Diversity Challenges Signal The Call For Businesses To Adapt

After increased awareness of racial divisions in every aspect of society, C-Suite decision-makers and HR professionals in America will have to pay closer attention to diversity when it comes to hiring.

According to a recent article appearing on the Axios website, there is a renewed focus on issues of racism and bias. Businesses of all sizes will have to have to make more significant efforts in terms of diversity and inclusion.  

Jim VandeHei warns that businesses that don’t may likely face internal tensions with workers when it comes to recruitment, retention, and advancement–in addition to potential public backlash.  

Increased public scrutiny on issues of diversity and inclusion has been growing within the workplace for several years. Although most companies are making more diverse hiring decisions to include more women, people of color, and LGBTQ workers, more effort must be made to add diversity to leadership roles at all levels of the organization.

Business Leaders can help by being more active participants in the changing face of the workplace by:

  • Listening to workers. Conversations regarding race, idealism, sexual orientation, and identity are often uncomfortable.  Executives need to go beyond the performance review and listen to the challenges that workers have to face daily. This requires authentic listening, followed up by action.
  • Realizing that the bottom line is no longer the bottom line. Concerns over the current pandemic, climate change,  and increased societal changes mean that companies must move beyond focusing only on profit margins.  VandeHei asserts that doing good is no longer an option; it’s a necessity. Today’s workforce is more idealistic than ever. That means that beyond salary and benefits, most want to be a part of an organization that does good in the world. 
  • Offering increased workplace flexibility. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many companies to ramp up remote work possibilities.  This ability of employees to work remotely has now become an expectation.  Organizations that offer the ability to work from home and integrate both home and work life will have a much easier time when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent.

Beyond the pandemic and societal upheavals of this year,  if companies do wish to survive, they will need to adapt not only to the changing demands of the workforce but to society as well.