The case for workplace diversity and inclusion goes far beyond social responsibility or meeting prescribed compliance standards. Smart leaders know that creating an inclusive workplace culture leads to major competitive advantages.
#1: Inclusive companies are positioned to recruit and retain the most talented people.
Selecting employees from the largest and most diverse set of candidates makes it more likely that the organization is going to hire the best and the brightest people available. In turn, having a respectful, inclusive workplace attracts skilled, talented people who are evaluating companies and job offers, and makes it easier to retain those workers over the long term. It is a beneficial hiring cycle – including diverse groups increases the talent pool for new hires and increasing the diversity of the work force makes the company more attractive to job candidates.
#2: Inclusive companies reap the benefits of employing the market
To best serve the market, an organization needs to “employ the market”. In today’s globalized economy, customers come from increasingly diverse backgrounds. A diverse work force offers insights, experiences, and perspectives into the needs of diverse customers.
#3: Inclusion is good for corporate image
In a competitive market, people make choices based on many factors, including their personal feelings. Brands that take a positive approach to employing a diverse workforce demonstrate that they are socially responsible and supportive of people from diverse backgrounds. This enhances the corporate image, forming a stronger bond with existing customers, and potentially broadening the market for their goods and services.
#4: Diversity and inclusion foster creativity and innovation
Adding the voices of individuals from different backgrounds, and creating a workplace culture where every voice is heard and respected, broadens the range of ideas and perspectives in the workplace. This helps companies to avoid groupthink and challenges people to think outside the box. Diverse teams are likely to come up with more creative ideas and ways of solving problems.
#5: An inclusive workplace culture leads to increased productivity and profits
Research tells us that employees are more productive when they feel safe, respected, and valued. Organizations that promote diversity and inclusion tend to have lower absenteeism and turnover, and higher productivity. A diverse, inclusive workplace is good for the bottom line.
Article written by Kim Scaravelli, CEO of Trust Communications and Managing Partner of the Canadian Diversity Initiative (CDI).
The Canadian Diversity Initiative presents online diversity and inclusion training from respected Canadian Non-Profits including LGBT+ Inclusion, Indigenous Culture Training, and courses for specific groups, including volunteers, employees, and students. To learn more, please email Canadian Diversity Initiative.