Diversity in the workplace provides several benefits both internally and externally. Diversity in the workplace is present whenever different groups based on age, gender, race, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and so forth are represented or there is a general acceptance of these different groups based on the atmosphere and practices of the workplace. There are several tools a company can use to measure diversity readiness in the workplace.
One way that a company can measure diversity readiness in the workplace is by conducting surveys. It is often best for these surveys to be anonymous so that employees feel more open to tell the truth. Questions to pose to the employees should focus on whether or not they personally feel accepted, what they think that the company does to help people of different groups feel accepted, if the employee feels that there is any bias, and so forth (See Reference 1).
Another way that employers and managers can measure diversity readiness is by conducting focus groups with employees. If the company size is large, with 50-100 employees, it would be best to break the group down into about 25 people or fewer at a time. It may be best to have an outside diversity expert come in and give you feedback based on their interaction with the employees. Their knowledge of diversity will help them to not only get answers from employees but also to share information that may be useful to them and teach them diversity in memorable ways (See Reference 2).
Often the best method of finding ways to improve your company is to take a peek into what has not been working for your company. Discrimination complaints to the local human resources office and to the Equal Opportunity Office can provide employers and managers with an honest assessment of what not to do. How many discrimination complaints has your company had in the past year and a half? This can signal areas where you can improve or practices you need to continue.
A recent study has revealed that companies that foster workplace diversity generate more profits, have higher numbers of customers, and perform 15 times better in sales than companies that have low levels of diversity (See Reference 3). Who would have known that taking a thorough look at financial reports could be a sign for diversity readiness? The numbers don't lie though. The study also revealed that for every percentage that workplace diversity increased, especially based on race and sex, sales revenues went up by approximately 9 percent.
Christina Caldwell is a contributor for online publications such as Women's eNews and Little Pink Book. Her work has also been featured in the popular U.K. magazine "Black Heritage Today." Caldwell holds a bachelor's degree in marketing and communications.