7 benefits of inclusion in the workplace every business should know
February 21, 2023
February 21, 2023
The terms diversity and inclusion are often mentioned together because they should be applied simultaneously. But, this is unfortunately not always the case. Tokenism means hiring a diverse workforce without implementing inclusivity, proving that they are two distinct concepts. Ideally, your objective should be to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) altogether, not just one of them. Today, we wanted to share the benefits of inclusion in the workplace with you.
Everyone has strengths that contribute to a thriving business. But to achieve this goal, discrimination needs to be erased at every level of your organization. The advantages of an inclusive work culture impact employee experience, workplace connection, performance, brand image, and many other aspects of your work environment. Discover the reasons for focusing on this social pillar in our article below which outlines the 7 most important perks of inclusivity at work!
1. Diversity and inclusion at work boost talent attraction and retention
DEI matters are an essential workplace characteristic for prospective employees, especially for Millennials and Gen Z. They want to see more inclusion in the workplace, which includes presenting the same job opportunities for everyone. Although gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, or culture should not influence the career path of any individual, it still does. Actually, 50% of employees from the U.S., the U.K., France, and Germany declare their company should do more in terms of inclusivity according to a Glassdoor Diversity and Inclusion study from 2019.
Encouraging an inclusive corporate culture, therefore, becomes a key motivator to increase talent acquisition and lower employee turnover. Also, a workplace culture that promotes ethical and social values attracts and retains talent who share the same values. This aspect is critical for the youngest generations of workers as these demographic groups are a lot more diverse than Gen X and Baby Boomers. Consequently, being inclusive is necessary to draw the most skilled people from different generations.
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2. The benefits of inclusion in the workplace increase your chances of recruiting talent
By choosing to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce, you open recruitment to a much larger group of people. Remote work removes many barriers, allowing you to enhance inclusivity and welcome talent you couldn’t have hired before.
For example, let’s say you need to scale up and this means recruiting a new web developer. By encouraging inclusive recruitment practices, you can receive CVs from the best web developers worldwide. You can also give people with disabilities the chance to apply and work from home.
Another common form of discrimination is ageism. But, having a multigenerational workforce creates teams with a wide range of experiences and talents. Not looking at the birth dates of job candidates is a great way to avoid making a difference between applicants you might consider too young or too old for the job. Instead, only focus on their soft and hard skills and “don’t judge the book by its cover”.
3. Inclusion in the workplace enhances performance
Do you want to have a workforce that is resourceful, solution-oriented, and creative? Create a team with people from different communities and experiences. As mentioned in our article about the benefits of diversity in the workplace, diverse companies are 19% more innovative than others. Of course, to get the most out of this, inclusion needs to be visible at every level of the company.
Bringing minorities together around one table is the best decision you can make as an employer and a manager. All employees have their own experiences and skills that make them unique. If you have a team composed of those with exactly the same profile and similar backgrounds, you lower your chances of brainstorming fresh ideas, thinking out of the box, and consequently, growing.
For Millennials and Gen Z, on top of being an essential criterion for job satisfaction, inclusion is also an opportunity to welcome new visions, learn from colleagues, and get out of their comfort zone. All these aspects combined make inclusivity essential. By being inclusive at every level of your organization, you give your workers the chance to perform better together and thrive.
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4. An inclusive work environment creates stronger workplace connection
When employees are in a professional environment where all minorities are included, they tend to feel more comfortable expressing their opinions. It fosters trust between workers and managers which is essential for healthy and successful relationships.
According to Zippia’s study about Diversity in the Workplace Statistics 2023, 50% of American workers require more DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) at work. By meeting this expectation, you create a sense of belonging and community. This makes your team members feel like they are in the right place, with the right people. These are two of the main components of a great workplace connection, the third being finding purpose in one’s job.
Workplace connection is essential to:
- boost engagement;
- increase productivity;
- avoid a toxic work culture;
- lower absenteeism;
- reduce turnover;
- improve mental health;
- decrease employee burnout.
5. Inclusion at work strengthens your brand image
Improving your brand image shouldn’t be your main motivation for becoming more inclusive. This can come across as disingenuous and in turn compromise the positive outcomes inclusion can have on your business. However, a better brand image is one of the indirect outcomes of sincerely encouraging inclusion at work.
Job seekers, partners, and customers are paying more attention to which values are being promoted by companies and how they treat their employees. With the rise of social media, consumers can be quickly made aware of poor or abusive company culture. People are much more eager to support a business that is socially responsible than an organization that has a bad reputation regarding working conditions and practices.
Taking a genuine stand on DEI matters can not only increase your revenue but it can also help you attract and retain the best talent to make your business thrive. And again, only creating a diverse workforce isn’t enough. Including all communities at every single level of your company is key.
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6. Diverse and inclusive practices improve employee well-being and experience
Employee well-being and experience are also fundamental for companies that want to foster an employee-centric approach and understand that their workforce is their main asset. But how can employees enjoy their job if they face discrimination at work? How can they stay motivated and avoid frustration knowing some people have a better chance of being promoted than others?
In an inclusive work environment, team members can speak up, share their ideas and climb the professional ladder, no matter if they belong to a minority group or not. Workers feel valued for who they are and are recognized for their personal and professional skills. Knowing everybody is treated equally and has the same opportunities for career evolution boosts employee well-being, happiness, and motivation.
7. The advantages of an inclusive work culture make your organization more competitive
According to the 2017 Deloitte survey on Diversity and Inclusion, 78% of people think diversity and inclusion make a company more competitive. You might wonder, what does creating an inclusive work culture have to do with competition? Here are the main reasons a diverse and inclusive workforce makes your business a stronger opponent in your industry.
- Inclusive organizations attract more talent.
- Inclusive practices boost employee motivation and engagement.
- Inclusive teams are more satisfied with their job, and therefore, more loyal and dedicated.
- Inclusivity enhances innovation and creativity
- Inclusive workforces are more solution-oriented (in case of crisis, this is a huge advantage).
- Inclusion at work strengthens brand image.
- Inclusive approaches provide a better understanding of customers from different markets.
The benefits of inclusion in the workplace not only improve the social environment in your company but also represent a strategic move. Promoting DEI practices is essential to attract talent and meet the youngest generations’ job expectations, making inclusivity at work a must for organizations. In the past, bringing all communities together might have raised some challenges for companies. How can parents, especially women, juggle a CEO position and their private lives? How could we hire those with disabilities if our office is not adapted to accommodate them? Thanks to the rise of hybrid working, it is now easier for businesses to diversify their workforce and provide equal opportunities for all. Implementing a flexible work arrangement helps employees and companies embrace the advantages of an inclusive work culture.
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