How can your organization support diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace?
Focusing on diversity and inclusion shouldn’t be an initiative reserved for large organizations and corporations. In addition to being morally and culturally significant, diversity and inclusion can also help your business attract top talent and achieve optimal performance – how?
Moreover, studies have shown a direct correlation between workplace diversity and financial achievement with companies being 35% more likely to generate higher returns if they are in the top quarter for diversity and inclusion.
So, keep reading for some ways small businesses can improve D&I.
5 Practical Applications of Diversity and Inclusion
If you’re a small business owner, it might feel like the only way to improve diversity and inclusion in your organization is through hiring – and while hiring is a suitable avenue for D&I initiatives, it’s certainly not the only one:
Start with leadership – Diversity and inclusion (like most other initiatives) needs to start from the top down with support from leadership. It goes a long way for both current and prospective employees to see diversity represented in leadership. Moreover, authentic and public support from leadership promotes diversity of thought throughout an organization and encourages the acknowledgement of hidden biases and shortcomings.
Foster inclusive workplace practices – Make your recruitment process more D&I-friendly by reducing unnecessary bias in job descriptions and practicing structured interviews. Put in the extra effort to make workplace accommodations for employees with disabilities, who speak other languages, etc. and consider offering benefits such as floating holidays that are considerate of a wide variety of religious and cultural practices.
Go beyond just ‘checking the boxes’ – If you’re serious about creating and fostering a workplace that supports diversity and inclusion, you need to be willing to get honest about the biases and shortcomings in your staff and business. You need to be willing to have them exposed, acknowledged, and discussed so you can do the work to eliminate them.
Look beyond traditional markers of diversity – If you’re working with a small team, with limited financial and geographic resources, it can feel hard to represent and prioritize diversity, even in your hiring process. Don’t be afraid to extend your scope of diversity outside of race and gender to also include age, family status, location, etc.
Develop a D&I policy – Create a formal policy that outlines your company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion that clearly states your organization’s values, goals, and practical steps it will take to foster an inclusive work environment.
Hopefully these 5 practical applications make it apparent that diversity and inclusion in your small business is not only the right and smart thing to do, but also an achievable one.
However, as a small business owner, we also understand that there’s already a lot on your plate and you might be wondering where you’re going to find the time and resources to focus on D&I initiatives. Click the link below to learn more about partnering with Premier HR for our diversity and inclusion services.