Workplace diversity can come in many different forms – from colleagues of different ages, races, and genders, from different religious, cultural, or socioeconomic backgrounds. There are multiple reasons that companies (regardless of industry) should do their due diligence to ensure that their staff has a broad representation of different types of people. Different perspectives are great for creative thinking and problem solving – basically, the more angles a challenge can be viewed from, the stronger the solution will be. This is definitely true of construction work, where team members are faced with unique challenges on every project.
All that being said, how can your company embrace diversity and create a culture of inclusion in the workplace? In this article, we will go over a few tried and true tactics for doing so.
First Focus on Management Positions
Of course, you want to make sure that you have a diverse workforce at every level in your company – from your foreman to your hourly employees. However, when first thinking about creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace environment, you need to start with your more senior-level employees. After all, these are the individuals that are going to be making most of the hiring decisions. It is essential that candidates see a range of diversity in your management team. Beyond that, you also need to educate your senior team on avoiding unconscious biases and following anti-discrimination policies.
Collect Information from Employees
It is imperative that you are getting feedback from your team. You can do this in various ways, including surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one meetings. Essentially, people need to feel like they can come to their managers to talk about important issues. Still, they may also divulge more honest information if there are times when they may do so anonymously. At the end of the workday, it is crucial to understand what is important to your minority employees and what could be improved. By listening and then acting on this feedback, you can significantly lower turnover rates and improve company morale.
Grow Your Team from the Inside Out
One of the first ways to do this is to ask for referrals from your star players, focusing on creating a more diverse team. This way, current employees can act as advocates as your company continues to grow in its level of diversity. As you hire more minority employees, it is also important that you use mentorship programs so that new individuals feel supported and have advocates and resources.
Embracing diversity in the office place is often critical to a company’s success. To that end, you should ensure that you are taking advantage of each of the above strategies.