The number of organizations with employees belonging to diverse cultures and backgrounds has increased significantly over the years. Such organizations tend to gain greater business success by including different perspectives and problem-solving abilities. Hence, organizations need to have a roadmap in place to promote diversity and inclusiveness and overcome the challenges on the way.
Diversity at the workplace can be defined as the ability of an organization to understand, accept and value individual members of the workforce irrespective of the differences in their age, gender, and their cultural, economic, and ethnic backgrounds.
Inclusion at the workplace is about creating a collaborative, supportive, and respectful environment with greater employee participation and contribution.
Organizations acknowledge that embracing diversity and inclusiveness can help them attain desired business outcomes in a more effective manner.
Multiple research studies conducted on the topic have also indicated that these two aspects play a critical role in improving the overall organizational effectiveness and enhancing workforce performance.
Organizations that adopt diversity and inclusion as their core HR Policy can be assured of a number of benefits.
The most important of these benefits are as follows:
1. Better work culture
Diversity helps the overall organizational culture as co-workers share the unique aspects of their culture and beliefs. This may inspire a positive change in their attitude and approach towards their work and their colleagues.
Hence, it can help build an open and inclusive culture in the organization.
2. Different perspectives to problem-solving
It enhances the overall efficiency as employees use their distinct skills, background and experiences to solve problems at the workplace.
3. Employer branding
It enhances employer brand value since talented candidates prefer to work where diversity and inclusion are part of the culture.
4. Employee retention
Finally, having a diverse and inclusive workplace can enhance employee retention significantly as studies have shown. It can thus pave the way for consistent growth and success of the organization.
The four important best practices that organizations should look at implementing are as follows:
1. Promote Diversity in Hiring
Organizations should look at encouraging diversity at every level and stage of the employee lifecycle including recruitment and career progression. Hence, a diverse workforce brings with it the benefits of extensive expertise, varied skills, and volumes of knowledge.
All these factors can contribute greatly to ensuring that the organization has a competitive edge. It also enables organizations to get better understanding of their customers and how to service them effectively.
2. Create a Culture of Respect and Tolerance
Also, it is important that organizations promote mutual respect between diverse groups that exist within their workforce. Hence, they should follow an unbiased approach to accommodating events, occasions, and celebrations of different groups.
This will help create a deep sense of belonging among the employees, especially those belonging to minority groups.
3, Ensure Freedom of Expression
Creating a culture where employees are respected and assured of being listened to, can help in promoting inclusion.
It also helps in strengthening the sense of connection with organization and assuring them of being truly valued.
They can speak their mind without the fear, making it easier to resolve problems and embrace innovative solutions. Supervisors need to be coached to be good listeners and respect opinions and views even if contrary to their own.
4. Encourage Diversity in Thinking
The decision of having a diverse workforce also promotes diversity in the thinking of the workforce. Hence, organizations should promote such diverse thinking as it helps in generating new ideas and better strategies for business growth.
Moreover, the collective power of diverse opinions and viewpoints helps the organization move towards the fulfilment of common business goals.
Building a diverse and multicultural workforce is the need of the hour for organizations seeking the path of success in these highly competitive and economically testing times. There are multiple benefits for organizations in creating such a workforce.
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