The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

Many races in a company showing diversity and inclusion in the workplace
Many companies are diverse but not inclusive. We show you how you can encourage diversity and inclusivity amongst your employees.

Since the rise of Black Lives Matter and the Squid Game, some organisations are trying to diversify their employees to ride the wave and attract talents. 

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace are always essential for the employees (and the company), especially when working at multinational firms or companies that target the global market.

What are diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace as there is employees from many races

HR needs to understand that both diversity and inclusion are inseparable. Organisations can’t have one without the other. Diversity in the workplace refers to having various nationalities, races, genders, identities, and sexual orientations. In contrast, inclusion in the workplace refers to recognising the presence, perspective, and contributions of different groups of people.

Organisations with diverse employees that fail to make everyone feel equally involved and supported in the workplace promote diversity but are missing on inclusion. Another example of diversity without inclusion is an organisation that only promotes specific colour of people in senior management roles.

A study by Great Place to Work shows that employees are 9.8 times more likely to feel motivated to go to work, 6.3 times more likely to have pride in their job, and 5.4 times more likely to stay in the company for a long time — when they believe the organisation will treat them fairly regardless of their background.

In another study by McKinsey, diverse companies are more likely to outperform less diverse companies in terms of profitability. There are many reasons why diversity and inclusion at work are essential, such as:

1. Attracting great talents and boosting the organisation

Although salary is the most crucial factor for talents when looking for a job, employees nowadays are considering the company culture as well.

Organisations that welcome people from various backgrounds and treat employees equally are highly attractive. These organisations tend to have great talents with the best skills to boost the business.

2. Attracting millennials and Gen-Z

A study by The Institute for Public Relations finds that 47% of millennials seek organisations that promote diversity and inclusion. They like to work in teams where they could gather and share their perspectives. Apparently, Gen-Zs are looking for the same thing when hunting for a job.

3. Pushing for greater innovation and creativity

Diverse employees brainstorming ideas showing inclusion in the workplace

Working with colleagues with different experiences, skills, backgrounds, and knowledge will open employees’ minds and inspire them. Before realising it, they will develop more innovative and creative ideas.

This culture brings a good impact to the organisation and helps it grow. When inclusion is involved, employees feel more open to having healthy debates or sharing their ideas with others, no matter how simple, crazy, or strange it seems. Sometimes, great things come from more than just ‘one voice’.

4. Retaining employees

Diversity and inclusion at work make employees happy and want to stay working in the organisation for a long time. They know that they have equal opportunities to advance their career and are satisfied with the company’s culture — which reflects on their work.

5. Understanding your customers better

Organisations that target global markets usually hire native people of the country where they offer their product or service to understand customers better. With this approach, organisations can communicate and use the right marketing strategy for their target audience.

Surely, organisations wish their employees will stay with them for a long time, especially those who relocate their employees. Having native employees isn’t enough. Remember to make them feel included.

6. Having better employee engagement

diversity and inclusivity at the workplace encourages teamwork

Did you know that diversity and inclusivity increase employee engagement? When these two are incorporated, employees will feel more excited about their work and be more productive because they can learn and support each other. 

On top of that, teams can solve problems and come up with solutions quicker when they are more cognitively diverse than those who aren’t. Therefore, HR needs to encourage employees to embrace diversity and inclusivity.

7. Making life more colourful

We spend eight hours or more in the office. When we work, socialise, and interact with people from different backgrounds and experiences, we’re expanding our knowledge. We can hear their stories and learn a lot from them.

Understanding different cultures are essential in business as it helps us to avoid cultural faux pas when interacting with partners, clients, colleagues, or customers from another country.

Now you know the importance of diversity and inclusion at work, here are some ways that organisations can use as references to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace:

Unconscious bias is when there's a hidden bias that employees may not realise. HR can encourage employees to take note when they begin to stereotype others so they become more aware of their personal biases.

 A company that upholds integrity and truly promotes diversity and inclusion will provide equal pay to its employees, regardless of their skin colour. Although it's a general rule not to disclose one's salary to colleagues, even if it happens, the inclusivity remains tact.

Cultural and religious holidays are the best events to enhance diversity and inclusion at work. Some holidays may not be recorded as public holidays in your location. However, give employees who celebrate the holidays paid leave so they feel cared for. Furthermore, HR can arrange a small celebration in the office for big festivals such as Christmas, Chinese New Year, Deepavali, and Eid.

Promoting diversity and inclusion at work doesn't happen overnight. To make it successful, HR must set a guide, monitor the progress, and track the result. Thus, organisations will know what strategies they need to use.

Listing diversity and inclusion in your company manual doesn't help much. It’s always best to provide training for your employees to help them understand the importance of diversity and inclusion better. 

In conclusion,

Employees are happier working at organisations that promote diversity and inclusion because:

  • They are recognised
  • They are treated fairly regardless of their backgrounds
  • Able to learn new things from their colleagues

For organisations, diversity and inclusion help to boost the revenue as the employees are more productive, innovative, and creative. Therefore, diversity and inclusion in the workplace are essential to creating a harmonious working environment for the business’s success.

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