In a previous post, we found that organizations that are diverse and inclusive enjoy a higher level of employee engagement. Highly engaged employees perform better, are more innovative and respond to organizational change more easily, resulting in better overall company performance.
Workplace diversity also directly affects a company’s performance:
- Companies with more women on the board statistically outperform their peers over a long period of time. Source: Catalyst
- Inclusive teams outperform their peers by 80% in team-based assessments. Source: Deloitte Australia
- Diversity and inclusions are increasingly included as key drivers in employee incentive, reward, and recognition programs.
- Gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely and ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform their peers. Source: McKinsey
7 Best Practices in Diverse & Inclusive Workplaces
- Just as in a properly structured employee reward, recognition, or performance improvement program, workplaces with the highest levels of diversity, inclusion, and engagement make sure that they are fair to all employees. Benefits, compensation, participation in company events or programs must be consistent across all employees with similar roles.
- The most engaged employees feel valued and appreciated. This can be demonstrated through consistent communication from management as well as through formal reward and recognition programs. Peer-to-peer recognition is also very powerful.
- Opportunities for Advancement. According to an Indeed survey, 24% of employees look for new opportunities elsewhere because there is no room for advancement at their current company. Talking with your employees to determine their goals and providing paths for them to develop new skills will go a long way to keeping key employees engaged.
- The theory and practice of diversity don’t happen in a vacuum. The highest performing companies provide ongoing education through webinars, online training, or guest speakers to keep the conversation about diversity going. Encouraging discussion and inviting suggestions and new ideas is inclusion.
- Communication and inviting employee feedback is a key component in a more inclusive workforce. Ensuring that there are mechanisms (both formal and informal) to encourage feedback is essential for management to retain key talent. When programs are in place that train, develop, coach, reward, and recognize people, employees become assets for the entire organization.
- During the pandemic, it was obviously more difficult to encourage collaboration; Zoom meetings are not the same as in-person interaction. Now that things are moving toward a new normal, more in-person interaction is possible. Company-sponsored social events, team-building opportunities, formal mentor programs, and even casual coffee groups can strengthen the bond between employees.
- If there’s one thing we learned during the pandemic, it’s that a flexible work environment is almost a necessity. Whether employees are back in an office, continue to work remotely, or are in a hybrid situation, flexibility is one of the things that most employees are seeking – even to the extent that they may accept a position with lower pay to achieve the flexibility they need.
A culture of diversity and inclusion doesn’t just happen. Company leaders must intentionally set policies and structure programs and systems that foster both. To get started on the path to greater employee engagement through a more diverse and inclusive workforce, contact us today!