Promoting EDI in the Workplace
In the modern era where technology has taken over, and distances have been reduced due to globalization, workspaces are more open towards cultural diversity. To promote equal opportunity, companies are now including a diversified range of people to work with them and help them grow.
According to a BCG report, companies with culturally diverse employees had 19% more revenue generation compared to those who lacked diverse teams. However, organizations face several challenges when they seek to implement workplace diversity and inclusion.
Equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) has become important to enhance organizational culture. Before we discuss any further about the advantages of diversity and inclusion at workspaces, let's have a look at what cultural diversity means:
What Does Cultural Diversity Mean?
When companies and organizations hire people from different cultures, races, and ethnicities with different backgrounds, it means they are including cultural diversity in their work environment. Once a company learns how to retain employees from different cultures, they make a huge difference as compared to conventional teams.
The world is rapidly advancing and growing with newer studies and inventions around the globe. People now appreciate having a diverse team of people to learn new perspectives and continue to grow together as one, regardless of boundaries defined through geographical borders.
How Can You Foster Diversity and Inclusion?
Surprisingly, all types of businesses, whether big or small, are keen to include a diverse workforce. Whether its small carpet cleaning companies or multinational organizations, everyone is welcoming diversity and inclusion.
An organization looking to encourage diversity and inclusion can do so in the following ways:
- Objective criteria – free from bias
- Recognition and rewarding
- Engage with employee resource groups
- Psychological training
- Employee survey and feedback
Benefits of Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
Let's have a look at how diversity and inclusion can provide benefits as well as challenges to a business:
1. Increased Productivity
Having a diverse culture at your workplace means different people are striving towards one common goal, which can be a great tool to increase productivity. A multicultural environment means you foster different skillset and different perspectives at your workplace, which can be highly beneficial for the result.
Different people bring different skills and value-sets to the organization, and the organization can benefit from this knowledge. Fresh ideas and content could be created in an environment with different people and help foster a learning environment.
2. Increased Creativity
Another advantage of having a diverse culture is that you can increase creativity at your workplace. When people are coming from different communities and races, they bring in several values and a fresh set of ideas that could be of great help for a company to grow.
With diverse minds in the workplace, you can expect several solutions to a single problem because every person would bring a unique solution to the problem. Companies are now more open towards a diverse workforce to enhance and increase work productivity.
3. Promotes Harmony
Employees working in the same workplace interact with each other daily, and this is how they can learn about various cultures, norms, traditions, and values. This regular interaction decreases intolerances and promotes harmony. Cultural diversity educates employees about various cultures. Employees and coworkers share incidents and memories from their schools or festivals during casual conversations, which can help people discover various cultures. This is a good way to learn and enhance exposure.
4. Positive Reputation
If your company encourages inclusion and diversity, and you are able to retain those employees, then you will be known as a progressive workplace. Companies that encourage and hire employees belong to different cultures, religions, sex, and ethnicities, etc., become known for their equal-opportunity orientation. Your clients and other business partners would value your organization because of your values and principals. The employees working at your organization would feel welcomed and encouraged in an environment where there is no bias or discrimination.
Challenges of Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
1. Leadership Involvement
Fostering diversity and inclusion is not a small and easy task and requires dedicated efforts from upper-level management. Often organizations claim to encourage diversity; however, they are unable to manage and handle it because their leadership fails to put in the effort. The leadership needs to be actively managing diversity and inclusion problems and address them to avoid any inconvenience. There should be support for the employees. Moreover, the leadership should show that they encourage diversity from their actions and the policies they implement in the organization.
Another challenge faced in workplaces with diversity and inclusion is silo-ing, which demotivates inclusivity and isolates people throughout the organization. By silos, we mean that people belonging to one niche make a small group and stick together. Therefore, instead of promoting creativity. It ends up segregating the organization, which, in return, decreases productivity. Several organizations consciously work towards removing this issue and ensure company-wide collaboration, communication, and interaction via exercises that promote collaboration irrespective of demographic factors.
3. Progress Measurement
Measuring progress may prove difficult in a diverse workplace. To measure the progress due to diversity and inclusion, dedicated KPIs must be set and monitored throughout the year is important to see what value you have added to the organization through inclusion. A mere annual survey is not enough to measure progress; instead, frequent surveys should be conducted to find out the impact. Give employees proper platforms to voice their opinion about the issues they are facing. Data collection is important; once you have the data sorted, you can then work towards the action plan to fix the problems and smoothen the processes for employees.
To Sum it Up
It's 2020, and the world has progressed in the past few years. Diversity and inclusion in workspaces have proven to be of huge benefit and success for companies as you widen the pool of resources, get people from different mindsets, and exposure to working together towards a common goal.
There are several challenges as well that are faced by organizations; however, through proper guidelines and values, you can avoid such issues and build an environment that caters to the dynamic needs of modern business. Proper management level efforts are required to ensure smooth execution and implementation.
Guest blog posted by Steven Mintz, aka Ethics Sage, on October 1, 2020. You can sign up for Steve's newsletter and learn more about Dr. Mintz’s activities at: https://www.stevenmintzethics.com/. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter .