As an EHS leader, it’s vital to be able to effectively address a diverse working group in the modern workplace.
As well as being necessary for a fair society, diversity is important at work for a number of reasons. The biggest? According to The National Association for environmental, health and safety, and sustainability Management (NAEM), companies with a strong, welcoming culture outperform those without.
There’s no question that inclusivity is an essential part of the fabric of a forward-thinking business, but what exactly does that look like, and how can you ensure your own workplace promotes diversity?
What Does Diversity Look Like in the Modern Workplace?
In an ideal world, every company would have a healthy mix of employees that are younger, older, natives, immigrants, people of different ethnicities, those from the LGBTQ+ community, and people from all socioeconomic backgrounds.
However, this is not always the case. Often there is an imbalance in the range of diversity, or the workforce is skewed towards a specific dynamic.
How an EHS Professional can Promote a Diverse Workplace
In order to achieve better diversity and inclusivity in the workplace, EHS professionals can play a big role.
It’s important to modify outdated safety programs and approaches to be wholly inclusive of workers from all backgrounds. This can be done in a number of ways, including:
Addressing the issues that arise when EHS programs aren’t inclusive of a diverse workforce
Keeping in check with employees to make sure EHS programs are most effectively reaching their changing needs
Ensuring support is tailored towards different groups; experienced workers may need different resources compared to younger staff members who will require more training, for example
Being open-minded and objective when hiring new staff or putting together internal working teams or projects
How a Diverse Workplace is Invaluable to Business
The notion of diversity goes beyond checking off a demographic – it is important to embrace individual unique skill sets to form effective teams. And it’s also necessary for maintaining morale at work; people are becoming increasingly aware and embracing of their own identities, so businesses that support everyone equally will likely see better staff retention levels and employee happiness.
Promoting a diverse workplace is arguably the most effective way of promoting a business. It expands the reach of a company and works to widen the company’s internal lens. Not only do consumers and clients want to buy from companies that promote inclusivity, but potential candidates are also looking to diversity as a motivating factor in the job search.
Speaking of recruitment, an easy way to increase diversity is by hiring new workers. Be cognizant of unconscious bias when reviewing applications and strive to make hiring teams as diverse as possible. Shirley Parsons can support your recruitment initiatives and advise on diversity throughout the process.
Regardless of race, religion, sexuality, gender or background, diversity is more than just a box-ticking exercise; it’s about creating a culture that’s fit for modern times and is essential in today’s workplaces.