How Understanding the Difference Can Improve Your Organization
As organizations are realizing the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, there seems to be a pattern of misunderstanding that if your company is more diverse, your work is done. But just because you’ve made efforts to create a diverse workforce, doesn’t automatically mean that you’ve also created an inclusive environment. Without inclusion, you will not have a successful and diverse business.
The Difference Between Diversity and Inclusion
AIHR Academy stated, “Diversity in the workplace refers to a workforce that’s made up of people from, among other things, different ages, cultural backgrounds, geographies, physical abilities and disabilities, religions, genders, and sexual orientation… According to SHRM, inclusion can be defined as the achievement of a work environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities and resources, and contribute fully to the organization’s success.”
Simply put, diversity is about the what – what does the makeup of your workforce look like. Inclusion is about the how – how to create a work environment and culture that allows all employees to participate. They go hand in hand, without one, you cannot have the other.
Why Inclusion Matters
Organizations must be intentional about diversity and inclusion. As The Great Resignation continues to surge, employers should ensure they provide a DEI workplace. According to Glassdoor, “More than 3 out of 4 job seekers and employees (76%) report that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers. This means that, whether or not your company is interested in increasing its diversity, most candidates are nevertheless evaluating diversity when they research your company and during the interview process.” Diversity is integral when hiring and retaining talent, but without inclusion, your diverse workplace will not last.
Eric Fuller, CEO of U.S. Xpress stated in a recent Trucker.com article, “Without inclusion, that diversity goes away when they [employees] feel they have no support. You can’t have one without the other. Unfortunately, you see a lot of companies that go with the diversity piece and don’t follow through with inclusion.” Organizations must develop a culture of inclusiveness starting from the top down. If your workforce doesn’t believe in your diversity and inclusive culture, they will not stay for long.
According to a business report created by McKinsey & Co., “Our latest report shows not only that the business case remains robust but also that the relationship between diversity on executive teams and the likelihood of financial outperformance has strengthened over time. These findings emerge from our largest data set so far, encompassing 15 countries and more than 1,000 large companies… It shows that companies should pay much greater attention to inclusion, even when they are relatively diverse.” Businesses that invest in inclusion have a greater financial return. Simply having a diverse workforce is not enough to retain and attract talent and if you do not include inclusive practices and policies, your company could be losing out financially.
How to Ensure You are Implementing an Inclusive Culture
One thing you want to make sure to avoid is simply stating that your organization supports a DEI workplace. Learning to implement inclusive practices into your already diverse workplace can significantly improve your organization and give you a competitive advantage. According to Business Weekly, here are ways to ensure you are creating an inclusive workplace:
- Create an inclusive workplace starting with your executives and leaders. If employees don’t believe that their leaders are invested in the mission to create DEI then your inclusive culture will simply fall apart.
- Ask your employees for input and feedback. Creating a culture where internal communication is celebrated can increase employee engagement and satisfaction. Implementing policies that were created from the suggestions of your employees can create a culture where everyone can be heard and feel included.
- Provide safe spaces for your employees. Organizations should provide a comfortable environment where employees can express themselves without feeling like they will be judged or reprimanded for sharing their thoughts or feelings Diversio uses data to measure, track, and improve DEI within organizations. Incorporating AI technology and human expertise
Diversio helps you diagnose pain points, benchmark against peers, and create action plans that make a difference. CEO & Founder, Laura McGee, has stated, “An inclusive workplace is one where every employee is empowered to do their best work and get recognized for it. Diversio’s mission is to provide the tools to help companies create a best-in-class culture.” Through measurement, we can diagnose and improve any areas that have a low inclusion score.
Taking the initiative to create a more diverse workplace is an important first step, but to ensure that your company retains and attracts talent, you must create inclusive initiatives. Without inclusion, your diversity efforts will not last and soon your employees will seek a new opportunity with a company that has implemented DEI practices and procedures.