No matter what kind of business you run, you can’t escape the fact that the smooth functioning of your business operations is dependent on the ability of a team of sometimes very different people to work together. Diversity is not something to be feared if you are to stay relevant in today’s global economy; rather, it is something to be embraced. Do your part by following these tips for how to create a diverse working environment:
What does it mean to be diverse?
When most people hear the word “diversity,” they think of a variety of cultures coming together. While this is certainly an aspect of diversity, it is in no way the whole picture. In the modern business world, diversity is about equality in regards to not only race and culture, but also gender, sexual preference, and physical handicaps. As you can probably guess, this all-encompassing type of diversity requires a lot of special considerations to get it right.
Get technical about it.
It is not enough to say that you embrace diversity in your workplace. The best way to create a diverse working environment is to instate very specific policies and procedures for your managers to follow when it comes to handling and promoting diversity in the workplace. Make it a point to enforce all of the rules, and, of course, to practice them yourself.
Make use of government funding for minority programs.
There are a number of government-funded programs devoted to increasing the number of minorities that are employed in both small and large businesses. These programs not only offer financial incentives for creating diverse work environments, but they also offer a variety of other resources for training your employees in diversity and interpersonal relations.
Inclusion for the handicapped is a growing concern in today’s business world, as medical advances enable more and more of the physically and mentally handicapped to obtain and maintain gainful employment. To promote this very important aspect of diversity, you must first ensure that your working environment is completely handicap accessible. Again, there are a number of government-funded programs to help you made your workplace accessible, and also to train you and your employees in the fundamentals of inclusion.
When it comes down to it, diversity means different things to different people, and a well-laid plan must account for all of these. Your best, most effective, means of creating a diverse working environment is to embrace diversity wholeheartedly yourself. If you take thoughtful measures to incorporate appropriate diversity promoting programs, policies, and procedures into your workplace, healthy diversity is sure to follow.
About the Author: Nicholas Baldwin is a human resources manager for a small retail chain. He’s involved with hiring, setting up the employee schedule maker, and ensuring the workplace environment is positive in each location.