Inclusive Organisations: For business success, diversity is only the first step

inclusive organisations

8th August 2016

A growing number of organisations are putting a spotlight on their efforts for diversity.

Major companies like Airbnb are also hiring their very first ‘Director of Diversity or implementing diversity training in an attempt to stand out as progressive and to attract the very best talent.

It’s no surprise that companies are making diversity a top priority. McKinsey’s research shows that gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to outperform their peers and ethnically-diverse companies are 35% more likely to do the same.

Hiring a diverse team is only the very first step to a successfully diverse company.

Attempts at improving the diversity of your company will be moot without a culture of inclusion to back up that diversity as well.

What is an inclusive organisation?

An inclusive organisation values, involves and respects all its individuals enabling them to their reach their full potential whilst maintaining effective business outcomes.

An inclusive culture involves the full and successful integration of diverse people into a workplace.

While an inclusive culture certainly encompasses a commitment to diversity, it is not limited simply to basic representation; it inculcates a climate in which respect, equity, and the positive impacts of differences are all cultivated.

What are the components of inclusion?

1. Fairness and transparency

Fairness and transparency are key components of an inclusive workplace and should underpin the organisational ethos. Equitable access to resources, opportunities, networks, and decision-making processes are fundamental in growing an inclusive workplace

2. Placing importance on people development

The importance of ‘people development’ means that there should be a focus on cultivating a learning-centric culture where all employees are encouraged to develop.

Having access to the development tools they need is linked to personal and business success, and training plays an important role the creation of inclusive culture.

Considerations need to be made to ensure all people have equitable opportunities for training.

An organisation must also determine if the training of managers, particularly middle management, and human resources staff, are about embracing and working effectively with different people.

3. Including different communities and perspectives in business strategy

Inclusive organisations incorporate the needs, assets, and perspectives of their different constituent communities into the design and implementation of their planning, strategy and action plans.

4. Giving all staff basic equality and diversity training

Diversity and inclusiveness are linked but having a diverse workforce whilst important in achieving inclusion does not guarantee it. It is important that all employees have an understanding of equality and diversity so training in these areas and unconscious bias are key to building an inclusive organisation.

5Remembering the The 4 Rs

Inclusive organisations tend to be populated with diverse individuals but this is not just window dressing it must lead to:

  1. Representation: The presence of diversity across a range of employee roles, and leadership positions. People are the focus in the organisation’s commitment to diversity, equality and collaborative working.
  2. Respect: understanding that difference can be a positive force that is not detrimental to organisational success. Aligning personal identity with organisation identity demonstrates that employees are integral to the organisation and are important as individuals.
  3. Recognition: the ideas, perspectives and contributions of all people are truly valued and listened to. 360o communication and effective feedback processes aid recognition.
  4. Reward: individuals’ efforts are met with commensurate and appropriate remuneration.

Widen your recruitment pool

Inclusive organisations recruit and retain the best people without limiting themselves to restrictive recruitment pools.

Their aim is to reflect the demographic composition of the communities where they are located and the markets they tap into.

The use of recruitment processes that are clear, fair, transparent, accessible and based on business needs will underpin the growth and sustainability of an inclusive culture.

Benefits of Inclusive Organisations

When an organisation puts the attention-to-detail and effort into the inclusiveness efforts, it can really pay off. It’s good for business. Some of the benefits of inclusion include:

  1. More job satisfaction through increased employee investment in work performance
  2. Improving retention as employees can develop within the organisation.
  3. Improved productivity.
  4. Happier employees have improved morale.
  5. Improvement of recognition and solutions to problems throughout the organisation.
  6. Encouragement of creativity and innovation.
  7. Increased organizational flexibility and ability to learn from people across the organisation.
  8. Improving the quality of personnel through more effective better recruitment and retention.
  9. Improved employee health and well-being
  10. Reduced perception of discrimination and inequity
  11. Improved cooperation and collaboration between co-workers, and between employees and management

Marshall E-Learning has customisable training courses encompassing many key elements of an inclusive, diverse organisation including unconscious bias, diversity in the workplace, and managing diversity.  

If you’re interested in taking the steps toward a happier, more productive team, get in touch with us to find out more.

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