Today’s workplace is more diverse than ever before. Racial minorities now make up a little over a third of the workforce, a big jump from even just a decade ago. Not surprisingly, this jump is having an impact on the workplace environment, and in a good way.
A recent report created by McKinsey named, Diversity Matters, looked at companies across different industries to measure financial and management metrics and how they relate to diversity. During their research, they found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians. Among other things, those companies who also happened to be racially diverse, generated 35% more returns; proving that workplace diversity is not only important but beneficial to the company.
What is Diversity & Inclusion?
If you have worked in HR and recruiting, the terms diversity and inclusion are not new. However, truly understanding each isn’t as basic as we like to believe. The terms are not interchangeable and both are crucial in reaping all the rewards of a diverse workforce.
Diversity is the who. This includes ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Diverse employees generate innovation and new perspectives, which means different approaches to problem solving, heightened creativity and better ideas for future growth. Studies have shown that even just racially diverse companies outperform others by 35%. And in general, employees enjoy working on diverse teams. In fact, 57% of employees think companies should be more diverse.
Inclusion is the strategy of ensuring the environment is accommodating for diverse workers. Any policies and protections that are put in place to uphold the lifestyles and values of workers strengthen and support inclusion. Traditionally, you might think of maternity/paternity leave, health benefits and disability, discrimination and equal opportunity acts. Today, workplaces are welcoming even more unique perks and policies in hope of attracting and retaining a variety of workers. The challenge with inclusion is that the atmosphere of an organization is the overwhelming factor in its maintenance. Think of this as the way employees/ managers interact and treat each other.
To truly embrace diversity, you can’t just hire workers from various backgrounds, you must also provide to them a workplace in which they can thrive. That includes making them feel comfortable sharing their views and opinions. Policy is important for inclusion, but setting a positive example for colleagues is just as crucial.
What’s the Problem?
The benefits are known, studied and proven, yet some of the largest organizations with top recruiting prospects are struggling to cultivate diverse and inclusive workforces. Tech giants like Google, Uber and Twitter have made headlines for less than stellar inclusion:
- 26% of Microsoft employees are women
- Over 60% of Google employees are white
- 15% of Twitter’s tech roles are held by women
- No tech leadership positions were held by Black or Hispanic employees at Uber
This just goes to show that even with enormous recruiting budgets and a well-known employer brand doesn’t mean diversity hiring is successful. These giants are not starving for applicants and still there is a disconnect between understanding the benefits of diversity and actually including diverse workers.
Want to take your team to the next level? Workplace #diversity is a great place to start. #HRTechConf
Diversity hiring is possible. Year after year, organizations are honored for their ability to leverage diversity and inclusion within their own workplace as well as contributing to the growing list of techniques that will help others see the same success. If you’re dreaming of a more inclusive and diverse workforce, consider these tips:
- Diversity and inclusion begins at the top. Managers can set the scene for welcoming diverse individuals and ideas, so be sure you are leading by example. In order to do this, hold yourself accountable. Look at who you are hiring, why, and what you can bring to the table to show employees how they can be more accepting and inclusive.
- Focus on employee strengths by encouraging them in areas they enjoy and excel in. Aid them in seeing where they fit in best and nurture that with additional training or even continued learning opportunities. Not only will this benefit the projects each individual is working on, Gallup found that employees are more engaged in strengths-based management structures, meaning more production and more higher profits.
- Train for diversity awareness. From executive boards to entry-level employees, diversity training will help individuals gain the skills needed to work within teams. It’s great for collaboration techniques and for underlining the value your company holds in diversity. Need help getting started? Our Talent Success University program helps you to find the best talent for your company to help you focus on skill and experience instead of things like race, gender, etc.
When it comes to creating the best teams and outperforming others, diversity is key. Without it, your team could be lacking instead of benefiting from improved performance, productivity, effectiveness, communication, and much more. Do you want to make your team better by improving workplace diversity? See how ClearCompany’s Talent Management Solution can help!
As the head of a department in the midst of a sustained period of rapid growth, Sara has spent thousands of hours interviewing, hiring, onboarding and assessing employees and candidates. She is passionate about sharing the best practices she has learned from both successes and failures in talent acquisition and management.