Diversity and inclusion in the workplace refer to the representation of people in an organization. It creates a safe and equitable work environment for marginalized bodies. Diversity and inclusion counter systemic oppression in the workplace and promote equal opportunities.
Diversity and inclusion (D&I) is not just a social responsibility of the company. Research by Deloitte reveals that diverse companies have 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee. It upholds the social image of the company and increases revenue.
By implementing diversity and inclusion in the workplace, one empowers employees. It promotes a toxic culture in the work environment and perpetuates oppression. Moreover, it makes the company an unlikely choice for job seekers. Companies today need to include diversity and inclusion training in their policies to create equal opportunities in the workplace.
What is diversity in the workplace?
Diversity in the workplace refers to the practice of hiring people regardless of their social or ethnic backgrounds, disabilities, sexual identities, and orientation. By hiring a diverse talent pool, a company takes a stand against discrimination at the workplace.
Diversity in the workplace provides job opportunities for the marginalized. It creates a wider talent pool for recruitment and opens new perspectives. The organization intentionally hires a workforce from diverse backgrounds. This promotes innovation and improves employee performance.
It should be noted; however, that diversity does not refer to an employee. Calling an employee diverse is wrong. It implies that the employee belongs to a less privileged group.
What does inclusion in the workplace mean?
Inclusion in the workplace refers to the social norms, company policies, and behaviors that create a safe work environment. An inclusive work environment will treat all employees equally and ensure they have equal opportunities and resources. It also ensures that all employees can contribute to the organization and get due credit for their contributions.
Diversity vs. inclusion: How are they different from one another?
Diversity and inclusion are used together, but they have different meanings. Diversity is the set of characteristics that make people unique from one another.
Inclusion refers to the behavior of people and company policies that make people feel welcome. Today, having a diverse workforce is not enough. Creating an inclusive work environment is just as important for the organization.
Workplace discrimination is illegal in all countries. However, it is a grim reality that is faced by most minority bodies in the workplace. Every three out of five US employees have experienced or witnessed discrimination at the workplace. In such circumstances, it is pivotal to be informed about bias. Implicit bias, for instance, could result in microaggressions.
How diversity and inclusion can boost your business
Diversity and inclusion training is not limited to social reform. It is a useful tool for improving the productivity of the organization and increasing profits. A diverse workforce means better human resources for an organization. It opens new opportunities and sheds light on untapped potential. Promoting inclusivity in the organization improves employee satisfaction.
Employee satisfaction is an index of company performance. It reduces the chances of sabotage and boosts productivity. Inclusivity in the workplace also reduces absenteeism and alienation of employees. Moreover, it paves the way for equal opportunities for all employees.
7 Benefits of Diversity and Inclusion Training
While diversity and inclusion is a good idea, it is often implemented poorly by companies. The reason is the lack of proper training which educates both employees and employers. This is why diversity and inclusion training is a necessary part of the recruitment process.
Several experts have suggested that the lack of compulsory D&I training has hindered progress. Diversity and inclusion training is often optional, which makes it easy for organizations to ignore it.
Here are 7 reasons why diversity and inclusion are important for business:
- Wider talent pool
The biggest asset for any organization is its human resource. It is therefore wise to include D&I training. The training educates HR professionals and increases the reach of the company. It is also helpful if the company wishes to expand globally. Moreover, diversity in the company attracts employees as it improves the social standing of the company. The recruitment process is more equitable and gives more opportunities to the marginalized.
- Better range of skills
By improving the reach of the company, one gets recruits. These recruits come with a better range of skills. There will be room for more innovation and creativity in the business. Diversity and inclusion training allows organizations to hire more skilled employees from various backgrounds. Moreover, it helps to sustain skilled employees as bias can often lead to resignation.
- Better perspectives
D&I training encourages employees to participate more in problem-solving, brainstorming and contributing new ideas. It helps a company get fresh perspectives that are necessary for growth. Without diversity and inclusion, a company is more likely to be stagnant. It can also incur displeasure due to a lack of accountability.
Furthermore, diversity and inclusion training helps employees speak out against discrimination and reduce social injustice. By hiring a diverse set of employees, the company sets an example for its competitors.
- New opportunities
Diversity and inclusion open new opportunities for firms. With diverse employees, one can capitalize on new markets. It becomes an asset in the long run as multiculturalism and multilingualism improve the value of the company. As a diverse and inclusive business, one gets more opportunities to collaborate with foreign brands.
Moreover, it attracts clients as diversity improves the social standing of the company. D&I initiatives reflect ethical practice. This helps in attracting customers from diverse backgrounds.
- Improved employee satisfaction
Diversity and inclusion training counters the creation of a hostile work environment. It makes an employee feel safe at work as the training encourages bystander intervention. While having a diverse workforce is commendable, it becomes the responsibility of the firm to ensure safety. Microaggressions, implicit and explicit bias can threaten the safety of employees. It reduces feelings of alienation and improves the mental health of employees. Thus, it is recommended that companies should hire experienced diversity and inclusion trainers.
- More productivity
Employee satisfaction improves their performance. It increases employee engagement and reduces absenteeism. With diversity and inclusion training, there is a better, safer environment. Moreover, the employee is encouraged to participate in the growth of the company actively. This increases their sense of belonging and improves their productivity.
- Increase in revenues
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace increase the business value. This contributes to the growth of the company. A study shows that diverse workforces are 35% more likely to have greater financial returns. Companies with average diversity have a 20% advantage in revenue. D&I initiatives are an investment that gives good returns to the company.
Diversity and inclusion at the workplace are non-negotiable. It creates a sense of belonging among employees and improves employee engagement and trust. This is important as a satisfied employee is more productive. Not changing the recruitment process and company policies is a grave mistake in contemporary times. It can lead to serious consequences, including lawsuits. It will affect the morale of the employee adversely and may also lead to unsafe working conditions. Thus, diversity and inclusion training in the workplace is indispensable for growth and profitability.