In the modern workplace, it’s not enough to just offer a paycheck and traditional benefits to a new generation of employees; these young, ambitious, and forward-thinking people are looking as closely at a company’s diversity and inclusion policy as they are the details of their insurance plan.
Modern employees want a workplace that represents a wide range of voices – and want to work for a company that commits to diversity and inclusion. When employees feel included in their work environment, they’re more committed to the work they do, the colleagues they work with, and the company they belong to. That’s the recipe for a happy workforce.
So, how can inclusion efforts lead to a happier workforce? Let’s break it down here.
An Inclusive Workforce Promotes Employee Well-Being…
An inclusive workplace is one that is empathetic to circumstances it may never understand. An atmosphere of inclusivity inspires confidence and energy, empowering employees to be their “best self” every day. By ensuring that things like mental health, self-care, and general well-being take precedence, employees have the support they need to succeed in their careers.
As a result? Inclusive workplaces promote a happy, stable workforce and are a key factor when it comes to retention. A Gartner Research study, for example, reported that employees at companies with high levels of diversity and inclusion are 20% more likely to stick around.
…and an Inclusive Workforce is a Profitable Workforce
A more profitable workforce is a happier workforce all around – and inclusion leads to a happier workforce. Diversity and inclusion lead to cross-cultural teams; those teams bring about creativity and innovation, which blossoms into desirable outcomes and successful projects. Successful projects lead to bigger profits and better-paid employees.
Let’s break down the statistics here (as detailed in our Business Case for Inclusion infographic)
- About ⅔ of job seekers consider a company’s diversity when deciding where to work
- Organizations with inclusive work cultures are 2x as likely to exceed financial targets
- Companies with ethnically diverse leadership are 33% more likely to outperform competitors
More money isn’t the only benefit for employees. Along with a financial boost, there’s another reason why profitable companies make for happier employees. Working for a company doing well financially helps to instill a sense of pride in your accomplishments – bolstered by the fact that you know your company has a commitment to inclusion at its core.
What Companies Can Do
Establishing an inclusive workforce is integral for a company to move forward on a platform of both equality and equity, and a key component towards better employee satisfaction and retention. Across gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, ability, and other factors, workplaces that strive to include a diverse group of employees make for a happier workforce and make the world a better place.
So how can your organization move forward with an inclusive workforce? Start with these action steps in what we call the “Five-E” model:
- Enact diversity training to grow empathy and awareness
- Establish employee resource groups to hear diverse perspectives
- Ensure all voices throughout the organization are heard
- Encourage all employees to bring their “full selves” to work
- Get Executive sponsorship to secure buy-in from the “top-down” of the organization
Looking to build an inclusive business culture? Aperian’s Inclusive Behaviors Inventory (IBI) can help you get started.