Diversity and inclusiveness are becoming crucial elements for employers who want to build good relationships with their employees, and acquire and retain talents in their organizations. The results of the Deloitte HR Trends 2017 survey show that 69% of HR leaders and board members consider diversity and inclusiveness issues to be important or very important.
The inclusiveness and diversity policy is the company’s idea to create a work environment where every employee, regardless of their differences, has a chance to fully use their potential. It is more than just a fight against discrimination, but it is also an intended action to use broadly-based points of view, experiences and ideas. Thanks to this we can build a more diverse and creative team, which is beneficial for the company’s business performance.
To ensure diversity, employers are taking action in areas such as: recruitment, professional development, salary and balancing work and private life. The most important thing, however, is the impact on the organizational culture. Companies engage management staff in inclusiveness initiatives, they define indicators, conduct training on unconscious stereotypes, and advance monitoring and sponsorship programs.
Why is it worth creating an inclusionary workplace?
Promoting diversity in the workplace is crucial to achieve the success of an organization and creating a friendly working environment. Although more and more is said about this concept, many employers, especially smaller business owners, feel doubtful about investing in such activities. It should be noted that taking care for inclusiveness and diversity brings benefits not only to ethnic and cultural minorities, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ communities or employees over 50, but is also important in the context of all other employees.
Some of the most important benefits:
- Better business results – according to McKinsey & Company research, companies that are characterized by gender diversity are 35% more likely to achieve better financial results compared to the national average in a given industry. Nevertheless, the Harvard Business Review emphasizes that companies that care about cultural diversity are 70% more likely to gain access to new markets than homogeneous companies.
- Attracting talented professionals – on today’s competitive job market, many people are looking for companies that value inclusiveness and diversity. With a strong diversity policy, an employer can show his potential candidates that his company is a place where people value openness to others.
- More effective solutions and innovations – Deloitte report showed that diversity in the workplace is a source of creativity which increase productivity by 20%. This is probably because a variety of perspectives and ideas can result in more innovative approaches and lead to better decisions. The exchange of knowledge and experience as well as the promotion of interaction and sharing of ideas greatly contribute to the creativity and innovation of diverse teams. Employees who feel good, regardless of their race, age, gender, religion or orientation, are more involved in initiatives and projects.
- Greater level of employee satisfaction – respect and appreciation of the employee significantly affect their satisfaction with the performed work as well as build his sense of belonging to the organization. This motivates to further efforts and loyalty to the company.
What actions are worth taking in the context of inclusiveness and diversity?
- Employers who want to create an inclusionary workplace should take care of:
- Ensuring equal opportunities – this can be achieved by implementing fair and transparent recruitment and promotion processes.
- Promoting open communication – Encouraging open and honest communication can help build trust and understanding among employees, and create more inclusionary workplace.
- Offering flexible forms of work – Providing flexible forms of work, such as telecommuting or flexible working hours, can help suit the needs of employees from different backgrounds.
- Diversity in leadership/management positions – Representation of diverse backgrounds at managerial levels is crucial to promoting inclusiveness in the workplace.
Inclusiveness and diversity are not just trendy terms – they are trends that will develop, and companies that want to be competitive on the market and strive for development should take care of this area in their organizations as soon as possible.
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