Diversity in the workplace has created a shift in how businesses are attracting talent and leveraging strategy. Companies have caught on, pivoting toward a more holistic approach and view of talent management that includes recruitment, training, onboarding and mentoring. They're writing new rules, using new technologies, and moving toward entirely new ways of doing business.

Michelle Diaz, SPHR, PHRca, Director of Human Resource at the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA), says that this cultural shift has forced companies to take a hard look at what an organization's mission, goals and visions are. "They need to align that with what employees find valuable and rewarding, which helps to better empower a workforce as companies attract both top talent and more business."

Chris Mullen, SPHR, Director of Human Resources, Housing & Dining Services, at the University of Colorado Boulder, shares the same philosophy and advises companies to take a "fresh look at their talent management and create an intentional approach" that allows an organization to become an employer of choice. Which philosophies are best for the culture of the work environment? What can the company do to challenge beliefs that don't support company values?

A more holistic approach to talent management, Mullen says, brings together "a good portion of a company's processes, including recruitment, selection, onboarding, professional development, performance management, flex work (time and place), coaching and succession planning." 

Diversity and inclusion today encompasses generational, sociocultural, linguistic, economic and educational differences. The rise of remote and contingent employees are also accounted for. With a mixed generational culture of baby boomers and millennials, companies must speak to all groups in engaging ways to include common positions of respect, value and teamwork. With a focus on the organization's mission, different groups will be more collaborative. For example, older employees will become more open to the contributions of younger counterparts. Younger employees will be more open to the guidance and mentorship of older employees.

Natasha Bowman, JD, SPHR, owner of Performance ReNew, agrees that in order for companies to leverage a cohesive work environment, HR departments must "respect employees from different generations other than their own, by being more flexible and accommodating of new ideas." To mitigate the problem of generational disparity in the baby boomer and millennial gap, Bowman says HR managers need to "continually point to the company's mission, vision and culture as a common ground for employees of all ages."

Since HR departments and its leadership are constantly taking the big picture view, they now have the added responsibility to seek out the concerns, impressions and points of view of the workforce by initiating openness of feedback through active communication with staff members. Communication strategies must serve a blend of diverse backgrounds. The need for consistent and continued employee training to help develop, build upon and practice these skills to create the cohesive work culture in today's workplace will yield happier and more productive employees. This can propel a new trend of greater employee satisfaction and retention rather than high turnover and elevated business costs.