15 Feb How to foster diversity and inclusion at an accounting workplace?
Diversity improves employee performance and outcomes at firms. Not only is the culture of inclusivity better for the morale of employees, but research has shown that a team made up of many varied members avoid groupthink, promote innovativeness and make better decisions.
Diverse team members at work have increasingly become essential for an organization’s success and so accounting leaders need to actively work towards fostering an environment of inclusivity.
Here’s how they can do just that:
From top to bottom
While changing leadership to reflect a more inclusive top management might not be possible overnight, diversity in leadership can bring true value to an accounting firm by boosting innovation, attracting and retaining talent and winning the loyalty of clients that value inclusivity. Diversity at decision-making level will reflect the values and culture of your firm and deliver real benefits to the entire workforce including partners, clients and various stakeholders.
Policies – write them down
While execution is key, it is equally important to have good written policies around inclusivity that clearly define guidelines to help supervisors build a culture and carry out procedures that support a diverse workforce. Clearly defining these policies in a written document will bring accountability and consistency to the table. These two elements will make it easy for you to implement procedures to support a diverse workforce. Remember to do timely reviews of your internal policies to ensure they create equal opportunity and provide a comfortable working environment for employees of all backgrounds.
Workplace Diversity Programs
Building a diversity program produces meaningful impact on your workplace and shows potential employees that your firm believes that diversity, equity and inclusion are fundamental to creating a good work environment. Celebrating diversity in the workforce will widen your talent pool and attract the best resources in the market. As part of this program, executives & management should be the first to attend sessions to learn what inclusiveness means, what unconscious biases are and how to overcome them. The objective of such a program should be to invite people from all levels of the organization to participate and communicate in discussions and activities that keep the conversation going and foster accountability.
Ask for feedback
The best way to appreciate inclusiveness at work is to give a voice to people from different races, religions, ages, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, socioeconomic statuses and more. Let them be heard. Ask specific questions related to their experiences at work and gather their feedback anonymously so they can speak openly. Feedback can be requested at different touch points of their journey with your firm, from the time they read the job description to their annual performance review and more. This appreciation of their point of view is bound to provide employees with a sense of belonging and win their loyalty.
CONTACT USwhen you’re ready to grow your diverse and inclusive accounting team.