Workplace diversity has now become a norm rather than a novelty.
Surveys done by management consulting firm McKinsey show there are significant benefits in embracing it beyond lip service. Internally, diversity and inclusion (D&I) programs promote employee satisfaction and retention, ignite creativity, and broaden knowledge across the board.
These programs are critical in solving diversity issues, especially preventing work environments from becoming hostile. They can ease conflicts and tension. They can significantly affect communication, productivity, and employee retention.
Brands must understand that discrimination and harassment have no space in modern times. Therefore, they have a huge responsibility towards addressing diversity issues arising within their organizations to ensure that their company culture is equitable towards all markets.
What happens when workplace diversity is only for show?
The short answer is that they may be outperformed by more diverse competitors. According to workplace research firm Great Place to Work, diverse workplaces are shown to bring in higher revenues and promote greater innovation within their workforce.
Just as technology helps businesses expand their global reach, it also enables consumers and employees to denounce companies for their toxic culture.
As you can see, neglecting workplace diversity issues can implicate the company in legal and social arenas. Especially now that prospective clients and employees are keen on patronizing businesses they agree with.
According to SproutSocial, about 53% of consumers connect better with brands that share their values.
How can brands address diversity challenges?
Inclusive companies will easily outstrip businesses that resist the road to an equitable office culture. Much like in customer service, it is best to implement proactive D&I strategies than to enforce corrective measures after consequences have materialized.
Here are helpful solutions for addressing workplace diversity challenges:
Provide diversity training and mentoring programs
Diversity training, and eventually, mentoring programs, provide employees with an understanding of individual differences in the workplace. It’s a great way to help them shed antiquated stereotypes and beliefs and provide them with fresh perspectives beyond their comfort zones.
Recognize strengths and areas for improvement
Knowing areas for improvement allows you to change with the times. In turn, you can create relevant programs that resonate with your customers and employees. Recognizing each of your program’s strengths, on the other hand, helps you navigate which programs you should continue building and promoting.
It’s worth knowing that every successful diversity and inclusion program takes years of learning. What worked this year may not necessarily align with what the coming years may need.
Do social listening
Businesses must always keep an ear to the ground. Listen to your employees, existing and potential clients, competitors, and the overall D&I climate. Use surveys, social media platforms, and other online tools that are readily available. Taking social pulses helps businesses improve and adapt their D&I programs to changing needs and see where the competition falters.
Promote the company’s stance and culture internally
How organizations embody diversity awareness and relay D&I policies trickle down to how employees carry themselves in and out of the office. While it’s essential that patrons know what your company stands for, it’s crucial for employees to understand its stance and values. If they aren’t comfortable in the workplace, you can expect a lot of backlashes online, impacting how customers perceive your brand.
What prospective hires and clients seek are accountability and consistency. Despite the buzzwords thrown into the ring, the work must also stand up in the real world. Employees want to feel respected and accepted. Their individuality is the magic ingredient needed to make a diverse workplace work. Embrace that and use it to your advantage.
Be objective and fair
Management diversity also adds up to how the company handles issues that may come up. An open-minded, diverse team can make objective policies and uphold fairness in solving a menagerie of challenges. If leaders can do so with empathy, equality, and care, it’ll be easier for employees to treat each other well.
Sustainable businesses implement diversity and inclusion programs
The pressure is only bound to go up for those catering to diverse markets. A disconnect between one’s public persona and internal culture will undoubtedly be uncovered in time. So, it is crucial to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion in the company’s values.
Business sustainability is a long-term benefit that needs consistent development and implementation of D&I programs. This will prevent companies from falling into an exclusionary work environment that will impact employee and client retention.
Partnering with a BPO that prioritizes diversity and inclusion allows businesses to provide authentic customer experiences. We at Open Access BPO understand our responsibility in bringing diversity and equity to a people-first industry. Get in touch with us to learn more about our 24/7, multichannel customer service offerings to speak your customers’ language.