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The Importance of Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace

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In recent years more focus has been placed on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, with an increasing number of companies prioritising diversity by implementing policies at all levels. However, promoting diversity and inclusion isn’t only a matter of ethics, it’s also a key driver of growth, productivity, and revenue. Promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace has several benefits, including the ability to attract a broad talent pool, increased innovation, and leads to a 5.4x boost in worker retention. A diverse group of people offer a balance of opinions and ideas, while inclusion empowers all employees by making them feel valued, respected, treated fairly, and embedded in the culture.

According to a Gartner report, a diverse and inclusive work culture can improve team performance by up to 30 percent, and the Diversity Council Australia Inclusion@Work Index 2021 says that 77 percent of Australian workers strongly support their employer’s efforts to build a diverse and inclusive workplace. Prioritising diversity and inclusion can also improve an organisation’s financial performance and help it realise its full potential. We’ve put together some key points, on the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

A Broad Pool of Skills

Recruiting people from diverse backgrounds brings with it a range of unique abilities that can present a fresh array of perspectives and can help a business to grow. According to PeopleMangement, diverse teams offer an overall 60 percent improvement in decision-making abilities. An inclusive and varied environment means everyone has an equal opportunity to contribute, which enables more broad viewpoints to be merged while brainstorming, problem-solving, and generating new business ideas. Furthermore, companies that have a diverse workplace culture are often regarded as better employers.

Greater Innovation and Creativity

According to Boston Consulting Group research, businesses that embrace diversity policies and practises are more likely to improve their innovation revenue by up to 12.9 percent. Employee motivation and morale are higher in a diverse and inclusive culture as employees believe they are being valued and contributing to the success of the business. Having a working environment that is diversified in terms of employees’ origins, talents, and experiences indicates there will be more innovation and creativity.

Happier Workforce

Work-related stress affects around 49 percent of Australians and costs employers $10 billion each year. A workplace that values diversity and inclusion makes employees happier which then reflects on their productivity and quality of work. According to a Gartner Research survey, employees in organisations with high levels of diversity and inclusion are 20 percent more likely to stay.  Incorporating diversity and inclusion training policies to address unconscious biases can help create a more inclusive and positive organisational culture.

Improved Performance

A diverse workforce brings a wide range of experiences and abilities, allowing co-workers to collaborate and learn from one another. According to Gallup’s research, disengaged employees can cost a business dearly and have 18 percent reduced productivity, 37 percent higher absenteeism, and 15 percent lower profitability. According to the Harvard Business Review, organisations with significantly more racial and ethnic diversity outperform competitors by 35 percent and are 70 percent more likely to acquire new markets, resulting in improved business performance.

Increased Talent Availability

According to a Glassdoor poll, 67 percent of job seekers value a diverse workforce when considering job offers. According to Monster’s 2020 State of the Candidate Survey, commitment to diversity and inclusion is crucial to more than 4 out of 5 (83 percent) Gen Z job seekers. Workplace diversity improves a company’s brand image and makes it a more appealing place to work. Expanding your recruiting searches to include more varied candidates—including background, ethnicity, age, and so on—enlarges your talent pool and boosts the chances of finding the ideal employee.

The Bottom Line

Both diversity and inclusion is beneficial to employees’ mental health and their overall growth, and also has a positive impact on business growth and profitability. According to Harvard Business Review, diverse organisations generate 19 percent higher revenue. According to McKinsey report, businesses that are in the top quartile for racial, ethnic, and gender diversity are 25 percent more likely to be profitable. This indicates that diversity and inclusion are more than simply statistics; it is an essential part of making a profitable revenue-generating business.

A diverse and inclusive workforce that appreciates and encourages each other’s uniqueness can help put your business on the path to long-term success. Don’t think of this as a challenge, consider it as a means to grow your business, gain a competitive edge, and create an organisation that is respected and valued both internally and externally.

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