Being a diverse and inclusive business requires deliberate steps beyond willingness and words.
Over the past few decades, we’ve seen that hiring and maintain a diverse workforce has become a moral imperative for many businesses. As businesses face a record high talent shortage, it’s now become an economic necessity. In today’s war for talent, the strongest businesses will be those that are the most diverse and inclusive.
Fostering a diverse workforce takes more than words and a general willingness to grow. It requires deliberate and consistent actions and a strategy from all business leaders. Below are steps that businesses can take to become more inclusive now and into the future.
Use assessment for hiring and promoting
We’ve often heard leaders say that they build and promote employees based on ‘gut instincts’. This traditional approach can, however, be riddled with unconscious bias. A more appropriate and equitable way to level the playing field is to assess candidates with data.
“Science-based assessments are the most accurate and reliable tool for placing the right person in the right job,” says Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Chief Talent Scientist at ManpowerGroup. “As well as testing technical skills, assessments measure human strengths that are critical predictors of success such as how rewarding someone is to deal with, their ability to do the job and their willingness to work hard.”
Businesses have a long way to go on this front, with only 49% of workers globally having been assessed, according to ManpowerGroup research. Furthermore, 81% of those who have been assessed report higher job satisfaction versus 65% of those who have not.
Offer schedule flexibility
Workers want flexibility – and that means all things to all women. This can mean non-traditional work hours with flexible start and end times that counter rush hour peaks, options to Work from Home (WFH) or Work from Wherever (WFW), condensed four-day work weeks or five-hour workdays that heighten productivity and preserve the weekend, and parental leave that balances family and care and can be worth more than pay.
Especially in this digital age, work can get done in so many ways, and in so many places. Productivity beats presenteeism. Businesses can attract top talent and demonstrate their commitment to being an inclusive employer by asking what type of scheduling works best for them.
Provide training for growth
The next generation of leaders are already in the workforce. But are businesses training and preparing to create more diversity at the top of their organisation? By 2050, there will be no racial or ethnic majority in the United States – diversity will be the norm. If an organisation wants to be competitive in this landscape 30 years from now, they need to start thinking about creating a more inclusive culture through mentorship programmes, hiring beyond traditional talent pools and widening their pipelines, and preparing for the new future of jobs.
To learn about the power of language to foster an inclusive workplace, download the LGBTQ+ Inclusive #WordsatWork Guide.