Robust DE&I policies aren't optional, they're imperative
7 MINS READ
A crucial inititative
Helping companies improve financial performance and employee engagement
Diversity is the proportionate representation of people of different gender, race, ethnicity, religion, and other characteristics in an organization. Equity is about ensuring fair treatment, access, and opportunities for different groups of people without any bias. Inclusion is about acceptance, respect, and valuing the contributions of diverse people. Inclusion is a natural progression of diversity and equity initiatives. As an organization's objective, human resources (HR) will not only encourage diversity in the workplace but also ensure that diverse employees are accepted, recognized, and valued for their contributions. Even though diversity, equity, and inclusion are used interchangeably, they are distinct though interconnected.
With DE&I (diversity, equity, and inclusion) as a focus, management is committed to creating an environment that values differences and binds people together in a common organizational culture. DE&I practices enable people from diverse backgrounds to come to work and feel confident and valued, which in turn helps companies to achieve business objectives harmoniously and positively impact individuals and society.
Organizations assess DE&I outcomes by measuring things such as percentages of women and minorities employed, equal compensation, employees' openness to new perspectives, and elimination of cultural biases. DE&I initiatives offer many tangible and intangible benefits to the organization.
Enhance creativity by integrating different viewpoints
More creativity: Diversity enhances creativity by integrating different viewpoints from a team of people with different backgrounds and experiences. The diverse perspectives help teams consider problems from different angles, which can uncover new solutions. When team members have much in common with shared biases and similar viewpoints, it restricts the broad thinking required for innovative solutions and unconventional ideas. Diversity unlocks creativity and helps generate a wide range of original and valuable ideas.
Greater innovation potential: DE&I practices create a positive environment where employees feel empowered to explore approaches that would otherwise not be considered. More creativity contributes to significant innovation potential, enabling companies to remain competitive in a fast-evolving business landscape. A diverse and inclusive team is better at anticipating consumer-changing preferences and demands. Thus, they are more competent in introducing new products and services to capture emerging opportunities. According to a study, increased cultural diversity enhances innovativeness. Businesses run by culturally and ethnically diverse leadership are more likely to detect new business trends and develop new products than those with homogenous leadership.
Improve the quality of decision-making
Better problem-solving skills: Diverse perspectives help improve the quality of decision-making, leading to effective problem solving and better outcomes. A representative workforce with diverse teams in terms of gender, ethnicity, and age generates accelerated learning and performance in the face of uncertainty and complex situations. It has become essential in a business environment marred by frequent disruptions and volatility.
Enhanced employee engagement: The company workplace policies leverage DE&I initiatives as top engagement drivers. A diverse and inclusive workforce makes employees feel valued and empowered, leading to greater involvement and participation in organization activities. There is a strong correlation between diversity and employee willingness to contribute to organization development. According to research, employees in diverse and inclusive companies feel more empowered and are 150% more likely to propose ideas and new ways of doing things.
Improve employee retention and achieve better financial performance.
Increase in employer brand value: DE&I practices help to drive employee experience and attract top talent. A diverse employee base makes a company an attractive place to work. More than 75% of job seekers and employees consider a diverse workforce important when evaluating companies and job offers. A third of the candidates would not apply to a company that lacks diversity. DE&I initiatives help to create a strong employer brand that enables companies to attract quality talent.
Employee retention: Diversity and inclusion enable an organization to improve employee retention. A company with a diverse employee base reports a pro-teamwork leadership culture, which helps to drive employee motivation and satisfaction.
Better financial performance: Diverse companies have achieved better financial performance than their competitors with less diversity within their organization. According to a study conducted by McKinsey, companies with gender diversity outperform the industry standards by 15%, while those with racial and ethical diversity outperform industry norms by 35%. The companies with gender, racial, and ethnically diverse employee bases have performed 25% better than the less diverse companies within their industry.