26 Jun The importance of diversity and inclusion in the workforce & how to be compliant..
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the work force has a proven positive effect on the success of a business.
While there has been recognisable progress in diversity in recent decades, many organisations are still falling short when it comes to reviewing their best practice in the work place. There are a number of studies which have shown that a diverse and inclusive workforce does in fact improve the moral and productivity and therefore the workplace becomes a more positive and profitable organisation, as well as being more ethical which is essential.
The importance of diversity and inclusion for workforce productivity and engagement
The first step for an organisation is to focus on tackling the systemic challenges around workplace equality, personal unconscious bias or their exclusionary culture. By doing this organisations can grow and improve, and this will ensure their retention of staff and the attraction of quality professionals. A thorough D&I policy in your business, especially within senior levels and with hiring managers will cut down on unconscious bias and boost team engagement. Unconscious bias or prejudged opinions can often hinder the chances of a great candidate gaining a role in the organisation. This is why it is so important to have processes in place to negate bias as much as feasibly possible. Diverse organisations are more likely to improve their market share by 45% – Equality Works Group (2019)
What you can do to start implementing diversity and inclusion best practices.
It is important to educate your hiring staff, in regards to unconscious and conscious bias. Around two thirds of minority candidates will resort to using a different name to become ‘hired’; this reveals poor recruitment practices across business sectors. The three main bias issues which have been noted are accent, how candidates dress and what football team they support!
Before being able to implement a new best practice, you need to review your current work force and be able to gain hard data to support your business policies going forward. Not only are you looking at the demographics of your current employees, but also their morale, EVP and engagement levels.
Review your existing policies and practices. An option is to consider moving to using diverse hiring panels. For example, Intel Corporation has installed a new policy within their model whereby the hiring panel has to consist of at least two women and / or members of underrepresented minority groups.
Consider using other unbiased recruitment methods. A simple solution to combat unconscious bias is to remove names, education and other identifying factors from the application form. This way you can review candidates purely on their ability to do the job. Standardising your interview process and questioning is another method; this ensures that each candidate will receive the same experience regardless of the interviewer present.
How diversity and inclusion practices can help you to attract high quality candidates
If a visible and robust D&I policy is implemented across your organisation you will attract high–quality candidates from minority demographics. By talking to your current work force from underrepresented groups will help you to understand why they work for the business. This could help to focus job adverts and processes for future hires from various demographics and for internal promotions within the business.
How your diversity and inclusion policy can help you to retain top performers
Inclusion is what’s needed to give diversity real impact, and drive towards a world of work where all employees are empowered to thrive. And, whilst diversity and inclusion often go hand in hand, inclusion is fundamentally about individual experience and allowing everyone at work to contribute and feel a part of an organisation. Where employees are able to see and buy into organisations values and mission statement will help you retain top performers at all levels. If candidates from minority groups can visibly see your D&I through your mission statement and brand before joining, then they will be more-likely to stay for the long term.
Your companies time to shine – showcase your diverse company culture.
‘86% of candidates prefer to work for a company with a culture that matches their personality and values’ – states UK resourcing company (2017)
Understanding what makes your business shine is important to your brand and with attracting and retaining candidates. This is an internal and external process, it is import that your current employees know that they have the opportunities to progress within the business; this will help with retention rates and with your on boarding process.
‘60% of jobseekers are more likely to apply for a job if they recognise or know the company’ – states UK resourcing company (2017) . Utilise your social employer branding and your diverse culture when advertising opportunities. For example, showcase employee testimonials and successes from your staff. Your existing staff are powerful sales tools when recruiting.
Hiring a diverse workforce doesn’t guarantee that every employee has the same experience or opportunities in the workplace.
Inclusion is what’s needed to give diversity real impact, and drive towards a world of work where all employees are empowered to thrive. And, whilst diversity and inclusion often go hand in hand, inclusion is fundamentally about individual experience and allowing everyone at work to contribute and feel a part of an organisation.
Often, inclusion is thought to help diverse workforces in particular, but diversity could easily be substituted for ‘difference’ and doesn’t need to refer to demographic characteristics. Given that all employees are unique, inclusion is relevant for everyone in a business.