It’s the dream of every business leader to have an effective team.
And to create such a team requires that you put into consideration the diversity and complementary skills set of each and every individual.
But what exactly does a diverse team look like and how do you go about achieving this?
Workplace diversity can be defined simply as the understanding, acceptance and valuing of differences in people.
Companies that embrace diversity find that their productivity often increases.
But diversity isn’t just about age, race, tribe or anything physical. Diversity lies even in the unseen – the experience, abilities and skills that all play a role in the smooth running of the business.
Here is how you as a CEO can ensure that you have a diverse workforce;
1. Start with the numbers to see where your company falls short
Take a step back as a company and look at how you arrived at where you are.
Did the founders start by hiring friends who in turn hired their friends? Did the top executives and investors employ from the small pool of where they went to school?
Once you understand this, you are able to come up with a plan of how you can diversify the work force.
2. Determine what is working and not working
It’s important for you as a company to define your key performance indicators and take time identifying and collecting critical metrics to establish your baseline for success.
You can do this by conducting surveys to determine what potential candidates think of your brand as an employer.
You can also do this through the hiring process. Do you receive diverse applications and how many are hired?
3. Don’t just source for diverse candidates but hire them as well
What happens when you get diverse candidates for interviews but none of them gets hired?
If you keep getting diverse applications that are not converting, it doesn’t mean that they are not qualified.
You just have to look at the makeup of your hiring panel.
If you have a diverse team of interviewers, it shows that you are committed to different points of views while at the same time helping decrease unconscious bias.
Also, review your job descriptions and ensure that the requirements are always in line with what a candidate would need to succeed in that particular role.
4. Create learning and development programs that focus on building relationships and skills.
Employee training is always the responsibility of the organization.
It is expected of you that you provide resources and an environment that fosters growth and development of each and every employee.
Train your employees to not only build their skills but relationships as well.
5. Offer workplace policies that are more appealing to diverse candidates
Research has it that one of the best ways to attract diversity in an organization is flexibility.
A survey conducted by PwC showed that millennials place more importance on work-life balance while women are more attracted to flexible working schedules.
Incorporating such at work will not only help you attract diverse talent but will also considerably reduce your turn-over.
As businesses continue to become more and more multicultural, the willingness of your organization to invest in people with diversity in skills, knowledge, and backgrounds will be a leading indicator for how well you’ll be able to compete in a global market.
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