Workplace diversity is an important topic that has graced headlines for several years now. Applicants and customers alike want to see companies embrace a variety of cultures, employ and work with people of different backgrounds, and be more inclusive in their policies and practices. Everyone is different, so having a culture that embraces diversity works to everyone’s benefit.
While you may desire a diverse workplace and feel that your company is inclusive, however, some practices and policies may be hurting your cause. Make sure that the following factors are making your company more, not less, inclusive.
Parental Leave Policies
Parental leave policies can encourage parents to-be to work for your organization and can ease the stress load for some of your top talent. Even the language used in your leave policies is an important consideration when it comes to diversity, however. Specifying “primary caregiver” and “secondary caregiver” instead of “mother” and “father” can make parental leave policies more inclusive for same-sex couples and for families with different structures.
Most workers schedule their lives around their work schedules, but certain obligations must take priority. Religious holidays and traditions, child care, medical appointments, and other important events may require workers to seek a certain work schedule or request time off. By accommodating requests and scheduling with compassion, you may improve diversity while reducing turnover and attracting talent in search of this type of accommodation.
The EEOC dictates that employers can’t discriminate against certain protected classes, which helps with diversity in some ways. However, if you are requiring your hiring managers to meet quotas, you may actually be discouraging diversity by encouraging them to hire for race or background as opposed to qualifications.
Institute hiring policies that truly help to diversify your candidate pool and operate on selecting the best candidate in ways that remove biases. Use scorecards and filters so that candidates are being evaluated on measurable merits.
Dress codes, facial hair policies, tattoo and piercing policies, and hairstyle policies can all have an impact on the diversity of your workplace. Some of your most creative and enthusiastic talent may turn out to be employees that choose to step outside of societal norms when it comes to styles or that choose to follow religious guidelines. By relaxing dress code policies that aren’t actually necessary, you may find your company becoming more diverse.
Lunches and Foods Perks
Food choices and dietary needs may vary between workers of different religions and lifestyles, so it’s important to be sensitive to a wide range of needs. Your employees will all have to eat, so making sure that they have access to lunches and snacks that fit with their needs and traditions may encourage a broader range of employees to apply to or stay with your company. If there isn’t a wide selection of restaurants nearby, consider supplying snacks that cater to a wide range of needs and tastes.
Company Outings and Picnics
Company outings and picnics can be difficult to plan. Everyone has different interests, schedules, and food preferences, so picking one place, time, and type of event that makes everyone happy can be a tough task. Seeking input from all workers before beginning to plan can help to ensure that your company outings and picnics cater to your diverse workforce.