Most people would hope that workplaces could be a location free of politics, drama, and stress. We want to have spaces where we can focus on our jobs and ensure we do the best possible work. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a bubble. Due to ignorant hiring procedures, or employees who are too casual and rude to other employees, many find that workplace diversity is a topic that keeps cropping up. There are some challenges with workplace diversity, and here are some ways to work around them.
The first challenge may be in how you hire new employees. If your pool of candidates is small, either because of how you advertise or who you tell you’re hiring, you may be blocking out good candidates. Word of mouth only goes so far, and if everyone you speak to is similar, you won’t get many variances.
Put out ads online asking people to apply and informing them on what your company is about. You can crosspost this listing on multiple sites and ensure you get the most eyes on it possible. The perk to this is that more applicants mean you’ll get a higher number of qualified people. From here, hire regardless of race, sex, or any other protected status. Pay attention to the natural biases that exist in you, and get the best person for the job.
Training and Onboarding
When you’re training your new employees, you have to keep a lot in mind. Diversity and inclusion consulting can run through your options with you, but there are some basics every business should know. Treat every employee with the same respect and attention. This moment is not the time to get buddy-buddy with one worker while ignoring the other.
You should also ensure that your employees know how to act around other employees and how to be respectful in your business. It may not be fun to have to work by informing them of proper behavior, but necessary. If you set a baseline expected behavior with your employees, they’re more likely to stick to it and follow through.
As you run your business and your employees become more comfortable with you and each other, you may notice behavior shifts. Nobody acts 100% like themselves when they get hired or start working somewhere. It’s not until they’ve become accustomed to other employees, and feel secure in their work, that their personalities may begin to shine through. Sometimes this may be a pleasant surprise, like when someone shy suddenly opens up- at other times; it may bring out more uncomfortable behaviors.
Employees deserve to be able to work without getting harassed by other employees. If you notice any workplace discrimination or any behavior that isn’t professional, it’s time to take action. Listen to any employees who come to you with complaints, and pay attention to how they are treated and how they react to that treatment. Happy employees work harder and bring in better results. Listen to yours, and make changes where necessary.