Creating a diversity manifesto

Exploring the benefits and impacts a diversity manifesto can have on company values and performance.

Making sure your employees feel included will go a long way to help create the right culture within your business – which should be an enjoyable working environment for all. An employee diversity manifesto sets out your commitments to the people who work for you and ensures these are written down for all to see.

This goes beyond needs like pay and perks. A model you may be familiar with is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – a pyramid model showing the things that motivate people. In a work context, pay and perks are expected, whereas having the opportunity to learn new skills, work on exciting projects and make a difference to the world is what motivates employees the most. And this is becoming increasingly important.

You may have already seen that in our Future Ready Report, we found that 77% of companies expect the importance of training, technology and flexible working hours to grow in the future.

An employee diversity manifesto is a reminder that every employee is different. Everyone has different needs, circumstances and aspirations. While you can never create a set of collective aims that captures every single thing that an employee may need or want, you can create a culture that makes all employees feel included.

When you think about what culture means, it’s about how people behave and treat each other based on their values. So, it’s up to you how to set the values by which your employees should go about their working life.

Here are some ways to bring those values in your manifesto to life:

  • Training and education

  • Focus groups for open and candid discussions

  • Celebrating awareness days such as Black History Month and International Women’s Day

  • An open and communicative leadership team

It extends beyond the company too. Consider whether your values align with the suppliers and clients that you work with so that the inclusive and diverse environment you want to create expands beyond the perimeter of your business.

It could be beneficial for your company to look at how it hires people too:

  • What kind of criteria do you have already in place?

  • Do you think that it should be revisited to support a more diverse workplace?

  • Do you have a recruitment agency that champions diverse talent?

  • Is there somewhere in your application process that explains the importance of diversity and inclusion for your business?

Finally, encourage team members who are willing to do so to share their stories – not to boast or preach, but to showcase the progress you’re making and help others to learn and change alongside you.

More diverse teams are proven to be high-performing teams. So, if you don’t currently have an employee diversity manifesto and haven’t reviewed your employment process, you could be missing out on great ideas, new ways of working and crucially, having the right people to grow your business for the better.

Want more help and support? Speak to our expert V-Hub Business Advisers, who offer tailored guidance and support on a range of topics.

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