Being An Inclusive Workplace Culture
Creating a culture of diversity and inclusion in the workplace is not a one-and-done deal. It requires a continuous commitment from management and employees alike.
Diversity and inclusion are a major part of doing business these days. Building an inclusive workplace is now a CEO-level concern, especially with the growth of globalization and digitization. Today a company can have offices across numerous states, even countries, so workplace culture is even more crucial to a company’s success.
It’s no longer just a human resources responsibility; it’s a tangible and direct way for leadership to achieve goals, outperform competitors, and increase their revenue. According to a McKinsey & Company report, companies with the most gender diversity on executive teams were 21% more likely to outperform on profitability and 27% more likely to have superior value creation. And companies in the top-quartile for ethnic and cultural diversity among their executive teams were 33% more likely to have industry-leading profitability.
The ABCs of D & I
Let’s take a closer look at these two terms – diversity and inclusion – often used interchangeably or together, creating what’s known as D & I. Diversity refers to who’s at work, their varying gender, age, religion, race, sexual orientation, abilities and the like.
Inclusion, on the other hand, is more about how those people feel at work. Do they feel welcomed, valued, respected, supported, and heard? Employing people from different ethnic backgrounds does little for your bottom line if they do not feel able to offer their particular perspective and contribute to the company’s overall performance.
How To Foster An Inclusive Workplace
So how do you create a workforce culture you’re proud of? One that has everyone feeling that together they’re part of a bigger purpose, or even mission? First, you identify what you’re trying to accomplish. Then you create a plan that works for your diverse teams and put the right people in charge to implement and spread the good word.
Know Your Objectives: In other words, clearly define your company’s goals and make sure to write out your thoughts in detail so they’re actionable.
Companies today agree on the importance of a welcoming workplace culture and what it can do to overall performance.
Unfortunately, most fail at implementing new diversity policies to support the changes needed to achieve their goals, while others choose to just focus on underrepresented social groups. Diversity and inclusion are for everyone, at every level of the company.
Custom-Build Your D & I Initiative: You may be tempted to just mimic others, but your workplace culture should truly be unique. Sure you can leverage other brands’ experiences for research and inspiration, but the end result should be tailor-made for your workforce, including its social and contextual landscape.
Implementing Is Crucial: Your workforce culture goals and how to achieve them may be great, but if all that planning is handed off to someone with no capabilities or motivation to push efforts forward, then that plan goes out the door. Nothing happens and there’s no improved workplace culture. A successful plan needs the right people to implement it and tools, resources, and budget to realize it.
Spread The Benefits: Focus on having employees buy into diversity and inclusion. Make them aware of the benefits to them personally and to the company as a whole. Why should they care? How does an inclusive workplace make their lives better?
Does your company have a diversity & inclusion initiative in place?
How are you going to build a more diverse workforce?