6 reasons why diversity and inclusion is needed…
…and why you shouldn’t miss out on it.
- Workplaces are made up of people. The success of a workplace therefore depends on how well the people in it perform and cooperate. This becomes clear if we compare workplaces to orchestras. To be the best, your orchestra must be made up of many different instruments and talents, and they must be well connected and play in harmony with each other. Similarly, in our workplaces, we need both a diverse talent pool and an inclusive culture in order to achieve our goals, remain credible and survive in the long term.
- To ensure the supply of skills, all employers need to prioritize diversity and inclusion. You may be in an industry where this is not yet evident, but trust us – it won’t be that way forever. Gen Z is the name given to the generation currently entering the workforce (born in the late 90s or later). The World Economic Forum estimates that this generation will make up 27% of the global workforce by 2025. Research shows that Gen Z generally values high wages and security less than previous generations. Instead, values and social issues are high on the agenda, along with good internal communication and flexibility. This will put different demands on employers who want to attract and retain talent today and tomorrow.
- Engage your employees and make them stay longer! Research shows that the level of diversity in companies is directly related to employee engagement. Higher employee engagement can lead to higher job satisfaction, which in turn reduces staff turnover. In addition, inclusion helps employees stay longer on average. According to one study, employees who felt included planned to stay in the workplace on average three times longer than others (J. Grawitch & W. Ballard – the psychologically healthy employee). Ballard – the psychologically healthy workplace https://www.apa.org/pubs/books/4318134).
- You don’t want to break the law, do you? Perhaps not the most exciting argument, but an important one. Because according to the requirement for active measures in the Discrimination Act and work environment legislation, employers have an obligation to work preventively against discrimination and violations and to promote an inclusive and respectful environment free from discrimination. Not only can failing to do so lead to human suffering, but it can also lead to high costs in terms of time and money to end up in legal disputes.
- Culture of kindness and psychological safety are the most important factors in creating high-performing dream teams. Google has spent more than 20 years and tons of resources researching what influences how successful a team is. It was only when they started looking at group norms – the traditions, behaviors and unwritten rules that guide us when multiple individuals come together – that they got closer to the answer. It turned out that the fact that team members care about each other (empathy) and that the group is safe for multiple perspectives to emerge (psychological safety) were crucial to which teams were the most productive, the most profitable and the most successful. Employees in these teams were also the ones most satisfied with their jobs.
- Last but not least, diversity and inclusion is also needed to reach, understand and include all your target groups. Without broad representation and expertise on diversity and inclusion, you risk missing target groups or needs. There are a number of known failures in this regard. Not least from 2015 when it was noted that the soap pumps at a hotel in Atlanta, USA, did not work for people with black or brown skin. It turned out that the soap pumps used a technology that sends out infrared rays that need to be reflected back to a sensor for the soap to come out. It only worked for people with white or light-colored hands. A tragic but perfect example of how a company failed to adequately involve a diverse range of people in the process of developing and testing the product. Don’t be the soap pump! Think about diversity and inclusion in all your processes.
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