Supporting Diversity in The Workplace

Issues like the Black Lives Matter movement have shed new light on diversity in recent months. However, it seems that many organisations still aren’t doing anything about it. According to a recent poll conducted by the networking group Black and HR, 77% of respondents said that their workplace has not addressed “what has been happening in the black community at the moment.”

As a result, some employees could be experiencing heightened emotions, or have questions about how their organisation encourages diversity and inclusion.

Here are some ways in which your organisation can demonstrate its support.

Provide emotional support

Your BAME employees in particular may need an outlet to discuss recent events, so it is vital that you promote an open and supportive culture in which there is always someone available to talk.

If necessary, be ready to offer external support, such as your own employee assistance programme, or mental health networks.

Promote learning on diversity

Consider organising diversity training sessions, or collate and share a list of materials to help people educate themselves on race issues, both in and out of work.

You could also consider allowing discretionary time off for employees to attend organised demonstrations, or to show their support for local diversity-related events.

Review your policies

Rather than simply updating your organisation’s diversity policy, ensure your commitment to equality and inclusion is reviewed in each individual policy area, such as recruitment, training, disciplinary, pay and benefits.

Be open and honest about any changes that may need to be made as a result, such as a commitment to recruiting more BAME employees in future.

Diversity can seem like a difficult subject to broach but doing so has many benefits especially in diverse organisations likely to have a number of employees feeling isolated in light of recent events. Harvard Business Review published a useful article last year to help you make a start.

If you would like to discuss your organisation's approach to diversdity and inclusion then our team at Viridian HR would be happy to help. Simply get in touch.

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