What Are the Best Practices for Achieving Workforce Diversity?


image_014Diversity in the workforce is a proactive undertaking that is much different from the legally binding requirements of affirmative action and equal employment opportunities. A diverse workforce takes into account much more than gender, race and ethnicity. These best practices will help your organization set and achieve reachable diversity goals.

Start at the Top

Just like a parent should set an example of desired behavior before expecting their children to follow, so should the leaders of your organization. A diverse management team shows that you’re committed to the cause from the bottom up and the top down. The top members of the organization should speak positively of diversity and communicate their commitment to this ideal situation. Be sure to include a business case for diversity that can be shared with your stakeholders and other interested parties.

Create Organizational Diversity Goals

Simply having the idea of “diversity” on the minds of hiring managers isn’t enough. The human resources staff, hiring managers, CEO and others must come together to create organizational goals around diversity. Perhaps this means adding a new manager with a different cultural background or considering the addition of staff with unusual experiences. Whatever the goals are, they need to be in writing and widely shared.

Enact Mentoring Programs

A work site mentoring program shows that you’re committed to helping diverse members of your staff achieve their personal and professional goals. Mentors can be within your organization or from partnerships you have within the community, such as at local colleges and universities. The mentoring program should include activities during the workday as well as optional events during evenings and weekends.

Recruit Widely and Broadly

While every organization has their favorite recruitment events and locations, expanding beyond these can help you achieve your goals for a more diverse workplace. Look to partnering with community organizations in your city as well as those in nearby small towns and villages where recruitment events are rare. Take your show on the road to satellite campuses of large universities. Consider recruiting from vocational schools and community colleges where appropriate.