Whether it happens subconsciously or not, bias still exist in the workplace. It shapes preconceived stereotypes and prejudices based on gender, age, race, geographic location, financial status, political affiliation, religion and cultural differences. Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) programs help to remove bias. More than an HR-focus program, today, D&I is a critical business strategy instrumental in driving recruitment, retention, innovation, and business growth. Here’s how.
Builds your bottom line. Companies with a diverse workplace are not only better at HR, but also have overall stronger performance in business, financial, and talent outcomes. According to a McKinsey research study, companies with a diverse workplace are more likely to experience financial returns above the national industry average. Research also indicates that companies that have more women on the board statistically outperforms companies that do not, including higher return on equity and a higher return on sales.
Improves relationships and expands customer base. By having a more inclusive mindset, employees are better equipped to address customer needs, as well as identify, attract and secure new customers among a more diverse customer base.
“Strength lies in differences, not in similarities,” Stephen Covey
Enhances recruitment and retention efforts. By strengthening diversity efforts, HR professionals are better able to identify and attract top talent. The increased availability of tools, such as artificial intelligence (AI) technology, are effective in helping to eliminate bias triggers in resume screening and recruitment efforts.
Increases productivity and creativity outcomes. Diversity breeds innovation in many ways. In some businesses, brainstorming sessions put diverse values in action by bringing together different cultures with fresh perspectives. For example, employees from other countries may approach a problem differently than American-born workers. Business programs, like the Wizard Academy in Texas, are just one of many breaking down barriers and introducing new thinking and prompting creativity in business education. Inclusion initiatives can be taken to a new level by bringing together different professions, such as architects, artists, authors, business professionals, entrepreneurs, educators, inventors, and engineers, from all over the world, to explore, learn and share experiences.
Enhance company’s brand reputation. Your brand reflects your values and also you’re your biases. Companies with strong diversity and inclusion programs have a progressive, people-oriented, and community-minded corporate identity.
Diversity doesn’t manage itself or create success alone. And transforming your workplace doesn’t happen overnight. But given the potential for a high return in all areas of business, an investment in diversity is worth the effort in the long run.