Workplace diversity and inclusion has been at the forefront of recruiters and hiring managers in 2019 and it’s about time! This prevalent topic has become a major focus for small organizations to large Fortune 500 companies globally. Why? Because organizations who truly embrace gender, racial and ethnic diversity are proven to hold one of today’s biggest competitive advantage.
In relation, data reveals, 87% of global businesses stated diversity and inclusion is an organizational priority yet, 50% admit diversity is a barrier to employee progression at their workplace. As more and more companies realize the boundless benefits diversity and inclusion brings, it’s important to fully understand this business strategy and how your company can build a competitive business. Continue reading to learn why and how your company can leverage the effects of diversity and inclusion.
What and Why Diversity Matters
Diversity is when people understand, accept and value each other’s differences – such as age, sexual orientation, gender, worldviews, religion, etc. This type of acceptance in the workplace brings a certain level of competitive advantage, like attracting and retaining other diverse candidates. Diversity in the workplace has the ability to improve customer orientation, employee satisfaction, and decision making…all important factors contributing to a company’s overall success.
What and Why Inclusion Matters
Inclusion is a collaborative, understanding, and respectful culture that increases the participation and contribution of people within a group or structure. Hiring diversity talent is one thing, but inclusion creates an environment where employees feel appreciated and comfortable being themselves and sharing their unique ideas and beliefs.
It’s important to remember both diversity and inclusion go hand-in-hand when trying to achieve the best outcomes. Studies show when diversity and inclusion are present, it has a positive impact on businesses’ profitability, productivity, and creativity in numerous ways. Companies can also measure diversity and inclusion success through turnover and employee morale. The numbers and proof are manifest. It’s up to organizations to act on the data-driven insights, update their policies, then improvements, and change will follow.
Diversity and Inclusion Best Practices
An organization that embraces diversity and inclusion encourages innovative and creative ideas from all employees. This includes supporting collaboration, fair and equal treatment and opportunities, representation of company diversity, workplace flexibility, empathetic leadership, and diversity education and training. It is a top-down approach but also a bottom-up approach. To be successful, employees from all backgrounds within the culture need to understand where they stand in their role and each other’s differences.
Workplace diversity and inclusion is more than just a legal requirement and an HR program. With any organization, it should be recognized that management has a clearly defined diversity and inclusion strategy in place and leaders are held responsible for the results. Leaders can be accountable for this by performance reviews and promotions. A company’s diversity and inclusion program can be taught and established through training for employees of all levels. If leaders do what is right and communicate and promote the vision, then employees will be transparent and feel comfortable in an environment where they can express themselves.
It is no surprise that more diverse organizations regularly out-perform those with who lack it. Building diverse teams throughout an entire organization has proven to develop more innovative ideas, directly affecting a company’s bottom line. Understanding and implementing the strategies above will help create a happy workplace, attracting and retaining talented diverse candidates.
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