Hawaii’s population is one of the most racially diverse in the world. There is actually no ethnic majority here, which makes everyone a minority. Diversity and inclusion are important workplace goals no matter where your business is located, but in Hawaii they are part of a way of life. Even so, biases and stereotypes about other races, cultures, ages and genders can get in the way of a harmonious work environment.
Businesses thrive when they have a diverse team that brings a range of talents and experiences to problem solving. The research shows that companies with diverse teams benefit from better employee performance, more creativity and innovation, and even increased profits. But in order to make it work, an inclusive work culture is a must. Let’s talk about ways to encourage Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in the workplace.
How to Create a Workplace Environment that Promotes Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
1. Assess company policies and interactions
Business owners should take a look at company policies and interpersonal interactions that are working against an inclusive environment or where discrimination exists. For example, being aware of and respectful of cultural and gender differences in communication styles can help reduce misunderstandings and promote a welcoming environment for all.
2. Educate your team about unconscious bias
Unconscious bias affects us all. It is when we make assumptions about or hold bias against people who are different from us without even realizing we are doing it. The HR team can help by explaining how people are affected by unconscious bias and encouraging all employees to analyze their own assumptions and biases against other groups.
3. Offer diversity training
HR should explain why diversity training is being offered/required and what they hope to get out of it. An effective workplace diversity training program encourages understanding of differences among employees and managers. Diversity training is a great way to help build trust for other employees who are from different backgrounds.
4. Learn about and celebrate all workplace cultures
Biases tend to grow out of what is unfamiliar to us. There are many different ways to learn about and celebrate different cultures in the workplace including hosting educational events and culturally-inspired potlucks and acknowledging or hosting parties or events for different religious and cultural holidays and traditions. This practice is most effective when it focuses on the specific holidays and traditions of your team members.
5. Focus on pay equity
An inclusive work environment is one where all employees are treated fairly. Managers should use analytics to identify pay gaps that exist in their team and address the issue by increasing pay for anyone who is being underpaid for similar jobs or responsibilities. Analytics can also reveal if certain groups of employees are being underpaid within one of the company’s departments.
6. Encourage Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
Employee resource groups are employees with shared life experiences or characteristics who form a group to provide support, boost career development, and encourage personal development in the workplace. ERGs are a way to help employees feel connected and included. Businesses can encourage ERGs by paying for lunch while they meet, providing guidelines for setting up an ERG and/or paying employees to participate in one.
Partnering with Makai HR
Need help with HR tasks? We’ve got you covered through HR outsourcing! When you partner with Makai HR you can get on with the business you are trying to grow while we take care of your employee needs from payroll to taxes, health insurance/benefits and worker’s compensation. You also gain peace of mind that you are in compliance with all of Hawaii’s employer laws (if you’ve ever looked you know that the list is very long). When choosing a PEO to partner with, there are many things to consider including cost, services and technology solutions.
With the cost of doing business in Hawaii at record highs, we know how important it is to keep labor costs in line with revenue. Our plans are priced competitively and include value-added services like time-in/time-out systems. Our three tiers of PEO service plans are tailored to the size of your business and specific needs. We offer a 100% paperless solution which means that your employees can manage their needs through a computer, tablet or phone. We can truly improve your employees work benefits while freeing you up to run your business.
What are you waiting for? Companies that partner with a PEO benefit from 7-9% faster growth, 10-14% lower employee turnover; and they are 50% less likely to go out of business. Contact us today to get started!