June 20th 2023
Why diversity & inclusion is essential for the success of your business
While it’s easy to assume that every company is diverse and prioritizes inclusion, unfortunately, that is not always the case. Diversity and Inclusion are company features that you have to be intentional about – it doesn’t happen by default.
What we mean by this is that just because your company has employees of different races and different gender identities – it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have adopted a culture of being diverse and inclusive.
You have to actively work diversity and inclusion measures into your business practices; from how you hire to the culture you foster. Also, let it be known to your community that your company has invested efforts into being this way. Diversity and inclusion doesn't happen by accident. Set your intention!
…but why is this intention so essential? A diverse and inclusive workforce invites growth and divergent thinking through the conversations and concepts that come from your employees’ varying backgrounds, identities and experiences.
The ability to think “outside the box” – or should we say “outside of your own experiences” – is essential to your business’s ability to adapt, overcome, innovate and ultimately succeed. So, you’re going to want:
A variety of faces and identities
A workplace that values inclusivity will have a diverse representation of employees. We’re talking genders, races, religions, sexual orientations and age groups. As we’re still adapting to the “new norm” post-pandemic — your company needs a diverse voice to foster a culture that values and respects differences.
Open and fun communication
To create a company of open communication, you have to encourage it. Empower your employees to freely express their opinions, ideas, and concerns.
You can do this by having weekly or even monthly meetings with all teams in one room, where everyone is welcome to bounce off ideas on all aspects of the company. This also creates a culture of transparency, trust and respect (which is critical when you are on a hunt for top talent).
Fair policies and practices
Implementing fair policies that provide equal opportunities for all employees is extremely important. It’s pretty handy when it comes to your workforce feeling a sense of belonging and acknowledgement for their work.
Think: recruitment, hiring, promotion and compensation practices — all tools to ensure your employees longevity in their role whilst increasing your chances of attracting and retaining top talent.
Even the language you use in your job listing effects the kind of candidates you attract – advertising ‘free wine or beer on tap’ can alienate people of colour, whilst engineering teams looking to hire ‘hackers’ are inadvertently putting women off the job.
Clear access to resources and support
For your company to truly be diverse and inclusive, provide your employees with access to the support and resources that can help them overcome any obstacles they may face.
For instance, when an employee is burnt out from work, it often affects their mental health which then hinders them from being productive and creative. The solution? Offer resources such as mental health support, mentorship programs, and training opportunities. It’s a win/win situation overall!
Celebrate with your employees
An inclusive workplace celebrates diversity and recognizes the importance of different cultures, religions and identities. You might not value Ramadan, but you know who does? Your Muslim employees.
So, find out what it’s all about — give them a day off or find a way to support them during this time. By doing this, you also increase employee morale.
…because the truth is: everyone would love to work where they feel welcome, respected, valued and where diversity is celebrated and encouraged.
Your employees are your first customers and to ensure that they remain satisfied, it is important that your company actively encourages diversity and inclusivity.
With that said, focus on creating a culture where your employees feel empowered to contribute their unique perspectives and experiences – if not for them, for the success of your business.