Why Workplace Diversity and Inclusivity is Important

June 16, 2021

Why Workplace Diversity and Inclusivity is Important

Diversity and inclusion (inclusivity) (D&I) encompasses more than just rules, initiatives, and employee numbers. Fair employers outperform their competitors by valuing each team member's unique needs, opinions, and capabilities.

As a result, businesses that are diverse and inclusive win greater trust and loyalty from their employees.

According to studies, even physical diversity leads to increased productivity, and for data-driven organizations, that extra performance bump can be highly encouraging. It's also the fact that organizations with a lack of diversity are being openly criticized and may potentially lose business, not to mention falling behind in recruitment. Even Google is beginning to exhibit symptoms that their lack of diversity is having an impact on them.

Difference: Diversity and Inclusivity

Diversity and inclusivity are two concepts that are intertwined, yet they are not equivalent. Diversity refers to an entity's representation. Inclusion or inclusivity refers to how successfully various groups of people's efforts, participation, and opinions are appreciated and incorporated into an area. 

A diversified setting with many different genders, colors, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and identities, but only the viewpoints of specific groups are valued or have any influence and authority, is not inclusive.

A diverse and inclusive workplace is one in which everyone feels equally included and supported in all parts of the workplace, irrespective of who they are or what they do for the company. The phrase "all parts" is crucial. Companies are also recognizing that making diversity and inclusivity a business necessity will assist them in avoiding harming their brand. It would imply that they are considering what type of organization they would like to be, whom they would like to be, and what their impact will be. It will continue to be vital, and the parties demanding it will only become more assertive.

Benefits of Diversity and Inclusivity to Your Business

There are numerous reasons why companies are emphasizing the subject and educating their employees and leadership to be more inclusive, but some of the most important are the many benefits of diversity and inclusivity in the workplace:

Broader talent pool

By reducing inequality and prejudice within hiring teams and at the upper ranks of your organization, you can ensure that brilliant individuals are not turned down because of their sexuality, skin color, or other characteristics, despite having excellent abilities and expertise. This means that your company will have a greater pool of high-quality individuals to pick from when hiring.

Diversity of viewpoints

By ensuring that your team includes a diverse range of employees and leaders from varied backgrounds, your company will benefit from a broader range of perspectives, encounters, and opinions, as well as ensuring that business actions are adequately scrutinized by those with different points of view, thereby eliminating herd mentality.

Increase business innovation

Employees feel much better and are less likely to experience negative emotions toward their workplace when they feel included and acknowledged. More extensive diversity of perspectives are heard throughout the organization, generating a potpourri of free-thinking that generates bright ideas.

Enhance customer understanding

Due to a lack of awareness, significant groups of individuals may be underrepresented in the workplace if there is a lack of workplace diversity and inclusion. Companies that recognize and accommodate many demographics can benefit from this spending power, and the right approach to do so is by hiring people from various backgrounds and responding to their needs. This is highly advantageous on moral and ethical grounds because it makes society work more effectively.

More effective problem-solving

Focusing on diversity and inclusivity has been found to boost team decision-making efficiency. According to a 2017 study, cognitively diverse teams addressed problems faster than homogeneous teams, and in a 2017 white paper, diverse teams made decisions 60% more quickly than non-diverse groups.

Enhance company performance

According to a 2012 study, US companies with diverse board members had a 95% better return on equity than those without diversity. They discovered in 2015 that the most substantial businesses for diversity and inclusion in management were 15% more able to outperform the mean financially and 35% more likely when it came to racial and ethnic administrative diversity.

Improve overall company image

Companies that are diverse and inclusive make their employees feel accepted and fulfilled, and they benefit humanity function more effectively and equally. This method can boost your company's reputation among customers, clients, and employees, resulting in a slew of advantages such as enhanced recruitment prospects, organizational performance, and expansion.

Ways to Improve and Support Diversity and Inclusivity

Diversity in the workplace does not always imply inclusivity in the workplace. Yes, prioritizing diversity is critical, but so is the next obvious progression: cultivating a culture in which people of different backgrounds feel included.

The key to genuinely maintaining diversity in the workplace is inclusivity.

Evaluate Top Management

The composition of your management team sends a strong message to the rest of your organization (as well as your customers and partners).

A company's senior management says a great deal about its culture. 

You will not have much influence on your leadership board; nonetheless, you should do so if you can make a case for inclusion and diversity. You can also assist your executives in communicating with their employees genuinely and openly.

Establish a Sense of Belonging

Having a relationship with an institution or group of individuals that allows you to be yourself leads to increased involvement and innovation and a psychological requirement. It isn't a one-size-fits-all strategy, which is why it's critical to share best practices and be open to new experiences.

Welcome and Respect Every Voice

Employees must be able to express themselves freely based on their unique viewpoints. Companies must ensure that their employees feel involved and respected despite their gender, color, age, religion, sexual orientation, cultural background, country of origin, or physical conditions.

When it comes to promoting diversity and inclusivity in the workplace, use common decency, pay specific attention to how you can implement non-discriminatory policies and practices, and don't pick favorites.

Employees feel included when they believe it is "acceptable" to express their problems and views without fear of retaliation.

Encourage Diverse Thinking

Fostering diverse thinking is beneficial in producing ideas and receiving valuable criticism while also creating an environment in which everyone feels important and part of a common objective.

Consider All Preferences at Gatherings

Several offices observe minor holidays or occasions like birthdays. When planning even a casual corporate gathering, make sure to provide food and beverages that everybody can consume. Asking ethical questions about preferences and providing a choice of food and drink alternatives will go a long way toward making such experiences more inclusive.

Tailor One-on-One Conversations

Managers should have an “open door” culture for these discussions to be genuinely successful.

Workers Must be Able to Express Themselves Freely and Openly

Leaders may accomplish this through authentic executive interactions. Employees will feel a lot more comfortable taking a stand and trusting their leaders if they can see that they, too, are human.

Omit Bias in Promotion Openings

A vast body of data indicates that the recruitment process is unfair and unjust. Much of it is the result of unconscious ageism, racism, and sexism.

Leaders must learn to remove bias from their practices and processes.

If left unmanaged, it can be detrimental to your company. 

Assess Your Brand

It is critical to understand the connections between what is happening both in and out of your organization as you work toward being a truly inclusive workplace.

It is more than just an effort or a campaign; it demands commitment from the most experienced members of the organization to the newest employee and genuine behavioral change.

It is about how the entire business functions and the individual ways of working, interacting, participating, and even just being in the environment.

Conclusion

As the world becomes more of global culture, your workforce will include more people from many origins, faiths, and nations.

Capturing and blending ideas and experiences from this broad group of employees is a significant boost to your company and a crucial predictor of its success. 

This critical statistic has spurred a discussion about workplace diversity and inclusivity, which has gotten far too little attention in the first place. Evaluate your company's workplace culture, principles, and policies in the future to embrace a more diverse and inclusive approach.

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