Four Ways to Increase Your Workplace Diversity

Bayt.com, Contributor, Jun 05 2018

Diversity has been increasingly seen in the workplace and having a diverse team working together is perceived as an asset to an organization. Perhaps the most commonly stated benefit of having a team of diverse employees is that you have an extensive scale of ideas, skills and backgrounds that will help your organizational development.

However, other than having wider spectrum of skills and ideas, are there any other benefits of employing diverse team member? How does it improve overall organization productivity? Here are the answers from Bayt.com:

Why Does It Matter?
Honesty is present when an organization is reflecting the community it is serving. For instance, if you happened to open a school for students in a specific area in the Middle East, but you haven’t hired any local candidates as administrators or teachers, the school will soon show failure representing the community it is bound to serve. Similarly, if you were to have a marketing agency startup, and your marketers aren’t representative, or at least understanding, the demographics in the area, the startup might seem disengaged from your target clients.

Apart from the disengagement from your clients, not having a diverse workplace may put your organization into the tunnel vision. If you are all about cookie-cutter workers, you will eventually get stuck and suffer to find innovation and creativity to provide your products and services.

Increasingly, diversity is seen as an attractive workplace element by jobseekers and professionals. The Bayt.com Ideal Workplace in the Middle East and North Africa Survey revealed that 70% of respondents feel that having diversity is an important factor in the workplace. Nearly 40% of those respondents claim it is an ‘extremely’ important attribute. Also, seven in 10 respondents feel that their potential workplace should promote diversity.

If your company is actively seeking and encouraging diversity, then this would increase their ability to attract talents in the region.

How Can You Enhance Diversity in the Workplace?
Some measure you can implement to encourage and increase workplace diversity:

  1. Adopt objective talent screening practices
    Manual talent screening can create room for personal preference. Studies have shown that people have hidden biases that form their immediate judgments of other people. However, this can reduce diversity. This unintended bias when screening CV’s can cause companies to overlook candidates from different backgrounds or demographics even if they are highly qualified.

    A recommended solution to your organization to avoid such an act of unintended bias and thus increase your chances of having a diverse workforce it to use objective screening online. Tools such as Bayt.com CV search are designed to remove any human error and are made specifically to screen CV’s based on the skills and qualifications you are looking for. You can shortlist candidates without going through the possibility of accidentally eliminating a perfect fit candidate; this can be done through filters and questionnaires in your inbox or by using keywords on CV search.

  2. Create a diverse and friendly work environment
    Encourage employee engagement in the workplace. Interacting with team members and diverse employees from different cultures and backgrounds will broaden opinions and promote learning. You should show them the importance of diversity and how it will have a positive impact in their professional path as well as their personal lives. This can be done through team building activities and gatherings.

Workplace diversity means directly focusing on qualifications and skills during the hiring process, training and promoting. This could come internally by increasing the effort and dedication to ensure equal opportunity in the workplace. 

1. Compensation

To better attract a diverse workforce, you would want to consider implementing a combination of various perks and benefits. Your compensation package is an important factor in attracting diverse candidates, and it shouldn’t be overlooked. Ask the following questions to better understand what your benefits serve and to whom:

  • Do I offer exclusive benefits for minority groups (i.e. women, disabled persons)?
  • How does my compensation package appeal to local talent?
  • Do I have relocation packages and flexible work schedules?
  • Do my leave policies attract diverse candidates?

Answering those questions and other similar ones regarding your overall compensation package and whether it caters to a diverse workforce or not will allow you to classify what areas need changes in order to attract and retain the largest diverse group of talent and maximize diversity in your workplace.

2. The value list

When you acknowledge your hiring needs and you are about to start your hiring process, create a value list. Identify the values that you consider essential to your workplace. These may include passion, open communication, honesty and other potential values. Regardless of what these values are, they should be used as a primary tool when evaluating a candidate’s fit to the organization.

Once the values have been identified, ensure you highlight them and make them obvious in your job posting, or any other hiring method you follow, and then you will be able to evaluate candidates based on these values. The candidates should be able to show how they possess these values by referring to previous experiences, whether it’s professional or academic.

Not only does value-based hiring remove any biases, it will also ensure you maintain cohesion and harmony among your diverse workforce, despite demographic and personal differences. 

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