A significant number of businesses are focusing on increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in their workplace. Government call centers are among these businesses.
Many members of the workforce continue to be marginalized because of race, gender, socioeconomic status, disabilities, or lifestyle. These concerns have become even more visible during the coronavirus pandemic.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion challenges in the workplace typically begin with a lack of diversity at the executive level. White male company leaders tend to underestimate the biases and obstacles to inclusion that diverse employees face on a daily basis. These obstacles include lack of opportunities for growth, development, and promotions.
The lack of diversity in leadership typically results in little emphasis on the implementation of diversity and inclusion initiatives in the workplace. This often leads to a substantial gap in views between how well company leaders believe their diversity and inclusion efforts are going and what the employees believe.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion depend on more than just race. Age, culture, gender, religion, physical abilities, learning styles, personality blend, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, and life experiences matter as well.
Fortunately, steps can be taken to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in your government call center. The following tips can help.
Follow these guidelines to begin working toward a diverse, equitable, and inclusive government call center.
Minimize Bias in Recruitment
Find ways to reduce the unconscious bias present in your recruitment practices.
- Source diverse candidates by connecting with cultural and ethnic groups, sexual orientation groups, and physical ability groups at local colleges.
- Partner with professional multicultural groups to source diverse candidates.
- Use inclusive language in job descriptions.
- Focus on hiring candidates who are open to learning the skills needed to be successful in a role.
- Look for candidate dedication and the desire for coaching to improve performance when making hiring decisions.
- Have a diverse hiring team compare and evaluate candidates during the final stage of the process.
Train Managers on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Frontline managers set the tone for the work environment, including diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
- Provide unconscious bias and diversity training to increase awareness of these issues in the workplace.
- Help managers uncover their own unconscious biases and take action to work toward a more cohesive work environment.
- Provide managers with personality assessments to identify the communication preferences of their employees.
- Encourage managers to use their employees’ preferred communication methods to more effectively connect.
Create a Frontline Diversity and Inclusion Team
Involve employees in building diversity and inclusion awareness within the call center.
- Feedback about diversity and inclusion challenges needs to come from employees who experience the challenges on a day-to-day basis.
- Ask the frontline team to review the call center policies for biases.
- Request that the frontline team regularly survey employees to identify gaps between the company mission and diversity and inclusion initiatives and the employees’ workplace experiences.
- Request that the frontline team members reach out to employees who may be feeling excluded or experiencing bias in the workplace.
- Partner the frontline team with HR and management to drive diversity and inclusion efforts throughout the call center.
- Have the frontline team and executives participate in diversity and inclusion awareness and feedback sessions.
- Continuously talk with the frontline team about areas of misalignment and how the gaps can be closed.
Acknowledge and Celebrate Differences
Plan educational celebrations for each employee’s heritage.
- Organize Lunch and Learn events to build awareness of the holidays that matter most to your employees.
- Include cultural awareness months such as Black History, Women’s History, Asian/Pacific American History, Jewish American History, Pride, Native American Heritage, National Hispanic Heritage, and National Disability Employment Awareness.
Treat Employees as Individuals
Get to know employees on a personal level.
- Find out what employees’ career goals are.
- Talk about employees’ unique perspectives and life experiences.
- Learn what motivates each employee to perform their best.
- Discover employee preferences for language, communications, coaching sessions, performance reviews, growth opportunities, and workplace activities.
Focus on Employees’ Strengths
Each employee has different talents that benefit the call center.
- Almost all employees have creative thinking skills.
- Creative thinking provides fresh approaches to problem-solving.
Continue with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts
Creation of a diverse, equitable, inclusive work environment is an ongoing process.
- Employees need to feel safe, supported, and respected on a daily basis.
- The process takes time, effort, and resources.
- Regular training on diversity, equity, and inclusion and communication about current events for employees at all levels is required.
Want Help with Your Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts?
Salem Solutions has the diverse call center candidates you need to continue your work toward equity and inclusion. Find out more today.