Employee drivers – Diversity and inclusion


Why diversity and inclusion is a key driver to successful employee engagement

If your organisation is looking to measure and improve its employee engagement, there are a number of controllable factors across the employee lifecycle you should be focusing on. Our research has uncovered 10 key employee engagement drivers that will help you to gain accurate and fair understanding of your workforce when conducting employee listening.

Here, we’re going to focus on one of these key drivers: diversity and inclusion.

What is diversity and inclusion?

Diversity and inclusion (D&I), refers to a commitment to creating an equitable and welcoming workplace that values different perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds.

Why is diversity and inclusion important in the workplace?

Organisations that prioritise equality, diversity, inclusion, and belonging can benefit from more engaged, committed, and satisfied employees. This leads to higher retention rates, fewer absences, and an increase in revenue.

If employees feel they are valued, respected, included, and belong at an organisation, it creates a more positive culture which contributes to an improved employee experience.

Why is diversity and inclusion important in leadership?

Representation is important in media, popular culture, and business. For employees and prospective candidates alike, seeing individuals who resemble them or share similarities promotes an understanding of how they can make a place for themselves in the organisation. Therefore, it’s critical for leaders to exemplify diversity and be vocal about their support for marginalised communities.

What are the benefits of prioritising diversity and inclusion?

Organisations that prioritise diversity and inclusion are more likely to build healthy workplace cultures, stronger teams, and create an environment that is open and accepting of everyone. It promotes a sense of respect, belonging, and appreciation, and shows better representation which lends itself to retention and enticing new employees.

What are the outcomes of poor diversity and inclusion?

Having a lack of diversity and inclusion can lead to several issues such as an impersonal and unwelcoming atmosphere, employee dissatisfaction, discord between teams, lower employee morale, reduced customer loyalty, and damage to the organisation’s reputation.

How can you create a more diverse and inclusive culture?

There are four key steps to consider:

  1. Learn: Diversity and inclusion should begin with acknowledgement and awareness. Your organisation must recognise existing inequities in the workplace and its communities, then seek out stories from diverse perspectives to gain a deeper understanding. This includes hearing from people who have experienced these issues first hand, as well as those who research them outside of their lived experiences. Building a culture of inclusion is about looking inward and outside to find differing views on important topics.
  2. Plan: Once you’ve learned about the systems and the facts of where you are today – and why – take the time to really think of where you want to be. What’s the goal? What does success look like? With that, create a plan on how to get there. 
  1. Act: Identify your priorities and start making a concerted effort to change behaviour and language. Know that you’ll make mistakes along the way and, when you do, apologise, acknowledge the error, and commit to doing better next time. Effort is more important here than the fear that stops you moving forward.
  1. Realise: Witness and celebrate the change you’ve made, and gather feedback from employees to confirm your journey. Then start it all over again. You have to continuously develop your diversity and inclusion plan to create a genuinely inclusive culture and not see it as a one-off exercise.

How can you track diversity and inclusion?

A diversity data capture can be viewed as a one-off event in an employee lifecycle. Where laws allow this, and where people are open to sharing, best practice is to capture data when an employee first joins an organisation. However, many organisations aren’t set up to do this and face resistance from employees about sharing this information as they join. So, the next best thing is to ask for it as part of a wider EDIB survey so people can understand why their view matters and should be compared depending on their diversity make-up.

Related content:

[eBook] Four steps to create a more inclusive culture

[WEBINAR] Creating a more inclusive culture

[ARTICLE] Diversity in leadership and why it matters

[ARTICLE] The importance of equality, diversity, inclusion, and belonging (EDIB) in the workplace

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