How to Build a Diverse Work Environment

May 10, 2022

There’s been a much-needed shift amongst businesses towards greater diversity in work environments.

The reasons for this change are clear not only with regards to ethics and corporate social responsibility, but also in terms of the many proven, measurable benefits a diverse workplace can bring a company. 

The Importance of Diversity

Workplace diversity refers to having a variety of differences between the individuals that make up the organisation. These differences can come in many forms, such as: age, culture, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, and religion.  

By incorporating diversity into the work environment and culture, an organisation can expect to enjoy:

Increased creativity and innovation in the workplace

When you have a team of people that come from different places, backgrounds, and walks of life, the variety of experiences and perspectives allows for a handful of solutions to any one problem as opposed to a single uninspired solution birthed from the same cultural voice. 

Increased opportunities for professional growth within & of the organisation

Diverse teams also mean that each of your employees have much to learn from one another, and will be continually exposed to new skills and methodologies of work. It also increases the likelihood of internal company advocacy, which can help expand and grow your team through its inherent attraction of professional talents. 

Better decision-making

Research has shown that teams often outperform individuals when it comes to making optimal decisions, and that that further improves as team diversity increases. Furthermore, having a highly diverse team also empowers a company to meet the needs of a more diverse customer base. 

Why Diversity in the Workplace Has to Be Structured

But what many don’t know is that incorporating diversity into work environments calls for much more than simply being approving of the notion. 

Like it or not, each and every one of us holds in our own minds a set of unconscious biases regarding those different from us. These biases may not be fully conscious on our part, or as well-defined as coherent thoughts — but they’re there nonetheless. 

That is why professional HR service providers often stress the importance of systematically structuring a diverse work environment, such that these biases are not allowed to form the bases of hiring decisions and work culture. 

Facilitating Diversity in Work Environments & Culture

At the same time, we at Liberte know full well how tough it can be to systematically incorporate a structured diverse work environment. 

So, here are three crucial steps to take in the right direction: 

1. Clearly outline and detail your company’s diversity goals

The devil is in the details; outline and detail your company’s goals to create a diverse work environment. Ensure that they are measurable for monitoring purposes, and that they are detailed enough such that you can adequately design work policies to implement, to help you reach these diversity goals.

2. Establishing strong & accessible employee support systems 

It’s important to meticulously design diverse work environments and culture, but it’s all the more important that you implement them well — and a big part of that comes from having strong and accessible employee support systems for employee assessment, conflict management and short-term counselling where required.

3. Creating fair recruitment practices & processes

Fair recuitment means hiring on merit, and entails overcoming unconscious biases in your hiring processes. Some ways in which you can consider working on this yourself are:

  • using inclusive language in your job ads; 
  • incorporating AI-powered skill assessments during the selection process; 
  • offering employees involved in hiring formal training on fair employment practices
  • gathering a hiring team or panel of employees that’s diverse to overlook recruitment; and
  • adopting ‘blind hiring’ practices that shun any and all irrelevant identifiable characteristics from a candidate’s application.

Liberte’s Job Evaluation Framework

We at Liberte understand how tough it can be to properly incorporate diversity into the workplace. 

That is why our HR experts have developed a comprehensive job evaluation framework tailored to incorporate diversity in work environments, while also ensuring that companies attract the right talent and avoid “buyer’s remorse” through relevant job description analyses carefully curated specifically to each company’s organisastional structure. 

You can check out our full suite of consulting services here.

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Liberte is a boutique agency that not only provides the best HR & payroll outsourcing solutions in Singapore, but expert HR and recruitment advisory services as well. 

You can find out more about who we are & what we do here, or get in touch with us regarding any and all inquiries you may have.