The transformative power of inclusivity and diversity on employee experience
4 min read
Diversity and inclusivity are essential components of successful organisations. As well as being a moral imperative, they will both bring strategic benefits to your business.
Diversity refers to the presence of individuals from various backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. Embodying more than just racial and gender differences but extending to age, disability, sexual orientation, and other intersectional aspects.
Inclusivity, on the other hand, refers to creating an environment where everyone, regardless of their background, feels valued and included. "The Value of Belonging at Work," A recent study by BetterUp, found that people are 50% less likely to leave a job if they feel included.
Together, they create a rich tapestry of ideas and experiences that can drive an organisation forward.
Embracing diversity and inclusivity fuels innovation, enhances employee engagement, and positively impacts the bottom line. A McKinsey study found that diverse and inclusive companies are 35% more likely to outperform their less diverse counterparts financially.
By creating a work environment where employees from all backgrounds feel welcome and valued, we can unlock the full potential of our workforce.
The Importance of Inclusivity and Diversity for Employee Experience
Employee Experience (EX) is a holistic view of life at work, requiring not just job satisfaction but also engagement and productivity.
Inclusive and diverse workplaces tend to have employees who are more engaged and satisfied. This is because such environments allow individuals to bring their full selves to work, thereby fostering a sense of belonging and community.
And, guess what, engaged, satisfied, employees who feel included and supported are more likely to be productive, motivated, and committed to their organisation's success.
Strategies for Fostering Inclusivity and Diversity in the Workplace
The road to inclusivity and diversity is not without its bumps. Challenges include unconscious biases, resistance to change, and systemic inequalities. Addressing these issues requires concerted effort and systemic change, often starting with leadership.
If you want to create an inclusive and diverse workplace, implement diversity and inclusion programs, address unconscious biases through training, and establish policies and processes that support diversity.
To cultivate an inclusive and diverse workplace:
Implement diversity and inclusion programs and ensure inclusive leadership training, promoting active listening, empathy, and cultural competence.
Address unconscious biases through ongoing training. People who attend a one-hour training session and nothing else tend not to change their behaviours
Institute policies and processes that support diversity, like inclusive hiring practices extending beyond recruitment to onboarding, promotions, and opportunities.
Establish Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) offering a platform for employees with common backgrounds or interests to connect, share experiences, and offer support.
Create feedback channels or suggestion boxes and encourage employees to voice concerns or ideas fearlessly.
Promote flexible work arrangements to accommodate diverse needs, leading to higher job satisfaction and productivity.
Ensure diverse leadership to serve as role models for inclusive behaviour and decision-making.
Engage in supplier diversity programs, if applicable, and share success stories showcasing diverse role models within the organization.
Adopt a global perspective on diversity if operating internationally to enhance collaboration and innovation across borders.
Offer inclusive benefits, like gender-neutral parental leave policies, ensuring all employees access the needed support.
Measure and Evaluate your Initiatives. Employ metrics ranging from employee satisfaction surveys to complex KPIs like retention rates among minority groups for assessing the effectiveness of diversity initiatives.
Building a Culture of Inclusivity and Diversity
Culture is often cited as one of the most challenging aspects to change in an organisation. It's up to your business leaders to set the tone by being role models for inclusive behaviour.
Additionally, your leaders should ensure that everyone is heard, make it safe to propose novel ideas, give team members decision-making authority, share credit for success, provide actionable feedback, and implement feedback from the team.
Mo Kanjilal, Co-Creator of Watch This Sp_ce says:
Creating inclusive cultures is about ensuring that everyone feels empowered, and people feel like they are valued no matter who they are. There are huge benefits to creating diverse teams, but people have to feel that they can share different ideas and perspectives and that they will be listened to.
Mo Kanjilal, Co-Creator of Watch This Sp_ce
The Power of Inclusivity and Diversity in Driving Success
The ability to harness the full range of human experiences and perspectives is more critical than ever. Companies that invest in inclusivity and diversity are not just doing the right thing; they're also doing the smart thing.
As noted diversity advocate Vernā Myers puts it, "Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance."
By focusing on both, companies can create a harmonious and productive work environment that benefits everyone.