The Importance of Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace
In today’s workplace, the desire to create a diverse and inclusive company culture is often dismissed as “virtue signaling.” The truth, however, has less to do with virtue and more to do with the bottom line. Studies have shown that diversity in a workforce leads to higher levels of innovation and growth within the company, producing greater profits in the short and long term.
If you are curious about diversity and inclusivity initiatives and how you can integrate more of both into your business, read on!
What IS Diversity and Inclusion (D&I)?
The definition of precisely what a diverse and inclusive workforce means will differ from company to company. At its heart, diversity reflects the ideas and perspectives of your workforce. Inclusion relates directly to the company culture, how the workforce interacts with each other, and how the employees and managers interact. Diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategies should encompass all differences, including (but not limited to):
- Religion or belief system
- Political affiliation
The idea is that a diverse and inclusive workplace promotes a healthy working environment that is more productive and progressive. Still, it also makes the company and its products more attractive to a diverse range of clients.
Why is D&I Important for Business?
As mentioned above, many studies have proven the vital role that diversity and inclusivity play in the workplace. According to a report from McKinsey, companies with the most ethnically diverse executive teams were 33% more likely to outperform their peers in terms of profitability.
Diversity and inclusivity are vital when fostering trust in both client and prospective job candidates, especially among the Millennial and Generation Z groups. Many clients and customers within these groups are more likely to support a company whose values align with theirs. Job loyalty is also higher among these generations when businesses value these critical issues.
“Our research shows that companies that invest and focus on ESG (environmental, social, and governance) matters can have a stronger stock performance and better long-term profitability,” said Debra Walton, chief product and content officer, financial & risk at Thomson Reuters. She went on to say that “for investors, looking beyond financial data is becoming more important.” Improving diversity and inclusivity within a company leads to financial benefits and returns in the long run.
Ways to Improve Diversity and Inclusion in Your Workplace
Now that we know why D&I is essential to your workplace, the question is: how can we make it better? Here are some steps to get your company or organization going in the right direction.
1. Assess Your Current D&I Status
This is where you find out how well you know your company and how willing you are to commit to assessing the current D&I landscape, even if it means hearing or reading difficult things. Accountability and transparency are the keys here that will increase confidence in your D& I strategy.
2. Strengthen D&I Policies and Procedures
Formal policies and procedures for diversity and inclusivity strategies are essential. By putting it in writing, you can regularly review the workplace and ensure that employees feel safe and have a sense of belonging while at work. You also guarantee that employees have a solid route to enforce these policies and offer redress and protocols for those who need to reach out.
3. Review the Recruitment Process
Many recruitment apps harbor inadvertent bias, negatively affecting your D&I goals. Regularly test and review these recruitment tools to ensure that the technology you use for hiring supports your diversity and inclusivity goals.
Also, consider providing formal training for your recruiters to cover these biases, including unconscious and affinity biases, and how to avoid and overcome them when hiring.
4. Expand Diversity Training
Diversity training should be an ongoing process. Focus on where your workplace most needs improvement but don’t limit your training. The key is to set a good example and commit to change from the top down, turning what you learn in training into actionable change.
5. Improve Communication
The most important way to improve D&I in your workplace is to listen. Listen to your employees and let them know their voices matter. Listen to the issues raised in public forums and address those issues proactively within your company culture. Be open to constructive criticism and listen to learn rather than respond.
Ready to improve the diversity of your workforce? Contact Vector Talent today to get started!
Diversity and inclusivity in workplace culture matter. By building a foundation of trust, acceptance, support, and appreciation for all of the diverse people within your company and ensuring they always feel included and valued for their uniqueness and contribution to the whole, you create a more robust culture that impacts every part of your company.
From recruitment to productivity and everything in between, improving the diversity and inclusivity of your company will have a positive and profitable effect.