For a long time now, the power of diversity has been proven in many organizations. Study after study has shown that diversity improves important business metrics that are vital to an organization’s overall success.
Aspects like organic collaboration, creative problem-solving, continual improvement, and innovation are all increased with a more diverse workforce.
Over the past couple of decades, specifically, the push for diversity in the workplace has gained a lot more traction. This has only been assisted by tools like the internet, social media, and a rise in international business as well.
With the evidenced benefits of diversity well documented, many organizational leaders have started to take it upon themselves to make diversity a pillar in their organizational culture. This is also because well-informed organizational leaders understand that the top talent won’t always be local. Therefore, it is beneficial to the organization to cast a wider net when looking for talented people to bring on board.
In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the world and left a lasting impact, especially on the workforce. One of the ways the pandemic influenced the workforce was in the creation of a much more mobile and remote workforce. In the face of stay-at-home orders, many organizations were able to transition to fully remote operations.
With more and more businesses conducting operations remotely, the international talent-pool was suddenly much more enticing.
The following tips and tricks will help any organization attract and retain diverse and high-performing talent.
“Attracting top, diverse talent is a top priority for many organizations. In today’s competitive marketplace, attracting and retaining top talent is essential. But, if you want to stand out from the crowd, you have to offer what your employees need: good pay, benefits, and an environment representative of their diverse backgrounds. There are many benefits to having a diverse workforce at your company. First, a diverse workforce brings a variety of perspectives and ideas to the table.”
– Monique Roberts, Author, Udacity –
Building an Awesome Company Culture
The modern-day workforce cares about treatment, to put it simply. How to develop a positive company culture has been an ongoing conversation amongst company leaders and organizational managers for years. However, workforce culture has become an even hotter discussion topic during and after the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Alongside other major shifts in the workforce dynamic, many employees conducted a major evaluation of their current position and the way they’re treated by their company.
“A lot of organizations wanted to ignore company culture as a main component of success. Or, if not ignore it, they wanted to pretend that putting a ping-pong table in the break room would somehow negate public berating for simple mistakes. Workplace culture is much more than that, though. It’s about how people are treated and treat one another. It’s about empathy.”
– Phillip Akhzar, CEO, Arka –
There are many elements involved in developing a strong company culture, but a major component is effective and productive communication. Managers and leaders need to be able to communicate openly with their employees, and employees need to be able to communicate honestly with their team leaders, managers, and other leadership personnel. Clear communication is especially important in giving instructions, feedback, and guidelines on tasks or responsibilities. On top of that, it’s also crucial in developing strong interpersonal relationships amongst team members and colleagues.
“Communication is one of those skills that’s needed in every position and role throughout the organization. And it’s even more important now that everything is digital and almost all of our teammates work from home. Communication plays a huge role in success.
– Sumeer Kaur, CEO, Lashkaraa –
Offering Equal and Fair Compensation
One of the pillars of company culture, though, is fair and equal compensation. Compensation continues to be one of the most important priorities for individuals in the workforce, and often determines if someone is going to stay with a company or begin to look for work elsewhere. There is so much information available online, that it’s typically pretty easy to find out what a fair going rate is for the work that you’re doing. If a company fails to pay you that rate, take it upon yourself to find fair compensation elsewhere.
“There are a handful of priorities that come up in hiring conversations over and over again, but compensation is always a point of discussion. No matter who I’m interviewing, how much or little experience, or where they’re coming from – income and compensation always come up.”
– Brittany Dolin, Co-Founder, Pocketbook Agency –
Especially with where the economy is today, and the nature of the current job market, it is much easier to attract and retain high quality and diverse talent if you’re willing to pay them a competitive rate.
“I mean it’s like with anything else in the world, do you want the best car? You have to pay more. Best computer? You have to pay more. Best coffee mug? You have to pay more. If you want the best sales person and account manager out there, you’re going to simply have to pay them more. That’s how it works.”
– Brian Munce, Managing Director, Gestalt Brand Lab –
Right alongside and in the same conversation as compensation are benefits packages. While many organizations are returning to a more freelance-based and contractor-based labor market, the value of comprehensive benefits is not lost on the highest-quality workers that are looking for jobs. Comprehensive benefits go above and beyond normal health, dental, and vision, too.
“Pay is what will bring someone in the door and will make them sign on the dotted line. Benefits, though, benefits are what will motivate that employee to stay with your company for decades while they grow as professionals.”
– Omid Semino, CEO and Founder, Diamond Mansion –
The types of benefits that are being prioritized today take a more holistic approach to one’s overall health, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Many popular company policies are now beginning to include provisions for therapy, counseling, and other mental health services that can greatly improve the quality of one’s life and can even be life-saving in certain circumstances.
This is largely due to the way that the pandemic highlighted the reality of mental illness for many. In fact, even NFL superstars, celebrities, and Olympic gold medalists were coming out and sharing their experiences with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
“I don’t think anyone would say that the pandemic was a good thing, but I think there were some silver linings. Leaders are thinking more and more about mental health and burnout and reevaluating what a healthy work-life balance looks like.”
– Karim Hachem, VP of eCommerce, Maxine of Hollywood –
Utilizing the Remote and International Workforce
By transitioning to fully remote operations, organizations set themselves up to make use of a much more international workforce. This in and of itself makes it much easier to bring in diverse talent from all over the world with a wide variety of backgrounds.
“The world is a big place. Much bigger than the city that your company is based in, and that’s even the case if you’re in New York, Chicago, or LA. While these are pretty diverse cities, they have nothing on the entire global workforce. Diversity lives internationally.”
– Marilyn Zubak, Marketing Lead, Snif –
Some organizations, like Apple, are trying to push the workforce to return to an in-person structure but are being met with a lot of pushback from the employees in the workforce. Many members of the workforce want a much better reason to deal with hours of commuting each morning and evening than, “we want you back in the office.” That simply isn’t sufficient.
“If you’re an organizational leader pushing to have people back in the office, I’d be interested to know why. The remote workforce has proven itself viable, productive, and valid at every turn. People are happier, and companies aren’t suffering – so again, why?”
– Randee Machina, Director of Marketing, Simpli Pleasures –
The Value of DEI
DEI, or diversity, equity, and inclusion, is a hot business buzzword and has been for quite a few years. As mentioned a few times now, the value of diversity has long been proven in the workplace. In the last quarter of 2022, this value is no secret, and responsible business leaders that want their organization to remain competitive and popular with modern consumers should continue to prioritize diverse talent-sourcing strategies.
“There are plenty of job boards out there that make it pretty easy to post jobs and filter through candidates. There are also, though, organizations that specifically support career growth for people of color. These can be good resources for companies serious about DEI.”
– Rachel Roff, Founder and CEO, Urban Skin Rx –
The best ideas are typically collaborations. Diversity, equity, and inclusion makes sure that everyone has a seat at the table and a voice in the conversation. This leads to better business structure, more innovation, and almost always higher profits
“The data behind diversity, equity, and inclusion is there. That should be enough for anyone if you ask me.”
– Dr. Michael Green, Chief Medical Officer, Winona –
Wrapping up on Attracting Diverse Talent
Diversity in the workforce is a major concern for many in today’s day and age. Finding and utilizing active job boards that boast diverse candidates, pay competitive rates, and set your organization up for success in the era of remote and mobile workers will help any organization attract and retain diverse and high-performing talent, with inclusive mentoring programs among them.
“Whether you are implementing your first plan or working to improve the one you already have, diversity sourcing best practices can help you reach your goals and create a more diverse workplace.”