Diversity in workforce means hiring individuals irrespective of their caste, creed, colour, religion, age and gender. Diversity does not come without inclusion and belonging, which means where an employee feel secured and is at their best then only diverse culture, can stay there. In most of the companies, a common problem is seen that the individuals often face discrimination and biasness at the workplace and do not feel included which creates an unhealthy work culture and may result in employee turnovers. Earlier, diversity was a box that companies used to tick but recently, companies are realizing the importance of diversity which helps the organisation to improve its culture and also boost financial performance. It is been found that diverse workforce brings in more creativity, better engagement and improves productivity. So it is important for a company to adapt and retain diversity in their organisation but where are they lacking?
Only some of the companies have cracked the code of diversity. Despite the entire buzz, most organizations still fall short of their goals and the public’s expectations. The main reason behind the struggle is companies do not look in the right place to find diverse talents for example- there might be a lot of female engineers but the tone of your job postings depicts a different picture and outlines the criteria you are looking for. Many tech companies use masculine tones like “dominate”, “crush”, or “destroy” in their job postings which female do not find it fit for themselves and this is the part where companies lack to show its diverse opening. The job postings should be neutral and should not be directed towards a particular group or gender so that it complies with diverse individuals. These are all based on perception, maybe your company is open to diverse hiring but the job postings are perceived in a different way that might refrain you from getting diverse applicants.
The other problem that companies face with diverse individuals is to retain them. As discussed above, when employees do not sense belongingness at the workplace it will result in employee turnover. This is more of a culture issue as employees who don’t feel included and accepted won’t last. If your company’s culture does not embrace diversity there’s no point seeking diverse individuals. First you have to create an inclusive culture where employees feel included in the workplace and functioning of the organization. Their opinions should be valued and appreciated and they should be encouraged to be themselves. Once you get your culture right, it will be easier to hire and retain diverse individuals.
The work does not end here, just adopting the culture won’t take you further but the company has to be vocal about it. You have to showcase that your company respects and appreciates diversity in the workplace. Interviewers should be trained in unconscious bias which shows that your company believes in fair process that reflects a strong ethics of the company. In what more ways company can show its diverse culture? Companies can use its diverse employees in web and print materials, there should be a diverse interview panels and recruiting should be done from different schools having diverse student bodies. The companies should focus on “culture-add” rather than “culture-fit” agenda. Culture fit gives you the individuals who are alike and carries similar traits and skills while culture add provides you diversity where individuals carry unique skills and viewpoints which shows that the organization values diversity and is open to diverse workforce.