5 Incredible Ways to Boost Engagement in a Diverse WorkforceAbbakin
Engagement in a Diverse Workforce and inclusion are among the most blooming workplace trends in the modern workplace. Organizations are increasingly realizing the business benefits of diversity and inclusion and are investing in it wholeheartedly. Did you know that organizations that embrace diversity and inclusion have a 70 percent higher chance of penetrating new markets?
Workplace diversity insights further state organizations with an equal representation of genders can increase their revenue by 41 percent. However, do you think all diverse organizations end up achieving such exceptional results? That is a little too surreal to assume, isn’t it?
Of course, workplace diversity has some fascinating business benefits to offer. As a leader, you should do all that it takes to get such output from a diverse workforce. On the contrary, we know already that the overall employee engagement levels are dismal. Further, in a diverse workforce, sustaining high engagement may seem far more complex. Practically speaking, it is not that easy to keep people from diverse backgrounds on the same page to work in unison.
If you have a diverse workforce and you are not reaping the above business benefits of it, you are surely missing out on a massive opportunity. However, that is easier said than done. Having said that, your organization needs some outside-the-box approaches to propel engagement.
This blog highlights some of the most actionable and unique strategies for boosting engagement in a diverse organization. So, let us get started without further ado.
Actionable strategies to boost engagement in a diverse workforce
#1. Embrace inclusion, not just diversity
Engaging a diverse workforce can be quite challenging as discussed above. After all, getting the best out of people from diverse backgrounds, experiences and talents is easier said than done. Hence, the key to fostering high engagement in a diverse workforce is to go one step ahead and embrace inclusion. Diverse hiring on its own will not be sufficient to produce great results.
To explain, for high engagement, it is essential that people feel accepted, valued, and appreciated. This is where inclusion becomes an important virtue in the context of a diverse workplace. From the perspective of employees from minority backgrounds, they may always be in doubt about whether their co-workers and seniors have acceptance for them or not.
Would you feel like giving your best in an environment where you feel you are accepted or valued? The chances are bleak for sure because you would not feel that urge to unleash the best in such a pessimist environment. Along similar lines, for your employees to be engaged, it is significant to make them feel included and valued.
By promoting greater inclusion, you can help them settle their insecurities. Once they overcome these negative influences, they can deliver results with greater commitment and optimism. The real question is, what does it take to cultivate a culture of exemplary inclusion?
Listed below are some suggestions for fostering greater inclusion in the workplace
- Bring greater transparency to the workplace
- Create mechanisms for inclusive knowledge sharing
- Include your employees in decision-making whenever possible
- Make feedback sharing continuous and seek feedback from employees
- Develop clear and strategic communication strategies
- Offer equitable leadership opportunities
- Encourage employees to take initiative
- Offer greater creative liberty to your employees
#2. Make strong policies to deal with discrimination
Engagement and workplace discrimination cannot go hand in hand, can they? When employees face bullying, bias, or any other form of discrimination in the workplace, their motivation will decline for sure. Not only will their motivation take a setback but also, their engagement levels will drop.
The corporate world has surely come a long way to be more diverse than ever before. However, it is also true that infamous workplace virtues like discrimination still prevail in the modern workplace. Besides, it is also understandable that such instances are more likely to take place in a diverse workplace.
Having said that, as a leader, you need to introduce firm policies to address discrimination and bullying. In fact, in the larger sense, the policy framework should cater to all kinds of ethical issues a workplace is vulnerable to. As a leader, you need to inspire the confidence in your people that you have zero tolerance for discrimination or bias.
Hence, it is also important that your stance against discrimination should not be limited to the paperwork. The intolerance for discrimination needs to be encouraged in the workplace on a daily basis as a natural workplace virtue.
The greater the assurance you give to your employees the organization will take strict actions against discrimination; the lesser will be their fear of being bullied. Once you help them break free from the clutches of these insecurities, they will respond with greater allegiance, commitment, and engagement.
