Diversity and inclusion are two concepts that individuals in organizations of all types and sizes across the nation are discussing and implementing from the highest levels on down. There are differing ways that firms are doing this. Most agree, however, on the importance of making each and every employee feel accepted, welcomed and heard.
The value of diversity and inclusion for both executives and employees cannot be overstated. According to Forbes magazine, “[R]ecent research from McKinsey has found its benefits range from greater employee engagement to increased business performance….” Employee retention might be yet another plus that stems from inclusion and diversity. When people are satisfied with their working conditions, sense that they are cared about and function in an environment that is free of biases, they are more likely to be productive and stay.
Managers can ask their employees for their ideas about establishing an inclusive, diverse atmosphere. This feedback is vital. In addition, people are usually flattered to be approached and asked for their input, especially on issues that affect them and their colleagues.
What can you do as a leader to make your workplace as diverse and inclusive as possible?
- Emphasize to your workers that diversity and inclusion will make the company stronger and hopefully more successful. When everyone is shown that they are valued, it’s a strong motivator.
- Get a wide variety of viewpoints about how diversity and inclusion can be highlighted at your firm.
- Don’t stop at sensitivity training. It is just one of many proactive steps you can take to root out biases.
- If you create a program to honor employees who do exceptional work, unfair patterns may emerge that need changing. For example, men may be getting recognized more than women or one department might be getting appreciation more than another.
- Steer clear of making recognition “a top-down practice given by one manager,” Forbes magazine advises. “Democratize” the process instead.
Implementing diversity and inclusion at your firm is absolutely worth the effort. Reach out to others for their thoughts on ways to do it successfully.