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Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Workforce: Strategies for Success

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Three in four job seekers prefer diverse, inclusive companies, and in all industries, it should come as no surprise that groups formerly seen as ‘minorities’ may reach majority status by 2044. Inclusivity involves promoting equal rights, fairness, and social justice, while banishing all forms of discrimination. It embraces the idea that nobody should be left behind, either because of their race, sex, gender, or disability. Whether you are managing a small or large business, ensure that your company is known for having a strong diversity and inclusion policy. Doing so will not only build your reputation among clients, but also help you attract the very best talent.

Embracing a Professional Training Plan

It is vital for leaders, supervisors, and co-employees alike to be aware of the needs of minorities such as disabled co-workers and guaranteeing this knowledge depends upon a company’s willingness to invest in training. Supervisors need to know how to manage people with disabilities as well as communicate any questions they may have regarding how to best accommodate office roles, procedures, and spaces to their needs.Some managers may have assumptions that are unfounded and this can interfere with the expectations they have of workers. For instance, disabled employees may qualify for SSDI yet choose to work full-time or embrace the chance to work extra hours, despite the fact that doing so may bring their income or assets over eligibility limits. Others may have a disability that is not severe enough for them to make a disability claim but which may require specific accommodations or assistive technology. Managers must be trained how to communicate with staff so they can voice their concerns and queries while also promoting a positive, supportive work culture.

Communicating Diversity and Inclusion Plans

Companies should regularly communicate their values to all employees. They should promote the use of inclusive language, stress the importance of D&I to their mission, and ensure that work is a bully-free space where people can ask questions and listen to others share their experiences. Employees should have dedicated spaces where they can share stories about how D&I policies have changed the lives of employees for the better. For instance, instead of promoting new accommodations for the disabled, companies can share the story of how Claire (who is vision-impaired) was able to meet and even surpass her goals thanks to the use of camera scanners and OCR tech. You can use newsletters and coworking communications software to tell these stories or ask individual employees to share their own stories, observations, and concerns.

Promoting Pay Equity

Pay equity ensures that people are paid fairly and that there are no gaps based on gender or race. In the US, black women earn $0.63 for every dollar earned by white men, as reported by the US Census Bureau. Pay equity can only exist if companies approach it with a sound, multifaceted strategy. It begins with a pay equity audit, to determine if people are getting paid equally for similar or equal work. Considerations to bear in mind when carrying out an audit include race, age, gender, time spent at the company, and similar. Pay differentials should be attributed to factors such as experience, education, or training and if none of these apply, the next step is to identify gaps based on age, gender, and similar. Salaries should then be adjusted; depending on a company’s budget, salaries can rise over one or two years until they are equalized with those of peers. Finally, companies need to analyze the reasons why salary gaps existed in their organization in the first place. Regular monitoring of hiring and promotion processes should be undertaken.

D&I policies are key to business success in 2023. Diverse, inclusive companies not only attract more clients, but also enable companies to hire and retain top talent. To ensure your company is up to scratch, invest in training, communication of D&I policies, and audits so that all staff can earn the same salary for the same work.

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