#3. Create a gender-neutral environment
The world has come a long way to leave behind gender stereotypes and the idea of gender-specific roles. It is high time that the corporate world brings that chance in perception too. In fact, gender diversity is a salient component of diversity, and unless there is equality of genders in the workplace, the engagement scenarios may continue to remain low.
Having said that, a great way to address the same is to create a highly-gender neutral environment. For instance, when you post job descriptions on job portals, it will be a great idea to exclude gender-specific terms from the description of job responsibilities. Similarly, the kind of terminology that is used in the workplace should be free from gender-specific terms.
However, what will have a greater impact is the promotion of equal representation. You need to offer equal opportunities to your people in terms of workplace learning, exposure, and career advancement. When employers are sure that nothing can come in the way of their merit, they will feel the constant urge to raise the bar of performance every day. Makes great sense, right? A little shift in perspective can mean so much in terms of fostering high engagement and retention.
#4. Offer mentorship in emotional intelligence
If you look around, a lot of modern organizations are laying great emphasis on empathy. In fact, empathy has become an essential workplace virtue that can help organizations scale employee productivity and satisfaction.
To validate, as per Businessolver, 76 percent of employees feel that workplace empathy adds to their motivation and productivity. Furthermore, empathy has also become a significant part of employer branding. To substantiate, 80 percent of employees will prefer to work for an empathetic employer. Also, did you know that 83 percent of Gen Z folks are more likely to choose organizations that have a strong culture of empathy?
Now when we talk about empathy in a diverse workplace, its importance is far more significant. When people come from minority identities, they expect their co-workers and superiors to understand their emotions and sentiments. Hence, by creating a more empathetic workplace, you can inspire greater confidence and motivation in the workplace. For that, you need to provide effective training and mentoring to your employees in emotional intelligence.
To clarify, empathy is a core component of emotional intelligence. Besides, other components of emotional intelligence include the following.
- Intrinsic motivation
- Social skills
If you look at the larger picture, each of the above skills or components can make a vital contribution to workplace motivation. Having said that, mentoring programs in EQ will make so much sense in a diverse workplace.
#5. Make the most of people analytics
The modern world is making big strides with big data and analytics. In fact, all business operations in the modern corporate world are centered around analytics. Having said that, data and analytics are also changing the way HR policies and practices are formed. This is where people analytics or HR analytics come into the picture.
Just to be on the same page, let us look at the definition of people analytics. As per Gartner, HR analytics is the efficient collection and application of data related to employees for determining the best-fit HR strategies. In fact, the scope of people analytics is not limited to human resource management. With people analytics, organizations can enhance overall business performance.
What is of our concern here is how people analytics can contribute to employee engagement. As we know, employee appreciation, compensation, and rewards are directly linked to engagement. In a diverse workforce, how do organizations figure out which rewards motivate different employees in the best way? You can surely track that with effective talent data.
Also, with the collection of data, you can measure employee productivity, absenteeism, and past achievements. All in all, people analytics can be a game-changer for organizations in unlocking new horizons of engagement and productivity. People analytics can help you cultivate high engagement in the following ways.
- Offering personalized rewards to employees
- Determining the right compensation policies
- Understanding diverse preferences and employee expectations
- Better talent management
- Tracking employee leaves and well-being history
Summing up: 5 Incredible Ways to Boost Engagement in a Diverse Workforce
To encapsulate, having a diverse workforce and a high-performing diverse workforce are two different things. While diversity surely has measurable business benefits, keeping a diverse workforce engaged can be complicated. However, with the above strategies, you can surely make a positive difference in the engagement scenarios in your diverse workplace.
Author Bio: Jessica Robinson
Jessica Robinson loves to write interesting and knowledgeable blogs regarding business management, education and life to satiate the curiosity of her lovely readers. Currently, she is serving as a content manager at the ‘Speaking Polymath’. Every piece of content that she writes demonstrates her immense love and passion for her profession.
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