Employee satisfaction and productivity increase dramatically when employees feel valued and safe at work, but how can companies foster such inclusive environments?
Many employees value diversity and inclusion (DEI) when selecting an employer, so embracing DEI in the workplace benefits businesses by increasing customer reach.
Gender diversity refers to an equal or fair representation of men and women in all roles within an organization, not only counting women, transgender and non-binary individuals but also accounting for how much power these individuals wield – whether leadership roles or highly technical functions. Achieve gender balance at work will benefit both employee morale and the company bottom line.
Research by McKinsey indicates that companies with gender-diverse executive teams are 21 percent more profitable. Gender diversity also helps break stereotypes and spur innovation; multiple perspectives allow organizations to better understand how different genders interact and communicate, leading to more creative solutions.
Note, however, that simply hiring more women, men, transgender, and non-binary employees won’t achieve true equality; those employees need to be empowered to fully utilize their abilities and exceed their own potential – something only possible if an organization makes gender equity one of their key business objectives.
Starting off, organizations should take an inventory of their current gender equity situation by running a diversity and inclusion (DEI) survey or performing pay gap analysis. Once data are in hand, organizations should devise a plan on how they’re going forward.
One component of a sound plan should include building trust. One effective strategy to do so is for leaders to open up about personal experiences like mental health issues or financial hardship – sharing these can humanize leaders while creating empathy in the workplace.
Another key aspect is to foster a culture that fosters transparency and open dialogue, in order to foster trust and avoid miscommunication and reduce chances of hidden biases being present in the workplace. Finally, gender equity advocates in the workplace must be supported with training and tools they require in order to do their job successfully.
Race and ethnicity is an integral aspect of diversity that can profoundly shape the workplace. Employers should recruit employees from varying backgrounds and perspectives in order to foster creativity and ensure business success. Furthermore, businesses should take steps to combat unconscious biases which contribute to disparities across demographic groups by eliminating unconscious discrimination in the form of microaggressions such as being spoken to condescendingly or being stereotyped about an aspect of identity.
As part of an approach to racial issues, “white privilege” has gained recognition as a means of explaining how white people benefit from certain societal norms and practices that disadvantage other demographic groups – which in turn may lead to biases within workplace environments such as failing to advocate for those of color and other forms of discrimination.
Even in spite of these difficulties, most workers perceive diversity, equity and inclusion efforts to be positive – although opinions vary according to demographic and political characteristics. Black workers in particular tend to value working in environments with diverse racial and ethnic populations more highly than either white or Hispanic workers.
Age diversity is another essential aspect of diversity. According to our survey results, many respondents view having both younger and older workers in an organization as essential for productivity; yet employers must understand there are significant generational differences and find ways to ensure all their employees can remain productive regardless of age.
Survey results indicated that most employees (56%) agree that it’s beneficial for organizations to focus on diversity, equity and inclusion within the workplace; female employees were even more supportive (61%). But not all employees agree; some are skeptical of how diversity initiatives could benefit their workplaces directly; these employees need convincing that there are tangible gains associated with diversity programs in general. A key way of accomplishing this goal is ensuring diversity initiatives include education about their advantages.
People with disabilities are an essential and often-overlooked element of our diversity. Yet despite their presence in the workforce, employees with disabilities report higher rates of discrimination compared to other groups. This may be caused by workplace culture – for instance due to unaware coworkers of disability inclusion efforts – or it may come about due to unconscious biases during interviews or other aspects of workplace culture.
Deloitte recently conducted a study that demonstrated that both employees with and without disabilities are generally supportive of inclusive work practices, according to more than half of respondents who stated focusing on disability inclusion was beneficial to their businesses. Furthermore, those who perceived their leaders investing in inclusion were more likely to show respect and remain loyal towards their employers.
One of the best ways to promote disability inclusion is through transparency. One effective method of doing this is sharing personal stories of leaders in form of storytelling to build trust between employees and bosses while showing them who their boss really is as an individual. This form of leadership is vitally important because it shows everyone has unique challenges and needs.
One way to promote disability inclusivity is by refraining from using language that is derogatory or stigmatizing, such as words such as “retard” and “mentally challenged.” Such language could have serious repercussions for employees with disabilities who apply for jobs; it could cause them to feel discouraged from seeking employment altogether.
Implementing disability-inclusive hiring and training processes can help to break down barriers that prevent employees with disabilities from progressing in their careers. Such trainings provide staff members with knowledge on how to recruit, hire and accommodate individuals with disabilities effectively.
As part of a diverse and inclusive workplace, employees can bring unique perspectives that foster creativity and solve complex problems more effectively. Companies that prioritize diversity and inclusion are likely to attract talented workers that contribute towards driving growth and success for their company.
Since the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage and the rise of the gay rights movement, attitudes and perceptions towards LGBTQ individuals have seen significant progress. Yet despite these gains, many LGBTQ employees still do not feel truly included in the workplace; according to a HRC report, 40% of LGBTQ workers do not disclose their sexual orientation at work while 26% wish they were. Furthermore, 75% of out LGBTQ employees have experienced negative interactions related to their identity within the past year ranging from uncomfortable conversations regarding sexuality or gender identity to negative stereotypes conveyed through company culture (such as bias performance reviews).
Organizations can go a step further in supporting LGBTQ colleagues and the broader LGBTQ community by aligning themselves with outside LGBTQ-focused organizations and charities. Doing this demonstrates their genuine dedication to equality while building trust among employees – something which may save companies a great deal in turnover costs and recruitment fees.
Organizations seeking to establish an inclusive workplace must change their culture. This begins by evaluating current conditions and understanding employee satisfaction with work environment factors that contribute to an inclusive culture – for instance, some employees might feel it essential that their employer offers diverse leaders and meritocratic practices which foster feelings of inclusion among its workers.
Training employees on diversity, equity and inclusion issues as well as creating employee resource groups (ERGs) is another good practice that can support a more inclusive work environment. By understanding the impact their behavior is having on others and how to modify it accordingly will enable managers and employees to create an inclusive work culture.
Ultimately, authentic allyship is the key to ensuring LGBT diversity is considered in all business decisions, not just during June Pride. This involves being actively engaged with your local community and working on policies or norms changes as necessary. Employees should possess an understanding of intersectionality – being aware of how different aspects of identity intersect one with the other – for optimal performance at work.