Workplace Diversity. It’s a buzzword we hear often in the business world. It’s something that in some countries is enforced by law, and something that companies strive for because of its many benefits.
But, what if we told you that having a diverse workplace isn’t enough? Having a team that represents the society and population of the place where it operates is important. However, in order to provide a good working environment, and reap the benefits that it can produce for the company’s productivity and success, a workplace must be inclusive.
Workplace Inclusion. It dives deeper than just hiring a diverse group of people. Workplace Inclusion is about creating a work environment where everyone is given access to resources, treated with fairness, and has the opportunity to contribute to their team – no matter their race, religion, age, or whether or not they have a disability.
The benefits of creating an inclusive workplace are limitless, but some of the most important to both employees and employers are:
When people feel that they are listened to and acknowledged, they feel like they are part of the team. When people feel like part of the team, they want to work to bring their team success. A Deloitte study found that when the number of employees that feel included increases by just 10%, work attendance increases almost 1 day per year for each employee.
2. Creation and Innovation
A team composed of people with different backgrounds and stories, leads to new perspectives and ways of thinking which fosters innovation. In the United States alone, one in four adults has a disability. A study by human resources analyst John Bersin showed that inclusive companies were 1.7 times more likely to be leading innovators in their field.
3. Teamwork and Collaboration
The same Deloitte study found that when leaders demonstrated qualities of inclusive leadership, there was a 29% increase in team collaboration.
4. Company or Organization Culture
Adults spend an average of one third of their lives at work. That’s a lot of time, and is why according to Glassdoor, over 77% of people consider company culture at some point before applying and why 56% of people say it’s more important than salary. An inclusive work culture is one where everyone feels respected and a part of the team.
That sounds great, right? Who wouldn’t want to make their workplace inclusive? Although the motivation to create an inclusive workspace is there, sometimes it can seem overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of places to start. This article, for example, lists 9 simple ways to start making a work environment inclusive for people with disabilities. Or this one provides concrete steps for how to lead a more inclusive organization. Workplace inclusion benefits everyone involved, and is just one way to make this world more accessible.