In today’s society, the productivity and success of a business rests on the ability to hire and retain a diverse workforce. Though this was once considered a desired trait for companies to have, it is now an absolute necessity. With a diverse workforce comes diverse abilities, knowledge, and skill sets; all of which lend to the company's overall success. However, a diverse workforce will not occur by happenstance. Leadership within the company must make diversity a priority which is evidenced by favorable policies and workplace culture. There are several strategies a person in a position of leadership can employ to not only create a diverse workplace but also motivate and inspire its continual success.
Know your why
Before an employer can truly create a culture within the workplace that inspires and motivates a diverse workplace, one must “know their why.” Simply put, a leader cannot effectively motivate others to appreciate and pursue this type of workplace if they do not understand the innumerable benefits of having such. Once a leader has a firm understanding of the benefits of this type of workforce, the next order of business should be to ensure that employees have this understanding as well. By educating all employees, the diverse work staff can feel valued and a core member of the team.
Embrace the benefits of a Diverse Workplace
It’s no secret that talent comes in all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. Being intentional about attracting and retaining a diverse workplace has continually proven to benefit companies. Not only will this lead to a higher level of productivity, but it will allow employers to ensure they are attracting the most qualified and competent staff. In today’s society, many emerging professionals are looking to work for a company that has emphasized a diverse workforce. Therefore, to build this type of reputation and to ensure the retention of these employees, leaders within the company must make this a top priority.
Lead by example
It is no surprise that whatever initiative or culture leadership displays as important within the workplace, fellow employees will likewise embrace it. This rings especially true concerning an emphasis being placed on a diverse workplace. Therefore, if leadership makes the effort to make it known that a diverse workplace is not only a necessity but a celebrated accomplishment, fellow employees are sure to follow suit.
Create policies and procedures that are inclusive of a diverse workforce
One potential policy that an employer should begin with is creating clear goals for diversity within the workplace. Being specific with needs within the company regarding diversity is critical. For instance, taking into account how many women are employed within the office. If the numbers are not appropriately divided, employers should make a conscious effort to attract female applicants for future positions. This will ensure that the growth of the company will be diverse-minded. It will then be equally important to have policies in place that celebrate and ensure professional growth for diverse employees within the workplace. This will allow those workers to be motivated and feel confident that the playing field is fair for all. Once a company begins to establish these types of policies, a reputation will form which will not only motivate the current diverse staff but inspire others to apply and desire to be within the company as well.
Provide professional development to all staff regarding the need for a diverse workforce
Employers should invest in quality training for all staff to ensure that fellow employees understand the need for a diverse workplace. One example of said training could come in the form of acknowledging the specific strengths and skill sets that female employees bring to the company. Said training will ideally include statistics and concrete data. Presenting data that targets specific, measurable goals within the company will only enhance the effectiveness of the training. For example, if the goal of the company is to increase social media traffic presenting data that displays the success of female employees in this area would be most compelling. This will allow fellow employees to undoubtedly recognize the value of diversity within the workplace. The more effort that goes into educating employees on the tangible benefits of a diverse workplace the more valued, motivated, and inspired diverse workers will feel.
Keep company efforts consistent
One final, and most important strategy to creating a diverse workplace with leadership that motivates and inspires fellow employees is to keep all efforts consistent. Creating policies procedures and programs to enable a diverse workplace will only demonstrate long-term effectiveness if efforts are consistent. Developing this culture requires employers and leaders within the workplace to keep a conscious awareness of the needs of the diverse employees and an awareness of the success of the initiatives being employed. Creating the initiatives without any source of accountability and intentionality us superfluous. Simply put, the true benefits of a diverse workplace cannot be harnessed without continual and intentional efforts by leadership. Once a company is able to strike this balance they are sure
The stance leadership within the company takes regarding the importance of a diverse workplace is critical and profound. If leadership takes the time, effort, and resources to foster a culture of diversity within the workplace, the company or employer as a whole will benefit. By implementing a few strategies consistently, leaders can not only inspire but motivate employees and diverse workers as a whole creating a win/win situation for all involved.