Looking at diversity and inclusion separately

For as long as the recognition of inclusivity in the workplace has been around, diversity has been there too. With the two going hand in hand, diversity and inclusion have been at the forefront of progressive workplaces for the last few decades. Unlike the misplaced assumption when discussing the two elements, it is so much more than just putting policies and practices in place just to tick boxes so that your organisation is compliant.

 

Employers will likely see their employee engagement soar when they truly incorporate diversity and inclusion into their strategy. And of course, an empowered workforce will lead to an overall boost in performance by attracting more top talent and improving ROI and organisational agility. In order to reap the benefits of both elements, it’s essential to look at them separately to appreciate the superpower they can bring to an organisation.

The business benefits for diversity in the workplace

Diversity in the workplace is all about appreciating what makes each individual different, but not only that, it’s embracing differences and recognising the benefit of different perspectives when it comes to making decisions. After all, different life experiences and circumstances will likely result in unique problem-solving techniques, which could be vital to standing out against the competition.

 

We love diversity, and we know it is key to driving personal and organisational success. Now, we bet that leaves you wondering, what tools are out there that can help you unlock this success? For starters, people strategy tools such as personality assessments are a powerful way to reveal people’s potential that may otherwise be missed due to unconscious biases that limit the performance benefits of diversity and inclusion.

 

The best personality assessments can explore predicted behaviour and working styles neutrally without the traditional limitations of unhelpful language or assumptions that may limit people to a type. Exploring personality without limitations allows everyone to gain self-awareness about who they are, their full potential and more importantly, less obvious and often hidden talents, without feeling boxed in or judged for who they are and what they bring to their team.

What makes people different can vary between visible and non-visible factors such as background, culture, race, religion, and neurodiversity, just to name a few. All the various factors can impact who we are as a person. So, measuring personality through our innovative and inclusive assessment, most likely to be individually trait-based instead of overall type-based, creates a powerful lens to understand the role of different backgrounds and characteristics of personality and appreciate the different perspectives that people can bring to a team.

 

Diverse companies are now more likely to outperform less diverse competitors by at least 35%. In other words, organisations that employ talent with more representation are more likely to adapt and grow, especially in adversity. However, research carried out by McKinsey shows that for companies to thrive in the changing market, they also need to be inclusive to unlock the full potential of their talent pool.

 

The business benefits for inclusion in the workplace

Much of the research suggests that diversity in the workplace is widely acknowledged and understood, but people can sometimes overlook the importance of achieving inclusion in the workplace. According to the CIPD, inclusion in the workplace can often be defined as the extent to which everyone at work, regardless of their background, identity, or circumstance, feels valued, accepted, and supported to succeed at work.

 

When inclusion in the workplace is encouraged, there is a higher chance of avoiding the pitfalls of Groupthink. Groupthink is a term established in 1972 by Irving L. Janis; this is when people can make irrational decisions when they feel inclined to conform and adopt the opinion of the rest of the group.

 

Korn Ferry research shows that inclusive teams make better decisions 87% of the time. That proves that as great as being diverse is, taking the necessary steps to create an inclusive environment can give you the ultimate competitive advantage. Workplaces for the future need to do more than just simply diversify their talent pools. They need to strive continuously to sustain inclusive workplaces that meet the needs of all their employees and enable everyone in the organisation to achieve their potential.

 

Companies that get both elements right are far more likely to succeed and outperform on profitability, than those that lack diversity and inclusion. It seems like a no brainer, right?

 

When it comes to diversity and inclusion, you can’t have one without the other. Here at Lumina Learning, we understand that to thrive and be at their best, organisations need to celebrate the differences of their people to unlock the full potential of all their talent. When both elements are right, this can be their superpower.

Diversity + Inclusion = Equality

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace is the first step towards a better workplace for the future. Since organisations have been incorporating these elements into their strategy, progressive strides have been made in dealing with workplace inequality in recent decades. For instance, the gap between gender employment rates in the UK is at an all-time low from when it was first recorded back in 1971, meaning the UK workforce is more gender diverse than ever.

 

With the gender employment gap narrowing over time, so has the gender pay gap up until recently. The gender pay gap widened slightly following the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, with women more likely to be employed in less secure jobs and typically having to rebalance their careers to assume even greater responsibilities within their families and communities. As organisations look to the future, more efforts are needed to work towards closing the gender pay gap. Organisations need to take the same initiative as the CIPD to support the progression of women into a more significant proportion of the higher-paying roles by focusing on areas of policy and practice that are inclusive and non-discriminatory of women.

When efforts are made to create an inclusive environment for both genders, the benefits are far-reaching. Our report The Feminine advantage: Why organisations should hire more women leaders, shows results from Credit Suisse 3000 that indicate the higher the percentage of women in top management, the greater excess returns for shareholders. That alone suggests that inclusivity matters in the workplace. After all, why wouldn’t companies want to outperform their industry peers?

 

Beyond gender equality, there is race, religion, disability, nationality, sexual orientation, and age. With multiple studies proving that greater equality at work is favoured by employees worldwide, failing to see the benefits of adapting organisations to fit in with the changing views of the workforce would be detrimental to survival. With age, for instance, 87% of workers said that a multi-generational environment fosters innovation and problem-solving. With many other similar statistics, it’s clear that equality in the workplace is no longer just a nice to have!

 

Inclusion in the workplace makes diversity work

As we have established, diversity in the workplace is essential for organisations thriving in the future. However, the benefits of a diverse workforce have the potential to be limited when organisations fail to provide an inclusive workplace where everyone feels able to participate and be their best self at work. Inclusion is the missing ingredient for seeing the real impact of diversity and working towards a better workplace for the future where all employees feel empowered to thrive.

