Ideally, during the hiring process you’re able to discern whether or not a candidate will bring thought diversity to your team so that you can fill your company with employees that will challenge each other and grow your brand. There are tons of great resources out there when it comes to writing great job postings, screening candidates, asking the right questions in interviews, and making offers that will entice top talent, but I’m more concerned with what comes next. So you have your team built out, now how do you discover and foster the diversity that’s within your company? Here are some jumping off points to try:
- Encourage Employees to Discuss Previous Work Experience – Many employees are hesitant to discuss previous roles that they’ve held elsewhere for fear that they’ll get the old “well we don’t do it that way here” response. But the work experience that they had prior to getting hired was at least part of the reason why you hired them, so you should make them feel comfortable talking about what worked and what didn’t if it’s relevant to what they’re working on at your company.
- Invite Employees to Share Their Passions – Everyone is different and those differences can inspire people to get creative and think out of the box. So the next time you’re looking for a team building idea or some other kind of work-related celebration, ask your employees what they’d be interested in doing. Letting people share their passions and skills with their coworkers can bring people together and, ultimately, result in better work.
- Let Employees Educate Each Other – Because your employees will likely all approach various topics and tasks differently, giving them the opportunity to teach and train one another is a good way to incorporate a diversity of experience. You can set up optional training sessions, employee-led meetings, educational round tables, expert panels, seminar days, and anything else that employees are interested in conducting and attending.
- Encourage Employees to Make Work Their Own – If no two people are alike, why are we so quick to impose sameness on our employees? Too many rules and restrictions on what employees can do can result in employees feeling disconnected from their work. Disconnected employees are more likely to go along with a group think, do uninspiring work, and just accept the status quo. To avoid this, encourage employees to make every element of their work their own. Whether this means decorating their cubes, presenting in their own style, having flexible work hours, anything that gives employees ownership over their work space, style, and output is healthy for thought diversity.
- Motivate Employees to Volunteer – Different interests will motivate your employees to get involved with different causes and organizations. By giving them the freedom to express themselves on behalf of your company, you’re enticing the people that they meet to find out more about your company as potential customers and/or employees in the future. This is not only a great advertisement, but also a great way to feed the thought diversity cycle.
Regardless of size, every company has diversity woven into its fabric. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of bringing it to the surface so that everyone can benefit. Hopefully these tips will allow you to empower your employees to share their thought diversity.
If you have any other tips for our readers, please leave a comment!
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Business Blogging and Web Copywriting. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and son and enjoys cooking, watching sports, and spending time together as a family. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about current marketing trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!