Pride month has just finished but this doesn’t mean we should forget about diversity and inclusion, in particular in the workplace.
Here are 5 reasons why employers and businesses should care about diversity and inclusion.
Reason 1: Innovation
As the saying goes, ‘Birds of a feather, flock together’. Groups of people from similar backgrounds are more likely to come up with similar ways to approach a problem. A diverse group of people may offer different perspectives and solutions to problem solving. Diverse teams have shown to be more productive and creative than those of similar demographics.
Reason 2: Global opportunities
To become a leader in an industry you have to think globally. You may already conduct business with vendors or clients abroad. Diversity in a workplace can bring unique skills from different people that can be transferred to the global platform. Employees with different language skills, an understanding of different cultures or knowledge of local marketplaces can bring advantages to your business.
Reason 3: Brand recognition
Societal values are changing and becoming more open and inclusive. Creating a diverse workforce and organisation can improve your customers’ opinion of you.
Your customers aren’t just people who buy your products or services. They are people who look at businesses’ with qualities and morals that align with their own views. If you can show your business is diverse and inclusive, it’s more likely to be favoured over companies that aren’t. But remember that it’s not just about passively promoting diversity, you have to create and support initiatives to ensure diversity is maintained.
Reason 4: Understanding customers better
Following on reason 3, having a diverse business means you can understand your customers’ needs better. If you only employ people from a certain demographic, you could be inadvertently alienating an entire customer base. Your customers want to speak to people that understand their problems, experiences, grievances and can recommend solutions that work for them. Being able to relate to your customer base will offer better customer service.
Reason 5: Recruiting talent
Potential employees consider cultural fit, inclusivity and commitments to diversity when job searching. Job satisfaction is as important as salary and perks.
According to LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends 2018, it’s found that, “Even at the most diverse of companies, employees will disengage and leave if they don’t feel included and accepted”. It also added that, “Belonging is the feeling of psychological safety that allows employees to be their best selves at work.”. This shows that businesses who support specific demographic groups have better employee retention and engagement.
Creating a diverse and inclusive business has many benefits, but it does come with it’s own challenges. Careful planning is needed and a robust strategy must be implemented.
Consider creating an Equal opportunities policy to show a commitment to equal opportunity and diversity within the workplace. Create other HR policies such as a Maternity policy, a Paternity policy or even a Flexible working policy to accommodate your employees.
It is our individual differences that make every single person unique and special. Let me end this piece with one of my favourite childhood quotes about diversity from Dr. Seuss – ‘Why fit in when you were born to stand out?’.