How Diversity and Inclusion Drives Success for Businesses

It’s a known fact that diverse teams work better together.

But despite the clear consensus on the benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace,  many organizations and their employees struggle to successfully address and navigate this sensitive subject. Diversity and inclusion initiatives should be more than just meeting a quota; they need to promote belonging, prioritize inclusion, and encourage an environment of better work. All diversity and inclusion initiatives directly impact the bottom line.

Diversity and inclusion initiatives are no longer just a trendy public relations talking point going into 2020. The importance of diversity, inclusion, and belonging in the workplace directly corresponds to the type of talent a company brings. Glassdoor says that nearly 70% of job seekers said that a diverse workforce is an influential factor when assessing future employment.

How will your business compete with the shifting job market going into 2020? Maintaining a company culture built around diversity and inclusion is a great place to start.

Belonging = Diversity + Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are often grouped together as a single entity, nevertheless, each element holds a clear and deliberate purpose.

Diversity embraces things that make people unique. Inclusion is about the social and behavioral norms that cultivate welcomeness. Connecting the two leads to a workforce full of employees that feel like they each have a place in the greater framework of their organization.

Top fortune 500 companies like Google, Chase, Salesforce, and others are incorporating roles like “Chief Equality Officer” and “Head of Equality” into their executive teams. It would be wise for smaller companies to follow the lead of these larger players. Look at your diversity and inclusion strategy as an indispensable part of your business.

To get things moving, it only takes a small start. Once you take the first step to developing an inclusive workplace, the results will ripple across your company.

The Best Practices for Diversity and Inclusion

So, where should you start? How do you create a world-class diversity and inclusion program from the scratch?

The following best practices are some things you can promote to attract the greatest talent:

  • Equal access to opportunity
  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • Organizational flexibility and responsiveness
  • Diversity training and education opportunities
  • Representation at all levels of the organization
  • A focus on innovation and collaboration
  • Fair treatment

For many of us who work in financial services, we see a focus on innovation and collaboration driving diversity and inclusion in the workplace. More diverse and inclusive employees will be drawn to a company that strives to be innovative. Utilizing these best practices in the workplace can set the stage for a strong diversity and inclusion focus from the first day of onboarding.

Strategies for Diversity and Inclusion Success

Over 60% of seekers said that a diverse workforce is a critical factor when deciding on companies and accepting job offers. Therefore, it’s vital to showcase your efforts during the hiring process while constantly engaging, examining, and evaluating your organization’s practices.

There are a few quick ways to establish your benchmarks and build a culture that attracts a diverse and inclusive group of employees:

  • Craft a diversity statement that will work as the foundation on which your organization stands.
  • Institute hiring standards for the entire company as well as individual teams.
  • Be flexible in your policies. Constructing an inclusive company brings more diversity of communication, thought, traditions, and culture. Finding a good mix of flexibility in PTO, remote work, and benefits is fundamental in creating an inclusive environment.
  • Engage your workforce with an inclusion survey and capture a net promoter score.
  • Share your efforts with prospective employees throughout the interview process.

Use project management tools to keep track of your projects and identify where there’s room for imporvement and what went well.

Belonging Matters to People

Creating a sense of belonging amongst employees might be the most difficult element of diversity and inclusion. Organize a team dedicated to diversity, inclusion, and belonging. A diverse team should be comprised of employees from all different levels with all of the diversity you’re seeking to create. Encourage all team members to volunteer and nominate each other, practicing the same diversity measures for hiring to fill the team.

Build Up Others and Tear Down Bias

There is more to creating a diverse and inclusive organization than picking the perfect stock photo for your company website or celebrating holidays in the office. It’s about creating a pathway to belonging for each and every individual that engages with your brand. It’s about cutting down the unconscious prejudices in all of us and making every person in your organization know they’re respected and valuable.

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