Diversity in the workplace has been a highly discussed topic in the industry for the past several years, and for good reason! While employees are asked to work towards an organization’s main vision or goal, in return they should feel comfortable in the workplace, be treated equally, and be given the respect they deserve regardless of gender, creed, or color. 2020 has shown the World – if anything good can be said about 2020 – that global collaboration at scale is truly possible for many industries and jobs; people from the furthermost points of the planet came together daily in Zoom meetings to discuss daily priorities, set goals or review the work accomplished so far. The pandemic has really opened the big door of global team collaborations, especially for the tech world.
In this light, organizations need to consider ways of not only encouraging the emergence and growth of diversity in their teams; they need to place diversity in the main agenda as a strategic goal for their business success. Certainly, this means a learning curve for most companies, so preparing to learn a lot about things we take for granted is also part of the ride.To-date, WillDom has an ecosystem that embodies 2500+ software developers and engineers across 5 countries, so creating a culture that embraces the collective whole is a critical component to the success of WillDom. As Head of the Talent vertical at WillDom, I’m always looking out for new ways in which our teams from all offices can leverage their unique traits and ways into opportunities for growth, collaboration and learning. That has included launching a number of actions that, through inclusivity, have enabled WillDom to foster an engaging environment that benefits from our employees unique perspectives and cultural backgrounds. If your organization has taken baby steps -or no steps at all- towards making diversity a priority, below are a few tried-and-true recommendations that can head start your company’s promotion of diversity in the workplace:
- Review your HIRING PROCESS: Transition from Gut-feeling to Objectivity-bound: Somewhere within the traditional model of hiring is the idea of having a “gut-feeling” about a candidate, which is a risky mentality because it’s associated with having no facts or information to back this up. To truly give your organization the best chance of hiring right and promoting a diverse workplace, the hiring process needs to be more consistent, in which anything other than specific talents and abilities are the measure to make hiring decisions; this includes eliminating any practices in the process that may trigger unconscious biases. For example, share blind, gender-silent resumes with your hiring managers to avoid possible gender/ethnicity unconscious bias*; design a core list of competencies applicable to the entire organization and then a subset to evaluate specific skills for each role, it will help a fair comparison between applicants to the same role.
- Review your COMPANY CULTURE: Think Globally, but Keep Local Flavors Alive: Companies live and die by guidelines and procedures that dictate how employees within a company operate and interact. While having a clear “rules engine” that operates continually and consistently amongst all the teams in the organization is integral, it’s also important that organizations save “blank spaces” to be filled with the local way of doing things, especially in all things concerning people relationships. For example, one blank space could be: What is the best strategy, frequency and channel of communication to engage with a potential client? While this may be set as a general guideline, give room to locals to adapt it to the ways people get more successful interactions in that particular culture.
- Make Diversity VISIBLE: Promote your significant achievements, both internally and also through your external channels. A project successfully completed that required a team from diverse backgrounds to come together and put in their best effort is worth celebrating! Save a moment to get them all together and ask how the experience was, take learnings from it, and then showcase that success to the rest of the company and outwards. This also counts for experiences that did not turn out great but have also been a huge learning experience in terms of diversity being the key factor. Clients also appreciate a vendor/provider that promotes equality and diversity, so make sure they know your standpoint!
- Become Part of the Conversation: Learn about what other companies are doing to foster a more diverse work environment, join forums, and professional groups that discuss the subject, attend events, and network with industry experienced professionals – you’ll be amazed of how much was possible to make an impact.
When handled appropriately, the diversity of employees has the potential to be one of an organization’s greatest assets. Having employees work together to create solutions and tackle problems from a variety of different worldviews and perspectives is a much better option than like-mindedness. Companies that handle hiring the right way, are flexible in their approach to process and systems, can take key learnings from all situations, and are hungry to continually learn how to promote and manage diversity will go far.
As we see the landscape of the workplace change to a more digitally-focused effort, it’s an evolutionary next step for organizations to expand their network to consider those outsides of their physical locations. By having more of a worldview approach, organizations can take advantage of hiring talent from all over the world in order to provide more value to business goals and client success.
To learn more about WillDom and its expertise in managing the diversity within its community, we invite you to visit our website at willdom.com, or follow us on Linkedin for more information about us.