Creating a healthy, nurturing workplace is important for a business of any size, and the best approach is to create a culture that’s built on diversity and inclusion. In this way, employees are treated equally, regardless of any underlying circumstances. Diversity, in this circumstance, doesn’t just refer to a wide range of genders, ethnicities and educational backgrounds, but also to thinking, behavioral and leadership styles—and is important for morale and business. Purposefully recruiting professionals with unique perspectives and experiences has been shown to improve work group performance, productivity and information-idea sharing. But it’s important not to focus only on the hiring side. Small business owners also need to create systems, programs and events that focus on welcoming diversity in the workplace. Need some inspiration for how to bring more diversity initiatives into your workplace? Blue Cross hosted 71 events in honor of its two-week “Celebrate Diversity!” expo this past August, with more than 3,500 employees participating in learning lab sessions. Here are some highlights:
- Five Women, Five Journeys: This eye-opening panel discussion featured five women—each with a different faith tradition—sharing their journeys through their own faith. Their personal stories helped dispel the myths, stereotypes, prejudices and fears people may have about faiths that are different from their own.
- The Power of Introverts: In a culture that values being social and outgoing, it is often difficult to be an introvert. Guests at this event watched Susan Cain’s enriching TED Talk on the subject and had an honest and open discussion about how to encourage the extraordinary talents of introverts in the workplace.
- Chaldean Community Workshop: The Chaldean community, largely composed of immigrants from Turkey and Iraq, faces unique challenges when assimilating into the Michigan culture. This presentation gave insight into the long, rich history of Chaldean culture, connecting that history with current events involving refugees and human rights.
As you can see, there are many ways to encourage conversations about diversity in your workplace. Check out these blogs for even more inspiration: