How to embrace diversity and inclusion and how can it help with recruitment

Creating a diverse and inclusive workforce not only will it create a positive workplace, but it’ll also help to recruit and retain new employees. What can you do to embrace diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

How to embrace diversity and inclusion and how can it help with recruitment Feature

How to embrace diversity and inclusivity, and why can it help you with your recruitment?
 
Diversity and inclusion is a hot topic within the workplace and have been a key focus for many companies over the years. It is more than just policies and paperwork – it's creating a workplace where everyone feels heard, respected, and represented.

Creating a diverse and inclusive workforce not only will it create a positive workplace, but it’ll also help to recruit and retain new employees. Diverse teams help improve employee engagement, productivity, and innovation – it also means that with different perspectives being offered by your employees, you can take different approaches to problem-solving.

Embracing diversity and inclusivity in the workplace doesn’t happen overnight - it can take months or years of working as a team to understand your workforce, change policies, and implement change. Let’s look at a few things you can do to embrace diversity and inclusivity.


UNCONSCIOUS BIAS
Changes can come from the smallest amendments, start at the beginning and look at whether there is any unconscious bias in the organisation. Unconscious bias can range from gender-specific language to assumptions based on age or showing a preference for someone based on their name. The majority of these actions are made unconsciously, but they make a big impact on the workforce.

To combat unconscious bias the first thing you can do is to review your current documentation and make any amends to use more inclusive language. Without realising it, your candidates could be deterred from applying to your company because the language you use in your job adverts is weighted towards a specific gender. Go through all your policies, documentation, and communication thoroughly and identify any language that needs changing to be more inclusive.


EQUALITY
Equality is ensuring that everyone is treated fairly, and any discrimination is challenged to allow everyone a fair opportunity. It goes hand in hand with diversity and inclusivity and should also be looked at when working towards change.

Since April 2017, companies that employ over 250 people must publish a gender pay gap report detailing any differences in pay between genders - it's a way to ensure companies are treating their workforce equally. By being transparent about the pay gap you are encouraging women to apply for your roles as they know they will be treated fairly.

If your company wants to be equal, don’t restrict your pay gap report to just gender - why not look at other areas to see if it highlights any trends or concerns.


TRAINING
Diversity and inclusivity are constantly changing, so stay on top of any changes and organise regular training sessions for your employees. By implementing training, you’re allowing your workforce to understand cultural differences, the importance of inclusive language, and self-identity as well as other key areas of conversation. It also allows your employees to interact with others who they may not necessarily see on a day-to-day basis.

Training shouldn’t be reserved just for your employees - it should be open to all! Your senior management should demonstrate that they are leading the way when it comes to diversity and inclusivity.

When onboarding new employees, why not include your diversity, equality, and inclusion documents and guidelines for them to read to show that these policies are at the heart of your business.

Diversity and inclusivity in the workplace don’t happen overnight in any business, so keep monitoring progress – hold regular pulse surveys, analyse the answers, and accommodate any feedback. By actively listening to your employees, you’re showing that you stand by your policies!

While diversity is who makes up your workforce, inclusion is how your employees are valued and treat each other. Creating a diverse workplace is half the task, as you can hire people from any gender, race, age, or sexual orientation – the key is maintaining it! This is done through inclusivity - after all, if an employee doesn’t feel included or that they've got to hide part of who they are, they will soon leave.

When building an inclusive and safe space for all employees, the best thing to do is to try and put yourself in their shoes – imagine you’re someone who is hard of hearing and has to lipread to understand what is said to them but they’re sat with their back to the majority of the room, or that you’re a Muslim who feels that they can’t incorporate their prayer routine into their work life, or even a non-binary person who feels that they can’t be open about the pronouns that they wish to go by for fear of being mocked. By putting yourself in their shoes you can quickly identify the steps that need to be taken to create an inclusive workplace.

Only by understanding your employee's needs will you be able to create a culture of inclusivity where everyone can feel as if they belong – why not create a task force made up of a diverse range of employees to ensure that everyone’s voices are heard and respected.

Once you have a diverse and inclusive work culture shout about it when looking to attract candidates to your roles, whether you post on social media, write blogs, or dedicate an area of your website to your equality, diversity, and inclusion policy. Make candidates aware of your policies when posting your roles so that they can get a better understanding of your company.

Through diversity and inclusion, you’re opening the possibility of reaching a wider talent pool when recruiting new employees, but it's not enough to post your roles and hope for the best. You need to go where your candidates are by posting roles to diverse job boards and putting yourself in front of underrepresented candidates. Reach can work with you to identify these boards and how you can tailor and optimise your adverts to have the maximum impact on candidates. To find out more call 01527 574408 and speak to the Reach Online team.

National Fostering Agency

"Reach has given our candidates a much better experience. It's made us more visible in the market."

Suzanne Robson - Group HR Director