Diversity and inclusivity are not just buzzwords. Creating strategies to tackle inclusivity issues is key to boosting productivity, employee engagement, and your bottom line.
Why is diversity and inclusion critical in the workplace in 2022?
Diverse and inclusive workplaces will see a number of benefits that companies without a clear strategy for an equitable organization may not. These include attracting top talent, more innovation, and more revenue.
Diversity and inclusivity are terms that refer to mobility in the workplace. Employees want to work for an organization where there is room for advancement.
Initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion in your company signal to others that opportunity is available to all, regardless of background or gender. Moreover, employees that work for companies with diversity and inclusivity strategies will be more engaged and less likely to leave.
Diverse teams produce diverse ideas
Workplaces should aim to represent the society they operate in, which means having workers from different backgrounds. These different perspectives in the workplace can lead to more innovative answers to customers’ problems. They present new opportunities for an additional revenue stream.
The data says diverse companies do better
Research has found that organizations with clear diversity and inclusivity strategies do better financially when compared to companies that do not make an effort to be inclusive. One study by BCG found that organizations with higher diversity scores were 45 percent more likely to see bigger revenue.
Unfortunately, while many can agree that workplaces should hold advancement opportunities for everyone, employers can be slow to enact strategies that support verbal commitment.
5 examples of diversity and inclusion strategies
So, we’ve seen how crucial diversity and inclusion efforts are for organizations, but how do companies put those plans into action? Here are some examples of diversity and inclusion strategies.
Mentorship offers employees a chance to learn, grow, and develop a respect for different perspectives. Through a mentor, mentees can come to appreciate different ways of looking at situations or problems. It can expand their knowledge and help them understand new ways to approach issues.
Diverse mentoring programs can take that a step further for employees from a minority demographic. When paired with someone from the same background, it can encourage employees. They’ll be able to see and learn how they too can succeed at your organization.
But mentoring programs can also be used to pair together employees from different backgrounds, particularly those in leadership positions. Matching company leaders with minority employees can promote understanding and respect. Leaders can learn about the challenges that various employees face, which they can use to develop solutions to help workers overcome these problems.
Employee Resource Groups
Many organizations have seen the rise of Employee Resource Groups or ERGs. These are support groups that are started and run by employees and for employees. While company leadership can help advocate for ERGs, they are not often a part of the group itself.
Within ERGs, employees can build connections and find support and resources at their organization that can help them take more control over their career path.
A critical step to developing diverse and inclusive workplaces is to get everyone on the same page. This is where inclusion training can benefit your employees. Diverse and inclusive strategies may require individuals to challenge their personal biases. While this may be a challenge, it is necessary.
Look for programs that help employees understand the benefits and values of collaborating and cooperating with each other, regardless of background or demographics. These may be presentations by minority employees or video training programs. You may even want to use a variety of online training and group sessions so that employees can get practice putting what they’ve learned into play.
Some employees have a more difficult time gaining visibility and finding opportunities for advancement at your organization. CNBC reports that 80 percent of jobs are filled through networking, not job posting sites. This is where sponsorship programs can provide some benefit.
Sponsorship connects employees with others in the company that can help them advance their careers. This can be similar to mentorship, but with the added benefit of the senior employee advocating for their protegee in a more active way. For example, an African American woman in a leadership position can promote another African American woman for a job higher up in the company.
An important element of a sponsorship program includes learning and growth for the sponsee. Help them develop their leadership or networking skills so that they advance in your organization. Then they will be in a position to sponsor other employees from a minority group.
Have leadership establish core values
Employees will take direction from company leadership when it comes to diversity and inclusivity. This is why it is important for your executives to establish core values, promote those values, and be an example of those values. In other words, leadership should be role models for employees.
One of the ways that leadership can support diversity and inclusion goals in the workplace is to listen to employees’ needs and respond. Consider some ways to celebrate diversity in your workplace. Help employees get to know each other through social events that celebrate certain traditions of other cultures.
Level up your diversity and inclusion strategy
Diversity and inclusivity are the way forward for companies in the 21st century. Whether you have initiatives already up and running or are just planning how you can guide your company in this way, having a strategy is key.
Creating a more diverse workplace requires commitment and a plan. There are several steps you can include in your plan, such as
- Workplace mentoring programs
- Inclusivity training
- Sponsorship programs
- Have company leadership establish core values
Using these initiatives can help strengthen the work you’ve already done to promote a more inclusive workplace culture.
Find out how Together’s mentoring platform can enhance your organization’s diversity and inclusivity efforts.