The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion Within the Workplace
Corporations have made major efforts to implement diversity and inclusion in the past years.
Diversity and inclusion within the workplace refers to the conscious process of forming a team of employees that comes from various and diverse backgrounds, with no discrimination against any race, age, gender, religion, native language, and sexual orientation.
There are many benefits to having a diverse workplace. Diversity and inclusion increase productivity, improve creativity, increase profits, promote employee engagement, improve company profile, and reduce turnover. Here are three reasons why diversity and inclusion are crucial for any workplace.
A positive work environment
Diversity within the workplace promotes respect and understanding among employees, which in turn, increases morale and productivity. This is a process, of course, and it does not happen overnight. Some companies often resort to training seminars to help bring awareness to the importance and benefits of a diverse workplace. Diversity training in government organizations as well as in the private sector is integral to the success of organizations.
“As the Nation’s largest employer, the federal government has a special opportunity to lead by example,” said OPM Director John Berry. “We must recruit, hire, develop, and retain a competitive, diverse workforce because we’ll deliver the best results to the American people when we fully use the talents of all parts of our society.”
A diverse team equals diverse thought
Contractors who join a team for a few months should also be thought of as employee members. As such, they should pay attention to the company’s diversity program and have their own diversity strategies ready before being awarded or starting the job.
Each individual has their own set of experiences which gives them an edge over anyone else. Be it stemming from their culture, upbringing, identity, or other aspects of their unique background, these factors can contribute to the creative out-of-the-box approach that non-diverse corporations will always lack. Therefore, it is essential to bring awareness to the importance of diversity so that corporations, organizations, or any workplace setting can achieve new heights.
Exposure to diversity reduces conflict
While diversity training is crucial for any work environment, it is important to track whether the company’s training is actually effective. Supervisors should be on the lookout for signals that might indicate a need for interference. Such signs can include conflict pertaining to a lack of respect of cultural diversity, clashing due to opposing political beliefs, hints of intolerance or prejudice, and explicit workplace bullying. If any of these behaviors are exhibited, immediate measures should be taken.
Companies should instill a zero-tolerance policy to all of the aforementioned actions. No employee should feel threatened or belittled in their place of work. Training should remind employees of this consequence, as such a move will help minorities feel safe and know that they are not completely helpless in these situations. Next, training should refocus and reinforce the positives that come from a diverse and inclusive workplace, emphasizing the importance of respecting and understanding each other’s differences.
“As communities continue to grow, it’s important to harness the talent of all Americans. Businesses should continue to capitalize on the growth of women, people of color, and gay and transgender people in the labor force. Our increasing diversity is a great opportunity for the United States to become more competitive in the global economy by capitalizing on the unique talents and contributions that diverse communities bring to the table.”