I have two massive pet peeves in life: poorly trained dogs and diversity statements. I’ll save you the poorly trained dogs rant, so we can focus on putting action behind your company diversity statement.
Yes, today we’re here to talk about diversity statements. Almost every business now has one at the end of their job descriptions. But what does it really mean?
It’s a legal obligation in many countries. But that doesn’t guarantee companies actually do what they say they will.
I’ve worked for, and with, plenty of companies who claim to be diverse and supportive of a diverse workforce.
But when it comes down to it, they don’t know what that actually looks like. They’ve failed me, my chronic pain, and my mental health issues. Even when I’ve been open and honest about my struggles—something they asked me to do so that they could help!
Too often, company diversity statements are just hot air. When it really comes down to it, businesses don’t know how to support their employees. And instead of trying to find out, they just…don’t.
Today, I want to share with you some ways you can put your company diversity statement into action. Show the outside world that your workforce really is diverse, so that you can attract even more diverse talent and grow an even more successful business.
Social media content
Social media is the place to show off your workforce. But not in the way you might be thinking.
I’m not talking about what you share on your company pages. No one really cares about those any more (sorry). I’m talking about what your employees say on their own profiles.
Yep, I’m talking about whether you trust your employees enough to post about work on platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter.
You see, most companies don’t. I’ve never spoken to anyone who works for a business with a social media policy that says anything more than “don’t talk about work on social media.”
But what if your employee wants to say something positive? Or use their knowledge to build their—and maybe even your business’s—brand? Can they not post on social media then?
There are far more 2022 ways to create a social media policy, including doing it as a quiz with interesting and concrete examples of posts done right—and wrong.
Every time an employee shares their knowledge on a site like LinkedIn or Twitter, it’s an advertisement for your business.
So, by not allowing employees to generate content, you’re missing out on a massive opportunity. Especially as they’re the most trusted source, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer.
Just by allowing employees to post on social media, it shows that you have an open, honest, and trusting culture. Something which even many so-called modern businesses don’t have.
You’ll never be able to control everything every employee says on social media. When you learn to accept that, and train them in social media best practices, life becomes a lot easier. And your brand will continue to grow on social media, highlighting the diversity of voices at your company far more than simply having a company diversity statement ever could.
Alternative hiring practices
Let’s face it: nobody likes job interviews. They’re boring, they’re tedious, and they can be anxiety-inducing for many. They take up a lot of hiring managers’ time, and sometimes it can feel like you’re doing a never-ending stream of them because you’ve yet to find the right candidate.
You know what Einstein once said about doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? He likened it to insanity.
Job interviews are an example of that.
Instead of doing one-on-one interviews, why not try a group interview or task? Or an individual task that shows off someone’s technical ability over their soft skills?
Soft skills can be great, but someone’s inability to make eye contact shouldn’t mean they don’t get the job.
Just because job interviews are how most businesses recruit talent and have been for a long time, that doesn’t mean they’re the only way. Or the best way. There are lots of other ways you can try to attract and retain more diverse talent. Again, the emphasis here is on showing, rather than simply posting your company diversity statement.
I know, I know. This is controversial. But they work!
The London School of Economics found that the main result of quotas was to “weed out incompetent men.” It didn’t result in unqualified women getting roles.
In fact, the women who got the jobs were better qualified. Which meant that more got done. And what got done was of a higher quality, too.
If quotas can net you results like these, isn’t it worth challenging the stigma?
This is another one where I sometimes feel like businesses say they do it, but then have some sort of caveat attached which means it doesn’t apply to everyone. Or it only applies to some departments and not others.
If one department allows flexible working, every other department should, too. There shouldn’t be different rules for different departments. That means some team members get the benefits while others are stuck in the twentieth century.
Offering flexible working, whether that’s giving employees choices around the hours they work, or allowing them to work from home, opens you up to a more diverse talent pool because you’re not restricted to people who live nearby and can work 9-5.
When you allow flexible working, people with children, caring commitments, chronic pain, travel restrictions, or other barriers to office work can still work for you.
And why shouldn’t they? None of those things mean that someone can’t do a job well.
So, if you want a truly diverse workforce, why not change your policies to attract people from a range of lifestyles, health situations, and backgrounds? Put your money where your mouth is and start living up to your company diversity statement.
Saying you support diversity is one thing. But, the more times companies say it without backing it up with action, the more it loses its meaning. It’s turned into a blanket statement that companies say on autopilot without considering its true meaning.
You want to show people that you really do have—and support—a diverse workforce. The more you do this, the more diverse candidates you’ll attract and the more it’ll benefit your business.
If you’re looking to go beyond just including a company diversity statement on your website or job descriptions, consider checking out a platform like Workrowd. By facilitating equal access to employee programming, and enabling employees to form deep connections across the organization, you can demonstrate a real commitment to diversity and inclusion. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to learn more.