6 Ways an App Can Facilitate Workplace Diversity and Inclusion

Submitted by on Tue, 09/13/16

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As more women grow into leadership roles and millennial minorities enter the workforce, diversity and inclusion initiatives have become top priorities for human resources and senior executives.

By taking actions to be more diverse and inclusive, companies reap the benefits: they improve recruitment, increase employee satisfaction, drive innovation, and develop a better understanding of their customers. In fact, according to McKinsey’s Diversity Matters report, companies that hire diverse workforces see better financial gains.

Successful diversity and inclusion efforts require research and strategy, and a mobile app can be a powerful tool that enables you to meet the objectives of your plan.

Read on for six ways a company app can help.

1) Show a commitment from leadership. Messaging around enhancements to your workplace culture must start at the top of your organization. In your workplace app, post regular content including statements, blogs, or videos from senior leadership that communicates your commitment. In-app banners and push notifications can alert prospects and employees of these important communications.

As a result, you can attract more talent, reduce company turnover, and demonstrate to partners and customers that you’re a leader in workplace diversity and inclusion.

2) Encourage company learning. Mandatory diversity trainings have been shown to fail, and often they can have adverse effects by strengthening employees’ biases. On the other hand, when employees are given the choice to attend—and they often do because they feel an  to an obligation to do the right thing—diversity training is quite effective.

Within your workplace app, create a form for employees to sign up for sessions to gain a better understanding around working with diverse teammates and how individuals can help create an inclusive work environment. Continue these educational efforts by highlighting statistics about the effects of diversity hirings—even those within your own company— and FAQs with the app.

3) Highlight partnerships. Organizations can set themselves up for success by partnering with organizations that represent and empower diverse groups of people. These relationship not only build your knowledge about diversity and inclusion, but they can impact the viewpoints employees and stakeholders have about your company. For instance, your company might work with your local disabilities commission, an LGBTQ alliance, and a professional association for people of color.

Utilize your app to share meaningful content, from simple text to engaging videos, that shares information about these partnership and how employees can get involved. Company events, including diversity workshops or informative talks from community leaders, can increase engagement. Add schedules, calendars, or even event modules to your mobile app to raise awareness and drive participation.

4) Promote employee mentoring programs. Employee mentoring programs are a great way to onboard new hires, foster company loyalty, and build employees’ self confidence. Particularly for company inclusion, it’s important because it can encourage employees of diverse backgrounds to honestly voice concerns and share recommendations that can be communicated with senior leaders.

Mentoring programs can be promoted in a variety of ways including, but not limited to, company news and blog feeds, event modules, sign-up forms, or videos.

5) Create engagement with employee-driven programs. Allowing employees to lead company diversity programs can help build the leadership skills of those who take the reins. Furthermore, other employees may be more encouraged to participate when they see their peers leading the charge.

These programs can be promoted via dedicated event modules in your company app, and in-app banner messages and push notifications may be leveraged to send alerts and reminders to those who participate.

If HR doesn’t have the bandwidth to manage these programs in the company app, admin privileges to these modules can be delegated to the employee diversity leaders instead.

6) Ask for employee feedback. Taking a moment to step back and take a company temperature is important for any diversity and inclusion program. Send a survey to employees to ask for feedback and to solicit opinions about how the company can do better.

Any survey tool, like Survey Monkey, can easily be integrated into your app for employees to participate.

Are you using mobile apps to encourage company diversity and inclusion? Explain how you’re leveraging these tools to evolve your company culture.

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