Incorporating diversity and inclusion (D&I) into the workplace is a top priority for HR departments around the world today. Gartner recently found that D&I is the biggest talent management concern for CEOs in today’s workplace, and prominent global companies are earnestly forging ahead to diversify themselves. No longer considered a tactical add-on to corporate social responsibilities, D&I is now a cornerstone of people strategy in organisations looking to modernise their workplace and drive innovation, positivity, and productivity.
Indeed, diversity is seeing organisations recognise the multitude of different people in the workplace, whether that be from the perspective of age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or neurodiversity. Inclusion has companies embracing these differences and realising that every individual can bring something unique to the table and make a difference because of the qualities that make them who they are.
The benefits of recognising and embracing diversity should come as no surprise. From creating a more dynamic organisation to bringing fresh new voices on board, D&I improves the workplace in a plethora of ways. The most compelling reason, from a business perspective, is companies that invest time, money, and consideration in D&I practices can see significant gains to the bottom line.
Embracing differences yields results
Diversity is essential – from the top executive level down to the graduate trainee and across every metric – in creating a more innovative, positive environment and a broader, more global company perspective. Essentially, it creates a stronger workplace and a more profitable company.
A McKinsey report found that companies with more culturally and ethnically diverse executive teams were 33% more likely to see better-than-average profits. The report also found that gender diversity in management positions increases profitability, with companies in the top 25% for gender diversity at the executive level being 21% more likely to experience above-average profits.
Publicly celebrating differences amongst employees also bolsters the feeling of belonging, a facet of the workplace which is not to be underestimated. When workers feel like they truly belong at their job, and feel that their voice is being heard and their work recognised, they are more innovative and more productive.
The Boston Consulting Group, for example, found that companies who have more diverse management teams increase their revenue by 19% due to innovation in the workplace. Not shying away from encouraging a diverse and inclusive workplace is key if companies are to succeed and continue to thrive in today’s competitive work world.
Recognising employees for who they are
Research from Workhuman’s Analytics & Research Institute shows that receiving recognition leads to a greater sense of belonging and the belief that diversity in the workplace is valued. To recognise the differences among employees is to inspire them to harness their unique attributes, encouraging them to deliver their best work and be the best version of themselves in the workplace.
Starting with HR leaders in their role as cultural ambassadors for the workplace, companies that value and embrace the unique contributions that a diverse workforce can offer are the ones who will see increased employee engagement, retention, satisfaction, and stronger profitability. Embracing everyone for who they are and what unique insights they can bring to the table will only encourage employees – and the company as a whole – to flourish.