How to Build a Diverse Team
Workplace diversity is essential to a company’s growth and success. Companies with high levels of diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) are linked to increased productivity, performance and creativity, leading to improved employee retention and wellbeing. The benefits of building a diverse group of team members are exponential.
By promoting diversity, companies can attract and retain a broader range of talent, increase innovation, improve problem-solving and decision-making and better understand their customers’ needs. Companies that prioritize diversity and inclusion are also more likely to attract a diverse customer base, which can improve their brand image and market reach.
Companies must look past the financial and performance gain from team diversity. Diversity in the workplace will also foster employees from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds to feel at ease at the company. It also supports equal opportunity for all workers and potential employees to be employed and promoted on merit rather than race, gender or creed.
It’s an ethical responsibility. Numerous workforce members believe diversity and inclusivity are essential for company culture. Building a diverse team requires more than simply hiring individuals from different backgrounds. Here are several tips on how to build a diverse team.
1. Revamp Your Company Vision and Goals
Companies prioritizing diversity and inclusivity in their mission statement and goals signal to current and potential employees that they value diversity and are committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive workplace for everyone. A clear and well-articulated vision and goals statement can also serve as a roadmap for achieving diversity and inclusion, which can help ensure these goals are integrated into all aspects of the company’s operations.
By revamping their vision and goals, companies can also identify any implicit biases or barriers to diversity that may exist within their current processes or culture. This can help companies to take proactive steps to address these issues and create a more inclusive and equitable workplace.
Revamping the company vision and goals can also attract a more diverse pool of candidates by signaling to potential employees that the company values diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive environment. After job security and salary, a company that promotes gender diversity is a leading factor in job searching for millennials.
Furthermore, companies can hold themselves accountable and measure their progress toward achieving these goals. This helps identify areas where the company may fall short and adjust strategies to improve diversity and inclusion outcomes.
2. Redefine Your Hiring Strategy
Traditional hiring practices may lead to homogenous teams and perpetuate unconscious bias. By redefining their hiring process, companies can broaden their candidate pool and ensure that they are attracting candidates from diverse backgrounds.
This can include expanding recruitment efforts beyond traditional channels, partnering with community organizations and leveraging social media to reach a wider pool of candidates. Companies can also use blind resumes and structured interviews to eliminate biases in the hiring process.
This includes training recruiters and hiring managers on reducing unconscious bias, setting clear criteria for job requirements and offering accommodations for candidates with disabilities or other needs. Companies can also use technology to support an inclusive hiring process, such as software that removes demographic information from resumes or helps identify language that may be biased.
3. Practice Empathetic Leadership
Overall, practicing empathetic leadership is essential for building a diverse team. Empathetic leaders have a deep understanding of their employees’ experiences, needs and perspectives. They create a safe and inclusive workplace where employees feel valued and heard, which may lead to greater employee engagement, productivity and job satisfaction. Empathetic leaders can also understand and address the unique challenges that diverse employees may face.
They are committed to creating an inclusive and equitable workplace where employees can bring their whole selves to work without fear of discrimination or bias. This can lead to greater diversity in the workplace, as employees from underrepresented groups feel more comfortable and supported.
Additionally, empathetic leaders can help foster a workplace culture of belonging and respect. They recognize and celebrate the differences that make each employee unique and create opportunities for employees to share their perspectives and experiences. This can build trust and foster stronger relationships between employees from diverse backgrounds.
4. Create a Safe Space for Employees
A safe space is an environment where a company cultivates a culture where employees feel comfortable expressing themselves and their ideas without fear of judgment, discrimination or retaliation. When employees feel safe, they are more likely to share their diverse perspectives, experiences and ideas, which can lead to improved creativity, innovation and problem-solving.
Creating a safe space can also foster a culture of inclusivity and belonging in the workplace. Employees who feel valued and respected are more likely to be engaged and committed to their work. Creating a safe space can also help address and eliminate workplace biases and discrimination. When employees feel comfortable raising concerns or reporting incidents of discrimination, companies can take action to address these issues and create a more equitable workplace.
Furthermore, creating a safe and inclusive workplace can attract diverse talent and help companies build a more diverse team. Employees who feel their voices are heard and valued may be more likely to stay with the company long-term.
5. Encourage Inclusive Behaviors
Inclusive behaviors are actions and attitudes that create a sense of belonging and acceptance for all employees, regardless of their backgrounds or identities. Employees who feel included and valued may be more likely to contribute their unique perspectives and experiences. Encouraging inclusive behaviors may also help to break down unconscious biases and stereotypes in the workplace.
When employees are encouraged to challenge their assumptions and listen to diverse perspectives, they may be more likely to recognize and address biases impacting their decision-making. Additionally, encouraging inclusive behaviors can foster a culture of respect and collaboration in the workplace. When employees are encouraged to share their ideas and perspectives, they are more likely to work together and build strong relationships.
6. Value Your Employees
Employees who feel valued and recognized for their contributions may be more likely to be engaged and committed to their work. This positive work environment may lead to improved productivity, creativity and innovation. When employees feel that their contributions are appreciated and their voices are heard, they are more likely to feel connected to the company and its mission. This can lead to a more positive work environment and a stronger sense of community among employees.
Additionally, valuing and recognizing employees can attract and retain diverse talent. When employees see that the company values and recognizes diversity and inclusion, they are more likely to feel comfortable and supported in the workplace.
Furthermore, valuing and recognizing employees can help address and eliminate workplace biases and discrimination. When employees are recognized and valued based on their contributions and achievements rather than their identities or backgrounds, it can help to break down unconscious biases and stereotypes.
Build a Diverse Team With Exude Human Capital
Building a diverse team is crucial for companies to thrive in today’s global and interconnected world. Building a diverse team requires a comprehensive and intentional approach. Diversity and inclusion training is one approach to boost your team’s DEI initiatives. An outside expert can meet your team and provide tools and resources tailored to your company to assist in transitioning to a more inclusive workplace.
Exude is a consultancy organization that focuses on the intersection of leadership development, human resources and DEI. We aim to help you achieve your HR objectives by providing extra assistance and solutions. Feel free to contact us online for more information.