Category All, Best Practices 7 Benefits of Improving Diversity and Inclusion in The Workplace Find out what are the biggest benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and how to improve it in your organization. September 3, 2021 By Sara Ana Cemazar Diversity and inclusion in the workplace is something that many employers want to improve in their organizations. There is a wide social movement trying to bring diversity and inclusion into all aspects of peoples’ lives, and the workplace is one of the most important ones. However, optimizing diversity and inclusion in the workplace has numerous benefits for the company as well. Most of all, it is a much needed initiative to put an end to many prejudices, social injustices, and lack of opportunities for too many people. 🎈Before you dive into the article, get our employee recognition playbook to build effective employee recognition programs in your company. What Do We Mean by Diversity and Inclusion? When someone thinks of diversity and inclusion, they probably have only a few dimensions of it in mind. In reality, there are numerous aspects of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. It refers to gender, race, religion, ethnicity, age, education, physical and mental ability, sexual orientation, marital status, geographic location, and more. A lot of times, ensuring diversity and inclusion in the workplace is easier said than done. However, the world of work has changed post pandemic, and organizations are adopting more of remote and hybrid work models. Consequently, it gets easier to enable a high level of diversity and inclusion in workplaces. Benefits of Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace When a workplace is diverse and inclusive, organizations experience many advantages. Multiple benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace have been recorded in studies led by some of the most prestigious research institutions. Here is our list of most important ones – but there are surely more to be added to the list! Different perspectives It is undeniable that today’s workplaces are more collaborative than ever. Simply, collaboration ensures that the end-product is the best possible version of itself. With diverse groups included in a project, you get many different perspectives on the matter. It enriches the discussion, adds value to the project, and in the end, ensures that the outcome is well-rounded and perceived from different perspectives. This is very beneficial for companies that want to cater to a wide audience. In a sense, employees work as a focus group for them, and everybody’s input increases the chances that the company’s product or service will be well accepted by actual customers. Easier access to new markets According to research, diversity and inclusion helps companies tap into new markets. More specifically, they are 70% more likely to expand into a new market. When you think about it, it only makes sense. Diversity and inclusion, once again, help to create products and services meant for diverse audiences, thus making entrance to new markets easier and more natural. More creativity and innovation Peoples’ experiences, background, and way of thinking are incredibly versatile. When diversity and inclusion in the workplace are at a high level, many different perspectives are thrown into a mix. Just imagine the scenario of like-minded people coming up with a product in comparison with a diverse group. Since the diverse group is made out of people who think differently due to their experience throughout life, the end-product will be more creative and innovative. Better employee performance Optimizing employee performance is in the focus of many HR Professionals. Research shows that ethnically and racially diverse companies are 35% more likely to perform better than their competitors. Moreover, companies that optimize gender diversity are 15% more likely to outperform others. This only makes sense considering all the benefits employers can reap due to more innovation, creativity, more languages spoken in the company, and so on. Increased employee engagement When employees feel included, they are more likely to be engaged. This research by Deloitte found that employee engagement is a direct outcome of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Optimized company reputation Many companies know that today, candidates are more likely to choose a job with an employer that cares about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Since it is a part of a wider social movement, it is surely beneficial for a company’s employer branding. However, employers should be more concerned with providing the best employee experience – which includes ensuring diversity and inclusion – than blasting how diverse and inclusive they are through branding. After all, with sites like Glassdoor, potential candidates and customers can assess the real situation. Bigger profits In the end, diversity and inclusion in the workplace bring higher profit to organizations. According to research, companies with highly inclusive culture see 2 times more profits per employee than their competitors. How to Improve Diversity and Inclusion in Your Organization Since diversity and inclusion has so many dimensions, there are a myriad of techniques you could apply to improve it in your organization. The most important thing is that you embed diversity and inclusion in your company culture through different activities and training. Here are some specific ways to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Be aware of unconscious bias Keep an open mind! Be aware that you might have an unconscious bias towards some groups of people. It is something that we all do, and it is important to normalize it in order to fully unlock the potential of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Some companies use blind recruitment techniques in order to avoid unconscious bias. They use software that hides information on candidates’ ethnicity, gender, age, and more. However, it is also important to continue educating your existing employees on this topic. Hire globally Not only is it a great benefit to offer, remote work is also a way for employers to ensure diversity and inclusion in the workplace. By hiring globally, employers can more easily hire different groups of people since they are not tied to a single location. Moreover, 76% of job seekers say that diversity and inclusion in the workplace are important when choosing an employer. Make sure everyone is heard It is not enough to hire a diverse workforce for a workplace to be inclusive. It is about giving everybody enough time to be heard, and enough support to make their own decisions. Asking employees to speak up and taking their opinion into consideration is more difficult than it sounds. A great way to do it is through employee surveys. However, there is multiple software that can help you analyze speaking time distribution in your meetings in order to optimize it. Give actionable feedback Giving actionable, constructive feedback can improve your team’s performance, but it can also help individuals to get more confident in their jobs. This will make them more engaged and more likely to join the important conversations, thus making the workplace more inclusive. Enable employee development Employees value development opportunities a lot. If your company does not invest in its employees and promotes within, chances are you are going to have high employee turnover among younger generations. Millennials and Gen Z are keen to learn and advance their careers. As they will be making the majority of the world workforce soon, you should tap into their potential and support their leadership ambitions. Share credit for success It is incredibly important to celebrate everyone’s success, but it is also good to remember that success is rarely an independent endeavour. Therefore, lead by example and share credit for your own success. Moreover, tap into the power of social recognition to amplify the message. Train your employees – especially leaders There are several management styles that leaders use to manage their teams. However, it is important to teach them to make their decision-making process inclusive. Training all employees on how they can get rid of unconscious bias and how they can help disadvantaged groups in the workplace should be on every organizations’ educational list. Reconsider employee benefits It is advisable to reevaluate your entire total rewards package from time to time to make sure it is still competitive. However, it is especially important to include in it certain employee benefits that can ensure more diversity and inclusion in the workplace. For example, give more time off for maternity and paternity leave. Moreover, enable remote work policy so people with disabilities can work from home if they want to. You could also offer different financial benefits to help out younger employees pay off their student debts, or older ones to save for their retirement. Celebrate holidays of all cultures A simple, yet effective way to promote people of different backgrounds is to have an inclusive holidays calendar. Celebrate everybody’s holidays, and show them how much you appreciate having them among your workforce. To make it easier for you, here is our employee recognition calendar you could use to celebrate your diverse workforce.