Why Workplace Diversity and Inclusivity Matters and How to Achieve it
Businesses everywhere are waking up to a need for diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. If you haven’t already, now is absolutely the time to invest in inclusion to drive measurable results — and for the greater good, of course.
Our team is focused on bringing diverse entrepreneurs together, because we know a culture of inclusion can lift up an entire community. In the same vein, creating a team filled with unique individuals whose opinions are equally valued can make a world of difference within your organization.
But why exactly are diversity and inclusion worth the effort? And how can you make it happen? We’re here to help you get the answers you need.
What is diversity in the workplace exactly?
Workplace diversity occurs when employees at each level of your organization can be distinguished through their unique perspectives and experiences.
Diversity can take many forms.
Your team may consist of people of different genders, races, sexual orientations, education levels, physical abilities and ages — all of which impact their personal experiences.
Professional diversity is important, too. Even within the same department, a diverse team will have a wide variety of skill sets and ways of thinking.
If you’re worried about accidentally hiring mortal enemies, do not fear. A commitment to diversity doesn’t mean you need to look for polar opposites. No matter how different your team members are, they should all feel connected by the same core values. This overarching unity will enable your business to benefit from the positive impact of diversity.
Benefits of diversity at work
Diversity in the workplace isn’t just a fad. Business leaders stand behind it because it leads to greater efficiency and longevity. We’ll list out a few ways you can directly benefit from encouraging diversity at work, but we promise this is just the start of a million reasons why inclusion matters.
1. It enhances your decision-making.
When you bring together people with unique knowledge and perspectives, you will naturally have a team that can tackle challenges from every angle. As you bounce ideas off one another, you’ll develop more creative solutions, twice as fast — and the decisions you make will be better 87% of the time.
Diversity is also the key to weeding out tone-deaf marketing before it’s blasted out. When your team actually represents the diverse makeup of the greater community, you eliminate your blind spots and stay hyper-aware about how your audience may perceive your message.
2. It boosts your profits.
When you invest in workplace diversity, you get returns.
Diversity is also known to attract top talent, investors and customers, so if your dedication to building a diverse team doesn’t create immediate results, it will boost and continue to boost your ROI soon enough.
3. It keeps your employees engaged.
No one wants to work for a team where they don’t feel included. Diversity is directly linked to higher levels of trust, which ultimately leads to employee engagement — a huge factor in organizational productivity.
Pairing diversity with a strong culture of inclusion will further help your team members feel valued and heard. Because they feel comfortable with and connected to the broader team, they’re also less likely to leave. With employee retention rates high, you won’t have to eat the extremely high cost of employee turnover.
How to build a culture of inclusivity
Building an inclusive team is an active process that requires you to do more than stick diverse people together. Here are some tips on how you can promote and nurture a healthy, inclusive culture as you build your diverse team:
- Encourage collaboration. When your employees are working in silos, this can hinder your progress. Find ways for your team members to work together, so they can learn from each other and build off of each other’s ideas.
- Offer diversity training. Even if you’re confident that all your team members value diversity, almost everyone has implicit biases that they need to overcome. Training can help your employees grow, while building trust and acceptance.
- Support professional development. Once you achieve strong diversity, you need to continue engaging employees by helping them advance in their careers. This could be achieved through mentorship, a professional development stipend or a similar initiative.
Again, remember that diversity in the workplace only occurs when there’s diversity at every level. Your leadership team must reflect your commitment to inclusion, or else your efforts will be drowned by an echo chamber of decision-makers.
Make diversity an ongoing commitment
Diversity isn’t created in one day, nor does inclusion continue if you fail to nurture it. Making diversity and inclusion core values in your business will help you outperform your competitors, while keeping your team fully satisfied.
Want to learn how we’re helping diverse entrepreneurs succeed? Read about our inclusion initiative and how you or an organization you love can join in.