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Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

The BLM movement shines a bright light on the importance of diversity and inclusion (D&I) in our society. As the workplace is a reflection of our society, companies are focusing more on their social footprint and investing in equitable practices for employees, customers and community.

Studies show that diverse teams and inclusive leadership have a big impact on the success of a company. Companies with above-average gender diversity and levels of employee engagement perform up to 58% better.[1] Companies with a strong ethnic and cultural diversity show 33%  better financial results.[2]

Moreover, a strong D&I strategy can help win the war for highly skilled talent. 80% of millennials say that an employer's policy on diversity, equality and workforce inclusion is an important factor when deciding whether to work for them.[3]

The ideas of diversity and inclusion are often mentioned in the same breath, but the two ideas are actually quite different. In this blog post, we'll discuss the difference between diversity and inclusion and how your organization can adopt an inclusive culture.

What Is Diversity?

Workplace Diversity can be defined as understanding, accepting, and valuing differences between:

1. people of different ethnicities, races, ages, genders, disabilities, religions and sexual orientations

2. people with different skill sets, experiences, education, personalities

Ultimately, it is bringing diverse people together to create a team that sees the world differently and that can work together to represent customers and communities to solve problems and create great ideas.

What Is Inclusion?

Inclusion takes it one step further and celebrates differences. The goal of workplace inclusion is to create a respectful, collaborative and supportive environment that promotes participation and contribution of all employees. True inclusion removes all barriers, intolerance and discrimination. When applied properly in the workplace, it is how every employee feels like they belong.

What Is Corporate D&I?

Together, Diversity and Inclusion or D&I can be defined as a company's mission, strategies, and practices to support a diverse workplace and leverage the positive effects of diversity to achieve a competitive business advantage.

Benefits of Having a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace

Having a diverse and inclusive culture helps establish a sense of belongingness among workers. When employees feel like they are being treated fairly at work, they can work harder and smarter. This can lead to higher quality work.

There are many other benefits of adopting diversity and inclusion initiatives, including:

Talent Pool

If you do not change the way you recruit people, chances are you will always get the same type of people. However, expanding your recruitment to include diverse talent will effectively increase your chances of finding the best person to fill the position.

Besides widening your talent pool, job seekers also consider diversity initiatives when looking for employment. Hiring more diverse individuals can attract diverse talent.

Employee Engagement and Trust

Companies that put value on building a workforce with ethnic diversity are more likely to have higher employee engagement rates. People working in inclusive companies have better physical and mental health, which means they take less leave for health-related issues.

In addition to having a higher engagement rate, a company that puts importance on inclusion efforts instils trust between employees and leaders. Teaching your hiring managers and HR leaders to recognize the talents of their team members and reward employees for doing their best work---regardless of their sexual orientation---will create a more inclusive workplace culture.

Increased Profits

Having a diverse and inclusive company culture will bring you tangible profits and revenue. This is because increased employee engagement and employee retention directly contribute to higher revenue and profits.

In many cases, diverse companies were at the top of finances and profits.

Higher Employee Retention Rate

Companies with a diverse workforce have higher retention rates than businesses that refuse to embrace diversity. It is natural that job seekers would stay with gender-diverse companies.

New Perspective

A company that observes inclusive hiring practices have a higher chance of getting someone with fresh ideas and deeper insights. Diverse teams can also better identify products and services to fulfil the needs and expectations of emerging customer profiles. Furthermore, diverse employees, especially those belonging to minority groups, have experienced challenges that honed their problem-solving skills.

Better Decision Making

More diverse companies make better decisions. A study found that diverse and inclusive teams have a 60% improvement in decision-making. [4]

Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Best Practices

To develop and uphold a diverse and inclusive workforce, companies are encouraged to adopt and promote the following D&I best practices[5]:

  • Fair treatment
  • Equal access to opportunity
  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • Focus on innovation and creativity
  • Organizational flexibility, responsiveness, and agility
  • Collaborative conflict resolution processes
  • Leadership commitment to diversity
  • Representation of diversity at all levels of the organization
  • Mentoring, education and training
  • Strengthen anti discriminatory policies

Diversity and inclusion are different but both equally important to modern organizations, as they have an undeniable influence on recruitment, engagement and retention of talent, as well as overall performance and business success. Companies have the responsibility to create an inclusive environment for their employees and customers. However, this can only be achieved when everyone in the organization continuously commits to learn, grow, and celebrate diversity in the workplace.

If you would like to learn more about how the collective feature set of Qualee can instill and strengthen a sense of belonging within employees, visit our website and download Qualee for free today!

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