Human Resource Management Strategies to Diversify the Workforce

HRM Strategies to Promote Diversity can Enhance Organizational Effectiveness

A diverse enhances organizational effectiveness by creating a culture of plurality and tolerance that promotes collective decision making through multiple viewpoints that can be used for better decision making.

Thus, the HRM or the Human Resources Management strategies must include end-to-end capabilities that promote diversity. This can take the form of color-blind recruitment and gender neutral as well as location independent recruitment that ensures that the employees who are recruited are not according to the biases of the recruiters or the managers and instead, reflect true diversity in action.

Further, HR professionals can also actualize a diverse workforce through retention strategies and promotion strategies that enhance the diversity of the workforce. Above all, the HRM strategies must also be towards actualizing a workplace culture free from harassment and discrimination on account of gender, race, sexual orientation, or geographies.

These imperatives call for end-to-end policies and strategies that span the entire HRM value chain starting with recruitment, including retention, and covering workplace culture policies. Also, it is not enough to have such policies in place, and there must be effective enforcement of such policies as well.

Color Blind Recruitment as the First Step towards a Diverse Workforce

To start with, recruitment should be made totally color blind and gender neutral apart from making it geography independent. This can ensure that the employees who are recruited are not according to the biases and prejudices of the recruiters and the managers who decide on the ultimate selection.

For instance, bias-free recruitment can help in preventing recruitment of specific region or geographical-based candidates wherein recruiters from the same region or place does not have a say in selecting only such candidates.

Apart from this, color-blind recruitment can also help in loading the new employees with specific races or ethnicities such as barring African Americans or Hispanics and instead, recruiting White Americans alone.

Further, these strategies can be implemented by requiring the resumes of potential applicants to not include their gender, race, or ethnicity as well as sexual orientation. Also, the resumes need not have the names of the candidates as well to ensure that bias-free recruitment happens.

In these times, when trans-genders and those who are gays or lesbians are being sought to be recruited by multinationals with a view to promote diversity, these types of recruitment strategies would go a long way in meeting such goals.

Specific Employee Retention Strategies to Enhance Organizational Effectiveness

Next, the employee retention strategies must be specified and more importantly, enforced with a view to enhancing the diversity of the workforce.

Indeed, recruiting employees of different races and genders as well as ethnicities alone would not help if such employees are demoralized due to workplace discrimination and hence, either quit their jobs or perform below par which can again lead to a workplace culture that is not fully discrimination free.

Thus, the key aspect to note here is that employee retention strategies must not only be put in place but also enforced. Indeed, the key to a diverse workforce is through “walking the talk” which means that enforcement is as important or perhaps more than having policies in place.

For instance, having anonymous helplines and mentors to guide the employees to report cases of harassment and discrimination can help in retaining such employees. In addition, efforts must be made to listen to such employees and act on their concerns which mean that there should not be double standards when it comes to such employees. In short, all employees must be made to feel welcome and not only those belonging to specific categorizations.

This calls for effective monitoring of the workplace behavior of all the employees so that the workplace culture is free from discrimination.

Glass Ceilings and How to Eliminate Barriers

Having a workplace culture free from harassment and promoting diversity also means that the glass ceiling for women and those from minority races and ethnicities must be discouraged. The term glass ceiling refers to the aspect of women employees not being allowed to move up the hierarchy by covert means that are expressed in both verbal and nonverbal terms.

For instance, women employees must not be discouraged from pursuing their ambitions through innuendo and other forms of indirect harassment where the discrimination is insidious and morale-sapping. Also, employees belonging to specific races or ethnicities should not be made to feel that they are unwelcome.

Indeed, the fact that a “ghetto culture” that segregates the employees according to race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation is a clear sign that such employees are being made unwelcome and hence, are either forced to quit or suffer from poor performance.

Apart from this, promotion policies must be color blind and gender neutral as well. While we are not advocating affirmative action where employees belonging to specific categories are explicitly favored over others, what we are recommending is a level playing field for all employees irrespective of their categorization.

Technology can Enhance Diversity

Lastly, it has been proven that use of technology to enhance organizational diversity can indeed be a key driver of such objectives. Indeed end to end use of technology across the HRM value chain can eliminate or at least reduce the scope for human bias and prejudice.

By automating selection and recruitment and by using technology to gather data about promotion and workplace behavior, the effectiveness of the diversity policies can be enhanced.

To conclude, organizational diversity can turn into a key asset if the end-to-end value chains of the HRM activities are done through a view to actualizing a workplace that is diverse and more importantly, free from harassment.

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Human Resource Management