Transformations that focus on people and foster diversity and inclusion are increasingly being used to drive productivity and profits to outperform competition. Diversity does not just make good business sense but diversity in the workplace is known to also increase innovation and problem-solving. “Diversity leads to more efficient and effective organizations.” according to Whitfield, Farrell in the Journal of Diversity management. “Diverse, well-developed supply chains can help companies reduce costs, enhance innovation, successfully integrate acquired businesses, and reach new markets.”
In services industries that are heavily dependent on their people to support customers, like financial services, technology, and retail – a diverse and inclusive workforce provides benefits that are not only critical to thriving, they are critical to surviving. Cumulative Gallup Workplace Studies reports that companies with inclusive cultures have +39% customer satisfaction than those that do not.
The evidence speaks for itself: companies that build and nurture cultures of diversity and inclusion are more innovative, better problem solvers, have improved access to talent and are more successful. These companies also tend to become employers of choice. Today’s workforce is more attracted to a diverse and inclusive workplace, and corporate cultures that are more aligned to their personal values. Salary being less important than corporate values and the manner in which the organization is perceived externally, by potential customers, media, and consumers.
Cultural diversity and inclusion have become a key corporate imperative. Companies that have not seriously looked at addressed and continue to address cultural diversity and inclusion across their enterprises will fall further behind their competitors and may eventually lose their market relevancy. Very often it’s viewed by leaders that looking at cultural diversity and inclusion are expensive but it’s much more costly in the long run not focus on this game changer.
What is Diversity and Inclusion?
The term diversity covers a wide range of dimensions that differentiate groups and individuals from one another. These include aspects of which most employers will be aware – age, race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and physical ability — and other factors such as parental status, marital status, political beliefs and even interests.
Current economic and social trends are encouraging more organizations to adopt diversity and inclusion. These include increased globalization of business, with clients, suppliers, competition, and talent coming from other countries. Also, the changing values of today’s workforce, including diverse workforces, corporate reputation and work environment holding more attraction than traditional incentives like salary and medical benefits.
Harnessing the Power of Inclusion and Diversity
- Attract and retain a talented workforce skilled at working in an inclusive and respectful manner with one another and within their community
- Have a workforce broadly reflective of the communities you operate within
- Identify and address cultural barriers within organizational systems
- Create processes, policies, plans, practices, programs, and services that meet the diverse needs of those we provide services/products
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