Successful businesses are those that are best able to harness the collective knowledge of their employees. This collective knowledge is enhanced by including people with different experiences, skills, knowledge and backgrounds.
Diversity can be a competitive advantage if understood and managed accordingly.
An employer of choice is often the organisation that values, actively promotes and builds upon diversity within the workplace. Below are some strategies that a business may wish to consider implementing to create a successfully diverse workplace.
When promoting workplace diversity, an employer should consider all relevant factors - please also refer to the Equal Opportunities and Discrimination Information Sheet.
Develop diversity management polices
Policies and practices aligned to the overall business goals could be implemented as a strategy to attract and retain a more diverse workforce including:
- Workplace flexibility such as flexible working arrangements (s.65 Fair Work Act 2009)
- Mentoring programs and support networks
- Ongoing training and development
- Regular activities that are inclusive of all existing and prospective staff
A diverse workforce can lead to a successful business. All employees must feel valued and included and not be discriminated against in any circumstances.
Recruitment and selection
Recruitment and selection strategies should be flexible and adaptable to suit the position being filled.
Job advertisements should be varied to target different groups of people, depending on the positions that require filling. For example, if a project requires someone with vast knowledge and experience then the advertising and recruitment strategy will be different to that which would be used to attract a young graduate.
The business should consider where the job advertisement will be placed, the terminology it will use and what benefits can be offered to the successful applicant.
Promotional activities, such as attending career expos, universities, high schools, and various networking events also help employers increase awareness about their business and its career paths for building diversity.
Cultural awareness training
Cross cultural awareness training is useful for employees who are required to work with people of different backgrounds and cultures to help build an understanding of others and build effective working relationships.
Use of working groups
If employees often choose to work with the same people on each project or task, the employer may want to consider forming a committee or work group to bring together employees with differing levels of experience, skills and knowledge and backgrounds. Strategic selection of employees that will complement each other and work well together is likely to result in a successful outcome.
For further information contact CCI’s Employee Relations Advice Centre on (08) 9365 7660 or