Breaking down the benefits

1. Employee engagement

A recent global study of engagement by the ADP Research Institute found that employees who identified as part of a team were 2.3 times more likely to be fully engaged. Creating an inclusive workplace drives the sense of belonging for all employees, which means organisations who promote and support inclusivity are more likely to benefit from more motivated and engaged workers.

 

Benefitting from higher engagement from staff can bring great rewards, especially to an organisation’s bottom line. As previously mentioned in our blog Investing in people; why outstanding L&D and selection matters more than ever, those with higher levels of engagement benefitted from lower absenteeism and turnover (specifically 25% lower turnover for high turnover organisations and 65% lower turnover for low turnover organisations).

 

The results are clear. Higher engagement is something that all organisations should work towards, and it would be in the employer’s best interest to listen to the facts. The global study from the ADP also revealed that only 16% of employees worldwide consider themselves fully engaged, which means organisations who can achieve higher engagement levels are giving themselves a competitive advantage that seems to be lacking in today’s workforce!

 

2. ROI

In the 21st century, one of the most prominent challenges organisations face is creating growth. Korn Ferry research suggests that inclusivity in the workplace can help overcome this challenge, with inclusive organisations 70% more likely to capture new markets and 19% more likely to see higher innovation revenue. These figures show that not only is inclusivity good for the people, but it is also good for the organisation’s revenue and bottom line.

 

With organisations worldwide recovering from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, increasing profitability and gaining a competitive advantage on industry peers is something that would be hard to turn down. That’s why now more than ever, it is crucial for organisations to have an effective diversity and inclusion strategy that creates an environment where each individual can feel valued, accepted, and supported to succeed at work.

 

3. Attracting top talent

As the world continues to change, so does the need for a workforce to deal with these challenges. That means improving workplaces in order to attract and retain top talent. LinkedIn research suggests that employees are the single most important investment any business makes. As clichéd as that sounds, it’s true; hiring the right people can work towards ensuring success.

 

When an organisation has a reputation for being both diverse and inclusive, it is 58% more likely to attract top talent and 20% more likely to retain them. That means inclusivity in the workplace cannot be ignored, especially for organisations that want to attract and retain the best candidates for roles.

 

4. Organisational agility

Organisational agility is all about adapting and surviving in an environment that is constantly changing. Regardless of the industry, most organisations have had to adapt in some way during the pandemic enough to understand the importance of building organisational agility.

 

Being inclusive and embracing employee differences can bring different perspectives and approaches to any work situation. These different approaches can be the key to organisations quickly responding to change and benefitting from such changes. Making better decisions 87% of the time is only one benefit of inclusivity in the workplace. Still, the difference it brings to the future of organisations is the saving grace that many will need to evolve and succeed in today’s world.

 

The benefits of inclusivity are truly undeniable. When you weigh up the facts provided, you may be left wondering about the downfalls of not paying attention to inclusivity in the workplace. At the other end of the scale is discrimination, which can happen when inclusion in the workplace is ignored or not promoted.

 

According to the CIPD, discrimination can lead to:

  • Having an impact on an individual’s wellbeing, performance at work and intention to stay
  • Adversely affecting employment opportunities
  • Failing to recognise skills-based abilities, potential and experience
  • High legal costs, compensation and settlements paid to avoid defending expensive discrimination claims

 

When workplaces are not inclusive, this can negatively affect the employees and the business and its success, so don’t be caught on the wrong side of workplace evolution. Celebrate your team’s differences and value them for who they are as individuals and their unique contributions.

 

Here at Lumina Learning, one of our key differences is that we value different ways of being because we know organisations perform best when they tap into a diverse talent pool. Our ecosystem of products and solutions are designed to help uncover and celebrate the unique value of each individual – read more on how we’re changing the game in The future of development & selection; what makes Lumina Learning different.

 

Our trait-based model reduces the evaluative bias present in some type-based psychometrics that label or put people in boxes. Our tools break away from the assumption that you can either only be Introverted or Extraverted, but instead, we celebrate your personality dynamics and the Paradoxes that make you, you.

 

The path to inclusivity is far less complicated with our tools and solutions. With our help, teams can celebrate the value of the different personalities and abilities present in today’s workforce. That means organisations using the Lumina Learning psychometrics can achieve deep diversity.

 

Using personality as a valuable lens to understand the value that different backgrounds can bring to an organisation is a great way to start building teams that are not only diverse but also inclusive because, as we know, inclusivity in the workplace matters.

 

If you want to check out our set of recommendations for how women can bring powerful leadership into the workplace using our lens of personality – download our white paper.

 

References

https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/fundamentals/relations/diversity/factsheet

https://www.kornferry.com/insights/featured-topics/diversity-equity-inclusion/the-importance-of-inclusion-in-the-workplace

https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/diversity-and-inclusion/diversity-wins-how-inclusion-matters

https://www.brazen.com/resources/a-brief-history-of-diversity-in-the-workplace-infographic

https://www.cipd.co.uk/about/who-we-are/cipd-pay-gap-reports/gender

https://thedeamergroup.com/workplace-diversity-inclusion-employee-retention/

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/adp-research-institute-sets-international-benchmark-for-employee-engagement-with-its-19-country-global-study-of-engagement-300867645.html

https://www.adpri.org/assets/the-global-study-of-engagement/?referrer=%7b95522E03-C5DD-4626-8BE8-7D223D961259%7d

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/people-culture-your-companys-success-depends-niko-drakoulis/

https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/the-keys-to-organizational-agility

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-groupthink-2795213

https://www.credit-suisse.com/about-us-news/en/articles/news-and-expertise/higher-returns-with-women-in-decision-making-positions-201610.html

 

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Lumina Learning is a global network of skilled experts and Practitioners operating in more than 40 countries all over the world.