In 2017, there seems to be a lot of division between people. Sadly, recent political movements around the world have led to a breakdown in the value of diversity in society and within organizations.
In Europe, there is a strong right-wing movement created mainly as a result of immigration. In the United States, there are leaders who refuse to see how their words and actions influence the masses. It’s as if we, as humans, cannot escape the shameful actions of the past when one group of people believed they were better than others.
There is hope, however, for organizations that understand and promote the value that diversity brings to industries. In fact, the very act of embracing diversity can positively impact employee engagement, morale, and productivity.
What is the value of diversity?
According to TalentCulture, diversity can best be defined as, “understanding, accepting, and valuing differences between people of different races, ethnicities, genders, ages, religions, disabilities, and sexual orientations, as well as differences in personalities, skill sets, experiences, and knowledge bases.” It is these varying perspectives that bring value to the workplace. People approach things and collaborate using these full abilities, rather than just having a narrow-minded way of doing things. This is where innovation and creation come from.
When addressing the topic of diversity, one cannot overlook inclusion. It’s one thing to hire people of many different backgrounds and talents; it’s another to treat all with respect and include them in daily work decisions and objectives. Human resources and management must work together to ensure that diversity extends to fair hiring practices, active promotions, and career growth opportunities for all employees.
The connection between diversity and employee engagement
Let’s imagine for a moment what the world would look like without diversity. An imaginary company employs 100 people, all from the same gender, race, age group, marital status, educational level, and belief system. It’s not that far-fetched to think of this when there are plenty of technology firms that hire from the same worn-out pool of caucasian males in their 30s and 40s, right? Getting caught in a cycle of hiring similar types of candidates only accomplishes one thing: stagnation.
On the other hand diversity, including those from different backgrounds and cultures, can often bring unique and insightful perspectives to the workplace and existing ways of working. Why would you not want want everybody’s contribution into the success of your business? Surely you have employed each person on their own merit and each brings their own experience and expertise to the table… if allowed to express themselves.
It has been proven that when a business is prepared to be flexible, open and prepared to listen to different views (even when some may be quite radical), entirely unexpected paths or fresh ideas can develop. By ensuring your business is setup to adapt to change, include every employee in decisions, treat them with respect and ask them to be part of the bigger picture, then beautiful things happen in terms of engagement.
Not convinced yet? Here are some statistics to check out:
- Inclusive teams consistently outperform their peers by 80% on team-based challenges (Deloitte)
- Ethnically-diverse organizations are 35% more likely to outperform competing firms (McKinsey)
- More women-led (41%) than male-managed (35%) teams report being engaged. (Gallup)
The evidence is strong that no matter what is happening in the world, organizations can do their part to increase diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Rise above the political noise and work on what’s happening in your organization. This can only benefit companies as there will be enhanced engagement levels, productivity, and profitability. Set the example for others by focusing on diversity at the core of your employee engagement program.
Thymometrics provide simple yet effective employee survey and feedback solutions that help your company increase engagement and encourage inclusion & diversity. Contact Thymometrics via email firstname.lastname@example.org, call +1 646 760 9323 (US) or +44 (0) 1223 750 251 (Europe) or visit thymometrics.com.
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