Diversity and Inclusion: The Best HR Approach to Drive Innovative Outcomes

Diveristy and Inclusion Approach

Malcolm Forbes has beautifully defined diversity – The art of thinking independently together.

An environment of inclusiveness is the need of the hour for all organizations, irrespective of their size and domain, to foster workplace equality and achieve success. Companies that lack inclusivity often fail to attract diverse talent, thereby lagging behind in driving innovation and embracing the emerging social and technological changes. Corporates looking forward to expanding their footprints at the global level are forced to shift their approach from homogeneousness to diversity and inclusion (D&I). 

Want to learn more about D&I approach and how it can bring benefits to your organization? Read the blog!

What is the Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Approach?

Diversity and inclusion is an approach that focuses on syncing varied perspectives and viewpoints put forward by a diverse workforce (in terms of nationality, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and age) so that all employees feel trusted, empowered, valued, and respected. In today’s digital era when all businesses are making every possible effort to stay ahead of the cut-throat competition, implementation of this unbiased approach can be a big game-changer.

Impacts of Diversity and Inclusion Approach

1. Impact on Employee Engagement

A research study by Glassdoor states that 67% of job seekers prefer to join those companies that value a diverse workforce. This study further reveals that women are more likely to be a part of those organizations where females equally hold top management positions. In a nutshell, employees prefer workplaces that take into account the unique capabilities and skills that come from the variableness of experience, gender, age, ethnicity and other heterogeneity factors.

2. Impact on Corporate Communication

D&I is not just a policy; it’s a mindset that every organization must ingrain as its core value. You can strengthen your digital presence and improve public perception of your brand by portraying your company’s commitment to diversity and inclusive culture in your business communications across all channels. 

3. Impact on Performance

Alignment of business goals with diversity and inclusion goals is an important driver to improve the financial performance of a company. A more diverse group brings new innovation and perspectives that have a ripple effect on team morale and performance. According to a prediction made by Gartner, through 2022, 75% of organizations with diverse and inclusive decision-making teams will go above and beyond their financial targets. The study also reveals that gender and culturally diverse and inclusive teams outpace their less inclusive counterparts by 50%.

the business case for inclusion and diversity

4. Impact on Revenue

According to Harvard Business Review, companies with diverse workforce generates 19% higher revenue. Echoing this sentiment, a McKinsey report states that every 10% spike in the ethnic and racial diversity of an organization’s senior executive team results in a 0.8% increase in profits.

Ways to Include Diversity and Inclusion Approach in Your Company

Below are some ways to include D&I in your work culture. Take a look!

1. Strengthen Anti-Discriminatory Policies

No organization can sustain competition by implementing superficial policies. A stringent and effective anti-discriminatory policy supported and enforced by top management and seriously followed by employees can take any company a long way. You can make your employees abide by this policy by clearly communicating that policy violation will lead to disciplinary actions against them.

2. Create a Multigenerational Workforce

A multigenerational workforce encompasses employees from age 22 to 40. Each generation possesses its own specificities; the younger generation is tech-savvy and energetic, while the older generation has rich experience and a clear vision for the company’s growth. 

By combining different philosophies and approaches of different generations at the workplace, companies can create winning solutions. You can also create reverse mentoring programs where new-gen employees can educate senior leaders about mobile computing, social media usage, and other advanced technologies.

3. Encourage Diverse Thinking

When people from diverse backgrounds work together, they bring diverse thinking, new ideas, and different life experiences and perspectives to solve organizational issues, which further pave the path for innovation. Here, it is important that all individual employees understand thinking patterns and how other people at the company think. By respecting diverse viewpoints of the workforce, you can make them feel part of a shared mission.

4. Onboard a Multilingual Workforce

To make your employees feel truly included, you should consider global barriers and preferences. You can make your employees feel comfortable and secure by letting them communicate in any language they find most suitable. Most global organizations offer translation services to make other employees understand what’s being said. Though this seems an expensive deal, but, in fact, it’s an investment.

5. Make Sure Every Voice is Heard and Respected

Create an environment of open communication where every employee feels free to express his/her opinions, viewpoints, perspectives, concerns, and ideas. Such a culture gives employees a sense of connectedness to the organization. You can also implement an Open Door policy which instills a sense of transparency and encourages employees to communicate, seek feedback, and discuss any matter of importance directly with the management.

6. Acknowledge Multiple Cultural and Religious Practices

All organizations provide federal holidays for specific days, occasions, or festivals every year. In order to accommodate the religious preferences of diverse employees, you can give floating holidays as an additional perk in your benefits package. Floating holidays are paid holidays that are not tied to specific days; employees can avail them on any day of the year for their religious observance.

7. Portray Diversity and Inclusion in Your Executive Team

The commitment to diversity must be modeled by the C-suite of the company. You can’t think of creating an inclusive culture without having diversity in your management and leadership team. An organization with diverse corporate leadership is better positioned to implement inclusivity laws, acquire top talent, and boost innovation. 

Governments of several nations have set minimum thresholds for female representation on company boards to fortify diversity. For instance, Norway and France mandate that at least 40% of a company’s supervisory board must be held by women; in Germany, the minimum threshold is 30%. In India, there must be at least one female included in the company’s board.

8. Make the Hiring and Evaluation Process Unbiased

The biased recruitment process and promotion opportunities based on ageism, racism, and sexism negatively impact your company’s image as an employer. You can eliminate this biasness by rewriting gender-neutral job descriptions, neglecting demographic characteristics while reviewing resumes, and providing equal growth and promotional opportunities to employees.

The Inference

According to statistics, most companies desperately need to pay earnest heed to “diversity at the workplace” and “inclusivity” to create a work culture built on transparency & trust and reflects a variety of experiences and backgrounds. So, break all the silos and adopt this approach full-fledgedly.

As a CEO or senior executive of the company, if you are not sure where to start, we recommend you begin with a presentation to explain to your management and HR teams the benefits of incorporating this approach. Don’t have enough time to go through the hassles of creating a presentation from scratch? No worries! You can make use of a premade, professionally-designed HR PowerPoint templates.

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