As the population becomes more diverse, companies are beginning to understand how diversity in their workforce can help them be more profitable. Diversity not only encompasses race, but also gender, ethnic background, religious background and physical ability. When businesses reach out to diverse groups, they are able to serve their customer base more fully and also develop a reputation for fairness, responsiveness and forward thinking. You can increase the diversity of your workforce more effectively by implementing these essential strategies.

Look Carefully at Your Organizational Structure

When the higher levels of a business reflect diversity in employment, you are more likely to not only attract but also retain employees from different backgrounds. These workers know that their contributions will be valued in the organization, and they are likely to have greater opportunities within the company.

Utilize Employee Referrals for Hiring

Your key to finding a diverse workforce may already exist in the form of your current staff. Implement an employee referral program that rewards your workers for finding effective employees within their circle of friends, neighbors and family members. These individuals can help to provide a natural support that will aid in retaining new employees from diverse groups.

Consider a Diversity Training Program

Many individuals may be uncomfortable with co-workers from diverse backgrounds simply because they have had no exposure to other groups. A diversity training program can provide useful information that will aid in their everyday interactions and will help to develop a better understanding and cohesiveness in the workgroup.

Provide the Right Climate to Support Diversity

Businesses can help employees from different backgrounds to feel at home at their companies by providing the support systems that will help them to perform well and want to stay on a long-term basis. These include such policies as allowing for flexible hours, providing or paying for childcare, and giving access to ESL classes for those in need of brushing up on their English speaking or writing skills. Doing so will help to improve workers ability to function effectively in their jobs, build on their abilities and contribute to their own, as well as the company’s, long-term goals.

Workplace studies show that diversity helps companies to be more creative and productive, creating a favorable workplace atmosphere, reducing turnover and improving market share. If you want your company to receive the benefits of having a diverse workforce, take a close look at your recruiting, company policies and employee programs. Small improvements can create big returns in helping your workforce to perform well and ensuring that your customers are served more effectively.

About the Author:

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.