Building a Diverse Team

Building a Diverse TeamDiversity in today’s workplace is a must.

In today’s ever politically correct workplace, business managers are compelled to hire a vast range of individuals. Many times, those responsible for hiring struggle with leveling the playing field with a diverse enough group of individuals that also make up an effective workforce. However, diversity not only relates to gender and ethnicity, but can also pertain to opinion, skills and background. A wide variety of workers from all of these areas can stimulate a workplace by giving it an environment rich in a spectrum of different minds working cohesively. Hiring a diverse staff will also give a business an array of talent that will enable the company to be more innovative and successful.

Enabling a Diverse Workplace

According to a case done by Forbes, diversity can increase profits by 2.2 times. However, it is important to not necessarily focus on diversity when hiring. Rather, as you run your company, think about ways you can provide inclusion for your employees. Employees who feel their opinion matters, regardless of their position at the company, will not only work harder, but produce better work. After you establish a diverse staff, interact with them daily to show them that they are not just hired to satisfy a statistic, but also because you value them as a person. A study shown in The Stanford Social Innovation Review shows that while 98% of organizations believe in diversity, only 33% think of diversity as a core value. This means that while hiring diverse employees is part of the mainframe of many companies, it is not something businesses consider to be a lifeforce for their company. In fact, only 26% of those companies had a plan to recognize diversity in the workplace and provide the finances for diversity related initiatives. 

Vision and Strategy

In thinking about how to build a diverse team, remember that it is important to convey your vision and strategy.  Not only do you need to have a plan for how to profit your business, but also how to continuously diversify your team. Think of ways to incorporate diversity into your business model. You will also want to think about how diversity will impact your business. For example, if you are a sales company, you would want to diversify your staff to connect to as many demographics as possible. While a middle aged white male might be able to sell the latest piece of technology to a select demographic, they will not make as great an impact on those that are younger, or women.

You also want to continuously train your hiring staff on how to recruit and select new staff. This means providing classes and other resources so that they can better understand the methodology behind hiring. For example, there are new studies and statistics released annually that reveal who, how, and why many businesses are hiring. By keeping up on the latest trends in hiring, your hiring staff will be able to better understand who your business needs to maximize its potential.

Experience vs. Teachable

There is also the idea that hiring the most experienced is not as good as hiring the most teachable. Hiring employees that have a willingness to be taught and then partnering them with someone who can share their experience is sometimes the best way to grow an employee. By investing in an employee, regardless of their resume, you are giving them a boost in their confidence and a willingness to maximize their performance in the workplace. Make sure that as the newer employees grow, they can spread their wings and expound their own opinions. By mentoring and then giving employees a chance to share their voice, you are enabling them to feel included and imperative to the company.

It is necessary that you spread diversity throughout your workplace as well. Consider each level within your workforce and how diverse the staff within that level is. This does not just mean those working in the mailroom, nor does it mean considering those in the corner office. You must look across the board and build a richly diverse team from the ground level all the way to the top floor.

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Communication is Key

Finally, continue to keep the lines of communication open with your staff. Provide issue polls or round table discussions where employees can openly voice their views of what diversity is. Discuss issues within the workplace and how they can be resolved. Are these issues deliberate or ignorant? If they are deliberate, what action needs to be taken? If they are ignorant, how can the staff be educated so that the current issues cease to happen?

Diversity should flow smoothly through a workplace, but many times it is difficult to diversify as well as find the right employee to fill a certain niche. When you are hiring, think outside of race and gender to things like age and opinions. How can a Millennial enhance your decades old business? What could a female CFO bring to your workplace? You also want to be sure you are continuously communicating with and training your staff. Your presence and attention will make your team feel appreciated and your attention  to diversification will lead to your team doing the same.