We can agree that these past months have been trying. The world is anxious watching the news, reading social media or having conversations about the COVID-19 pandemic. We look to our leaders to be calming voices as we settle into our latest dose of reality. Just know, we will make it through this challenge as long as we stay encouraged.
More importantly, everything does not have to be a doom and gloom scenario. This is a fantastic time for business leaders or owners to assess growth goals and review hiring strategies. When the job market picks up, it is imperative that you have the best team in place. In fact, now is the time to make sure that your employees have the right skill set and your company is embracing two strategic initiatives: Diversity & Inclusion.
The following statements are true: Diversity is an Action; Inclusion is a Cultural Movement promoting a welcoming feeling towards others. It’s important to make all resources comfortable in the workplace. When employees feel like they are included, their work ethic and productivity improve because they feel their work truly matters.
When you are looking for exemplary employees, leaders should make these actions mandatory. But, in our current climate, employers and employees are experiencing fear and confusion. During this global panic, it may seem easier to set diversity initiatives aside. Therefore, I have suggestions for business leaders to immediately engage with their team and ensure Diversity and Inclusion remain top of mind.
1. Encourage your team to take a webinar, join a LinkedIn group that focuses on diversity or attend a Meetup event
There are many resources that offer free diversity courses for employees. Online sites, such as: humanrightscareers.com and themuse.com listing classes at no cost to the employer or employee. Also, LinkedIn has multiple groups focusing on ethnic background, gender or sexuality that have discussions and forums for its members.
If leaders suggest these ideas to their team and encourage these action items within their company guidelines, it will be easier to include in their organizational values.
2. Invite the team to the table
If you ask your team about the company’s culture, would they know? This is a good time to find out. Some people might say “It’s a family environment” or “Every day is like a party” or “It’s very conservative”. Leaders should reach out to their team and get their thoughts. Also, leaders should share information and connect with the team more often and in a more meaningful way. In times of turmoil, employees need reassurance. By strengthening your company’s internal communication channels and adding a human touch, it will help employees connect with one another and increase morale. If leaders update their employees, it removes mystery in the workplace. Be as transparent as possible without causing pandemonium. The team will appreciate it.
3. Stay consistent and vigilant with this mission.
Studies have shown that a habit is adapted over 21 days. If this were the case, then Diversity and Inclusion initiatives would be present within all organizations. Diligence is required so that these causes are championed and embraced by others within your organization. Leaders must communicate this mantra on a weekly basis at a minimum. Simple strategies like sharing articles on diversity or highlighting diversity events such as Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Pride Month, National Hispanic Heritage Month, or Veteran’s Day demonstrate your understanding of the need to recognize all backgrounds and may lead your employees to think about things from a different perspective in the future.
We are living in multicultural and multigenerational times where departments can have Baby Boomers and Millennials working side by side. Leaders must learn that in today’s workforce it is about appreciating, respecting, and valuing all employees. Do not ignore someone’s differences and stress that everyone is working towards the same goals.
The most progressive companies embrace Diversity and promote Inclusion, making the best of our current situation to create a culture celebrating both of these causes. Not only will this lead the way to creating a better culture but will also help empower every member of your organization to promote the same and help our world.
RK Management Consultants, Inc. (RKMC): RKMC is a consulting firm specializing in Talent as a Service (TaaS), in which they plan, manage and implement technology-driven business solutions. RKMC conducts business nationally with offices in Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Washington DC, and San Francisco as well as international locations in Toronto, Canada, and New Delhi, India. To learn more about RK Management Consultants, Inc. please visit our website: https://www.rkmcinc.com.
Author: Andre Walker, Director of Sales Enablement at RK Management Consultants, Inc.