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Attend any leadership training, workshop, or conference and it’s practically a guarantee that there will be at least one session addressing workplace diversity.

But in spite of its popularity among lecture topics, the nuances of fostering a diverse workforce continue to be a struggle for business owners and HR professionals today.

So, do we really understand what having a diverse workforce means?

We’re willing to bet most people immediately think of ethnicity when they hear the word diversity.

However, having a diverse workforce in your business is about more than increasing the variety of ethnic backgrounds on your team.

A truly diverse workforce includes people of different genders, generations, religions, races, nationalities, physical abilities, and more!

It’s obvious that intentionally building this diversity increases the creativity present in your workplace by combining many different perspectives and worldviews.

But, the best part is that the benefits of added creativity aren’t confined to helping your brainstorming sessions or public image.

Why Should You Increase Your Workforce’s Diversity?

3 Words: Better Business Results

Businesses with a diverse workforce are able to better serve their customer base by providing a spectrum of resources and personnel to suit each client.

Increasing workforce diversity produces better business results by creating a cohesive team with an assortment of personalities, work styles, talents, strengths and weaknesses.

These businesses also benefit from the added advantage of developing a team that’s comfortable with diverse environments.

When these businesses encounter a wide range of genders, ages, religions, personalities, skills, etc. in their client’s workforces – their familiarity with navigating diverse team dynamics helps them to serve those clients well.

The connection between increased diversity and better business results is even reflected in the profitability of companies that are intentional about creating a diverse team.

A 2015 McKinsey study stated that “research makes it increasingly clear that companies with more diverse workforces perform better financially.”

They found that gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to outperform the industry median, and ethnically-diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform the industry median.

Increasing diversity in your workforce clearly has interpersonal and financial advantages for your business, which begs the question…how do you do it?

Below you’ll find 5 ways to increase your workforce diversity for better business results.

Do you need a team of experts to help you increase your workforce diversity? Give us a call at 877-753-0970 or check out our website to learn more about Integrity HR’s recruiting services and employee training programs to help you develop a diversity strategy.

5 Ways to Increase Workforce Diversity for
Better Business Results

1. Balance Your Leadership

The Board of Directors, Management Team, C-Suite…change starts here. Balancing your leadership team with diverse individuals allows your employees to learn inclusiveness by example.

If your leadership team isn’t reflective of the diverse workforce you’re striving to form, it will be difficult to incorporate diversity in the lower levels.

Develop a recruiting strategy that incorporates diversity goals and helps your workforce mirror the community you serve.

Then, cast a wide net, outside of your usual networks, to attract an array of talent at all company levels. Over time, as your team members and leadership change, your workforce will become more reflective of the diversity you desire.

2. Foster Your Culture

Hiring a diverse team and establishing a diverse culture are distinct and important components of productively increasing your workforce diversity.

Fostering a culture that encourages and appreciates diversity is best achieved through communication with your managers and employees.

Survey your team to gauge how they perceive and experience diversity in their roles. Ask them to share any concerns and desires they have for increasing the diversity present in your workforce.

3. Train Your Team

Bringing together diverse perspectives has the potential to produce creative and positive results. But, there is also a potential for conflict as people learn to work with and understand others who may think, feel, or act differently than they do.

As you seek to introduce a variety of people into your workforce, remember to communicate expectations and processes for managing difficult conversations and disagreements efficiently and respectfully.

Conduct diversity trainings regularly with your managers and employees to help them become more comfortable communicating with the diverse groups they encounter.

4. Tailor Your Compensation

With diverse backgrounds comes diverse preferences! Not all compensation plans will appeal to all generations, cultures, family-structures, etc.

There are major differences between the compensation structure that will motivate a millennial and a baby-boomer.

To attract and retain different employees, tailor your compensation plan, benefits, and incentives to be more appealing to your diverse workforce.

Consider offering perks like flexible work schedules, telecommuting, and additional time off for cultural or religious holidays.

5. Measure Your Results

Crafting the perfect diversity strategy will feel pretty unsatisfying if you have no means to measure your success.

At the beginning of your planning, gather data from your current employees so you have a starting point to guide your strategy goals.

When producing turnover reports and tenure reports gauge if a particular group has lower retention by adding additional measures like the percentages of genders, age brackets, and ethnic backgrounds.

Adding these additional measures will help you discover any trends in your workforce turnover and retention that impact the diversity present on your team.

The Impact of Workforce Diversity

“Any time you bring together diverse perspectives, it just creates a bunch of potential that you weren’t really expecting.” – Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter

By working to increase your workforce diversity, you expose your business and your employees to the interpersonal and financial advantages of a unique and cohesive team.

Implement a few of the ideas we mentioned here to increase your workforce diversity for better business results.

Do you need a team of experts to help you increase your workforce diversity? Give us a call at 877-753-0970 or check out our website to learn more about Integrity HR’s recruiting services and employee training programs to help you develop a diversity strategy.

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about the author: Integrity HR

Integrity HR's human resources blog is filled with expert advice (and sassy commentary) on those everyday employment issues that give business owners and managers HR headaches. From tips on how to retain key employees to how to write your dress code policy, our blog has all the HR resources you need.