davide Ragusa)

A diverse workplace with employees of differing age groups and experience can add to the richness and culture of any workplace. However, “diverse” and “diversity” can mean a host of different things, and unless company leaders agree on what kind of diversity they are seeking, creating cohesive diversity can be tricky. Here are some ideas for best practices to create and maintain a successful and diverse workforce.

Use language to clarify your company’s goals. Define the term “diversity” in relation to your workforce and company culture. Consider what your definition means and how it relates to obtaining the best and most qualified workers, as well as how this definition of diversity can be linked to business strategies and goals. Reflecting on the background of the workplace, the organizational structure, and where diversity began to productively impact the business provides a good starting point.

Make a detailed plan for success. First, establish a clear and concise diversity strategy that defines and identifies:

  • The stakeholders
  • Changes to current structure
  • Potential barriers
  • An overview on how the strategy will be implemented

Next, outline specific processes for implementation. Spell out each step to obtain the goal of diversity, and consider how the steps will be tested and applied, potential employee involvement, how you will measure success (efficiency, benefits, retention), resources you will need, and key performance indicators.

Get your team involved in the process. Utilize employee and manager involvement to create and implement the strategies, which will help determine how the diversity has impacted the organization. Clearly outline participation and expectations for both employees and managers, along with training and cooperation at all levels. Each individual should have a sense of accountability in implementing diversity strategies.

Maintain a balanced perspective. Create future goals, analyze results of all diversity efforts, and consider areas for improvement to ensure continued development and consistent successes. Meanwhile, don’t forget to abide by all applicable local, state, and federal laws in regard to diversity and ensure all workplace policies are applied consistently and without discrimination.

Unemployment Services Trust (UST) provides workforce solutions for nonprofits, including cost-saving unemployment services and ThinkHR,  powering the UST HR Workplace for nonprofit HR teams.

This piece originally appeared in a slightly different form on the Choose UST blog.

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