Essentially, diversity is the make-up of a business – the range of backgrounds, experiences, and ideas that exist within an organisation. Inclusion is how well the perspectives of these different groups of people are valued and integrated into how a business operates. A workplace that is made up of different genders, races, and sexual orientations may well be diverse but can be far from inclusive.
Often referred to as D&I, it is much more than policies and headcounts. Good impartial employers are now outpacing their competitors by listening to the varied needs and perspectives of all staff members and associates. The evidence shows that workplaces with greater D&I generate more trust and commitment from their employees. The reality is that if an employee does not feel their ideas and presence are sufficiently valued, they will eventually leave. This is a big driver for businesses looking to get ahead in competitive markets.
Is There Diversity In Your Recruitment & Succession?
It is common to see workplaces where high levels of diversity are evident in recruitment but lacking within management positions. Similarly, it is common to find that diversity and inclusion is not felt by everyone but concentrated within specific departments or sections of the business.
Diversity and Inclusion analysis can reveal true levels of D&I in the workplace.
Why Does It Matter?
Evidence shows that workplaces with good diversity and inclusion enjoy many benefits, including:
- Increased revenue growth
- Increased levels of innovation
- Over 5 times higher employee retention
- The ability to recruit from a diverse pool of talent
- Reduced absenteeism
- Greater levels of pride in their work
The goal therefore is to create a consistently high-trust workplace for everyone, irrespective of their position or pay grade. When people feel like they matter and that their individual point of view is recognised by their colleagues and managers, they perform better. The reality is that people who are valued add more value.
A new diversity & inclusion consultancy was founded last year in the wake of the pandemic. Morag Ofili, a barrister in the legal sector set up her new consultancy Kiltered in May 2021. The company was named Kiltered because in her experience a lot of businesses are off-kilter in their approach to D&I. Organisations communicate bold messages of support externally, but the internal picture does not quite match up.
Kiltered helps companies develop ‘authentic strategies’ which dig into organisational and industry data. Employees are involved in the discussions and plans are evolved that can be implemented and monitored going forward. The reality is that actions speak louder than words. It is simply no longer good business to ignore the benefits of investing in a properly thought-out D&I strategy.