Having an organisation that is conscious of diversity, inclusion and accessibility is an organisation that will strive.
According to the 2018 McKinsey report, ‘True Gen’: Generation Z and its implications for companies, Generation Z is conscious about the brands that they support, as they are the current buying force and those seeking employment. It is important to firstly have an inclusive brand, but at the same time attract the right crowd.
Based on the information gathered by McKinsey, 70% of Generation Z “say they try to purchase products from companies they consider ethical.”
The research also showed that about 65% of respondents try to learn the origins of anything they buy,—where it is made, what it is made from and how it is made.
Diversity in your organisation can only lead to success. It attracts more ethical customers, your organisation starts fostering a diverse environment, and more ideas are being brought to the table.
But, how do you create a diverse organisation?
First, audit your organisation…
Before you can head towards diversity in your organisation, it is important to first do an audit and see where your weaknesses are. Once you have done so, it becomes easier to work on those areas rather than starting from scratch.
Auditing your organisation does not have to be a complicated process. You can do it yourself, or you can hire a professional who specialises in creating diverse spaces. Whatever way you choose to go, ensure that your team is part of the process.
What is a diversity audit?
A diversity audit allows you to understand the demographics (this includes disability) and culture of your existing organisation. It provides you with a baseline.
Diversity highlights the specific factors that should be taken into consideration when creating a more diverse and inclusive organisation. The information gathered in an audit should provide you and your organisation with a holistic view.
Incorporate diversity into company policies and practices
After auditing your organisation, setting up policies and a diversity strategy will ensure that you stay diverse and inclusive.
A good rule of thumb is to amend current workplace policies to be more inclusive and diversity-friendly. This will be completed, based on the information you gathered, either through your own research or from a professional.
Be sure to look at different aspects of your organisation to ensure that you are diverse from hiring practices to performance reviews, promotions, and benefits.
Make your team part of the process. Ask your teamwhat changes they would like to see in the organisation. Listen to their recommendations and together decide what will be best for the organisation.
Relook at the recruitment process
Make sure that the recruitment process shows and highlights your diversity and inclusion strategy. There is nothing more daunting than sitting in front of a management team who are all from the same cultural background and able-bodied.
Your recruitment team should highlight the diversity that your organisation contains. The more diverse team members you have during the recruitment process, the easier it will be for marginalised job-seekers to feel safe and seen.
To get a clear idea, ask your team how they felt when first applying for a job at your organisation. Listen to what they have to say and brainstorm together to ensure that the process is improved.
Don’t only focus on the face value either. Make sure that the message that is conveyed to the job-seeker is one of sincerity, genuineness and trustworthiness.
Highlight diversity on the career page on your website
Once you qualify to call yourself a diverse organisation, do not be afraid to advertise it on your career page. When job-seekers apply for your organisation, they respond well to organisations that are open about their inclusion strategy.
It invites more diverse and minority job-seekers to apply to your organisation. With more diversity, comes more ideas to solve problems and how to reach a wider audience.
Conduct diversity training
Once you and your team have worked out where your organisation needs to improve and you have set up policies, it is also a good idea to implement diversity training. This ensures that everyone who gets onboarded to your organisation is aware of diversity.
But, once-off training does not suffice. It is more beneficial to you and your team if annual training takes place, to ensure that everyone keeps up with industry standards.
If you and your team are well versed in diversity and inclusion strategies, then it becomes easier to onboard more diverse team members.
Because you and your team are already trained, you will know how to ensure that everyone feels like the organisation is a safe space.
Purchase the IDEA handbook
One of our founding partners, the European Coworking Assembly, is launching an IDEA (inclusivity, diversity, equity, and accessibility) handbook. This book is designed to help organisations set up genuinely inclusive and diverse teams and strategies.
Once your organisation has purchased this book, you will be able to create an inclusion and diversity strategy on your own. It introduces IDEA in the first section and explains how a diversity audit is completed in the second section. In the third section, it focuses on showing you how to implement your new diversity strategy, and the last section links you to tools and resources to help you along your journey.