Diversity and inclusion are recognized today as being drivers of performance and competitiveness. Here are 4 best practices to promote diversity.
1. Stop making it an option
According to the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI), there is no doubt that the global competitiveness of Canadian companies depends on the variety of ideas and the workers that make them up, as well as the creation of an environment which values them and favours their commitment.
“Diversity and inclusion are essential to attract and retain the best talents. They are simply essential to the growth and future viability of the Canadian economy,” declares Michael Bach, founder and director of the CCDI.
But how do you promote diversity?
First of all, the CCDI advises managers to use quantitative and qualitative measurement tools for the diversity and inclusion of their staff. For example, do workers have the feeling that they can be themselves at work? “If you don’t know how your staff is made up, how involved your employees feel, the measurement of the gap between your current organizational culture and a diversified and inclusive workplace remains simply impossible,” the director says.
3. Lead by example
Secondly, establishing and maintaining a more diversified and inclusive workplace cannot be done without clear and continuous commitment from decision-makers. According to Michael Bach, “without the visibility and participation of leaders at the highest level, the results in terms of diversity and inclusion will be limited.” In addition, by being aware of their own culture and that of employees, senior executives manage workplace disputes more effectively.
Improving workers’ knowledge on practical issues of diversity contributes to creating a culture of inclusion and awareness of the role and responsibility each person has in its development. “Training and informing is about valuing all members of an organization as individuals, particularly those from visible minorities, people with disabilities and First Nations people. It’s about valuing their talents, skills and unique contributions within the company,” adds the founder of CCDI.
Hire Immigrants Ottawa offers training modules to employers on intercultural skills, essential for promoting and coping effectively with diversity. In British Columbia, the online Indigenous Cultural Competency Training offers several educational resources to improve inclusion of Aboriginal workers.
Nationally, the website Diversity in the Workplace provides webinars, a set of practical information and examples of proven practices.
Many organizations such as the Canadian Mental Health Association and the Canadian Institute for the Blind also provide many other educational resources that are useful for diversity and inclusion in the workplace.