In today’s globalised and interconnected world, the concept of diversity and inclusion has become much more critical than ever for business enterprises. According to a recent survey, as much as 57% of recruiters feel that their talent acquisition strategies are designed specifically for attracting diverse candidates.
However, that being said, creating a diverse and inclusive workforce is not just about checking boxes but includes fostering an environment wherein everyone feels valued and respected. On that note, mentioned below are some of the best practices HR professionals can implement to build a diverse and inclusive workforce.
What is Workplace Diversity and Inclusion?
Workplace diversity and inclusion refers to the practice of creating a work environment that embraces and values individuals from various backgrounds, experiences, as well as perspectives. However, when you take a closer look at this concept, you will realise that diversity and inclusion are actually quite different from each other and do not mean the same thing.
Simply put, diversity refers to the presence of individuals with varied backgrounds, perspectives, and characteristics, within an organisation. It encompasses a wide range of factors, including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, sex, age, nationality, and socio-economic status.
On the other hand, inclusion signifies creating a work environment where all individuals, irrespective of their differences, feel welcomed and valued. It primarily focuses on promoting a sense of belonging for every employee in an organisation and ensures that every voice is given due importance and consideration.
If an organisation is aiming to truly offer an inclusive work environment, they need to implement policies and practices that promote fair and unbiased hiring, opportunities for the professional development of all employees, and diversity recruitment.
Diversity and Inclusion Best Practices
Listed below are some of the best and essential practices that every organisation must implement in order to promote a diverse and inclusive workplace.
Establish A Sense Of Belonging
Fostering a sense of belonging is essential for a workspace to be inclusive and cohesive for all its employees. HR professionals should conduct in-depth diversity training sessions for all staff members to achieve relevant results. Unconscious bias and cultural competency should be the main topics of discussion throughout these sessions, which should also promote candid conversations to clear up any misunderstandings or concerns.
Equal and Fair Treatment of All Employees
Fairness is yet another crucial prerequisite for employees to feel valued and respected. More often than not, unfair salaries or undue advantages to employees of different backgrounds can create an unhealthy workplace culture. To prevent the same, HR professionals should develop and enforce comprehensive non-discrimination policies that protect employees from any form of discrimination based on age, race, gender, sex, or any other protected characteristic.
Conduct Regular Diversity Audits
Conducting audits on a regular basis helps keep track of progress, identify potential areas for improvement, and hold the organisation accountable for diversity and inclusion goals. In addition to this, it also helps to understand the effectiveness of diversity initiatives.
Promote Diversity In Hiring
In order to build a diverse workforce, HR professionals must also implement the necessary changes in their hiring process. This includes expanding the talent pool through targeted outreach, implementing bling resume screening processes to prevent the occurrence of unconscious bias, and partnering with diverse organisations. In addition to this, interviewers must also be trained in inclusive interviewing techniques that focus on skills and qualifications rather than cultural fit.
Adhering to these best practices can help HR professionals to create a workplace where every employee feels empowered to reach their full potential, thus fostering a more inclusive and high-performing organisation. If you wish to explore more about such practices or simply enhance your people management skills, you can check out multiple strategic HR management courses that are available online.
One such among them includes the People Leadership and Strategic HR Management program brought to you by the prestigious IIM Lucknow. Such IIM Executive HR courses are specifically designed for business managers and emerging senior HR professionals who wish to advance their careers in this field. Additionally, with the IIM L leadership course, you also get to explore multiple benefits, such as access to masterclass sessions and professional certifications, among others.