Businesses that understand the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace are known to perform better both financially and culturally. When employees work with other people from different backgrounds, they have the opportunity to learn from one another to produce higher quality products and services. Having a diverse workplace will also foster a positive working environment in which your employees will grow and thrive.
Cultural Diversity in the Workplace
First, let’s talk about some tips on implementing cultural diversity in the workplace. The most important piece to cultural diversity is that it widens your talent pool! Plus, with most organizations allowing remote work, you can widen your talent pool even further as you are not tied to geographic regions. A way to achieve cultural diversity in the workplace is by building a work environment of diversity, equity, and inclusion. So, why is this important?
With employees from all different ages, genders, races, sexual orientations, religions, ethnicities, abilities, and cultural backgrounds bringing their ideas to the table, your products and services will serve a wider, more inclusive audience. This is important because this is how innovation happens. Innovation rarely happens when everyone is the same and agrees all of the time.
We should also work to foster inclusion, by encouraging a wide variety of views, perspectives, and ideas to be heard and celebrated. Everyone should feel confident that they are being heard which will lead them to continue to bring their ideas to the table.
Embrace Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace at the Organizational Level
When we embrace DEI at an organizational level, there are huge benefits for all of us including:
- Innovation as different groups work together to share ideas.
- Increased productivity as people who come together and bring their own style of working together tend to support a more productive team.
- New Opportunities arise as diversity opens the door to a wider audience and the blending of ideas which would otherwise have been homogeneous.
- Faster Problem-Solving: Challenges are layered, so having people with different backgrounds can lead to better problem-solving with richness of opinions.
Diverse groups have a greater range of perspectives and generate high quality solutions. Companies with solid DEI initiatives enjoy all of the benefits that come with a diverse employee base. Working with people who are different than you is also a great way to expand your boundaries and learn about people who are different from you. This can go a long way to help you achieve personal growth.
How do you support diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace? The first step is to get involved. You can Join a DEI committee in your workplace, start conversations, and give feedback. Most people say that they support DEI but their actions suggest otherwise. You cannot both support DEI and stay out of the conversation or avoid conflict. Your actions must support your words.
Listen to Your Employees
The second step is that you need to listen. You should welcome ideas that are different from your own, and support your fellow teammates. Listening is a hard skill to master as it is human nature to want to offer your opinion. However, you need to understand that your opinion can, and should, be changed. None of us are right 100% of the time and you should be open to the ideas of others.
Join a Community
The third step is to join a community. There are communities on social media and events you can attend to support marginalized groups. In the past few years, these communities have exploded and now there are more places to be supportive than ever. You should find a marginalized group that you are interested in supporting and seek out people in that community to get involved.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace – Courses on Pluralsight
I teach diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace in several of my Pluralsight courses: Increasing Mental Health Awareness for Improved Inclusiveness, Managing Technical Professionals, and Launching Successful Teams. These courses include animated scenario-based training following the same cast of characters from course to course as they learn to support diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. Visit my Pluralsight author page to get started with these courses today!