Diversity in business: from people to processes


Whether a group of people is from different cultural, social or economic backgrounds, it’s their diversity – especially in their ways of thinking and their approaches to dealing with challenges – that can bring new ideas and exciting changes to a business. That’s why it’s important to make a concerted effort to build a workforce that includes people from all walks of life.

However, depending on factors such as the nature of your business and its location, it’s possible that the recruitment process may tend to attract talent from a more homogenous background.

So how do you successfully build a diverse workforce – one that will help to ensure the very best ideas are coming through the company? Read on for our top tips on increasing diversity in your company.

Establish diversity as part of your company policy

Putting things in writing always helps to make them more concrete – and a short section in your company policy about how the company values diversity can help to ensure everyone from new recruits to hiring managers and board members are aware of the importance of promoting a diverse workplace.

This section of your company policy is also an excellent place to mention the complaints procedure in regards to discrimination and you can outline the disciplinary actions that will be taken if a member of your organisation goes against policy.

Think about where and how you advertise vacancies

During the recruitment process, it can be easy to fall into habits and advertise roles in the same places you always do. However, this can result in building a team with similar backgrounds. For example, if all your job advertisements go through the same national newspaper, the vacancies are most likely only going to be seen by that publication’s core readership – and, in general, those people will have the same political stance and socio-economic background.

Instead, try to advertise your vacancies in a number of different places, such as regional papers, trade publications and online. This will help you to reach a wider audience and enhance diversity.

It may also mean that you’re more likely to find potential candidates who are currently living far away from your business – luckily tools like conference call technology can simplify the interview process, even over large distances.

Celebrate diversity

By incorporating and celebrating cultural differences within your business, you can encourage your employees to be individuals and demonstrate that their differences should be enjoyed, rather than concealed.

One way to do this is to assign someone – or a small team – to plan events and activities that recognise the various cultural practices and occasions of the cultures that are already present in your business.

Diversify your processes too

While diversity among the people working for your organisation is a must, remember that you can also diversity other parts of your business as well. A diverse income stream, for example, can help to ensure that your business brings in revenue, even if one segment of your market begins to have difficulties.

In addition, by encouraging workers to diversify processes can help you to find new and better ways of doing things. There is, of course, a reason that standard processes are created – as it ensures consistency throughout the organisation. However, allowing a certain degree of flexibility while ensuring the end results are the same can help lead to improvements.