In today’s modern society, confirming what the benefits of equality and diversity are in the workplace might sound obvious and silly.
However, we should remind ourselves why we must constantly strive to recruit and maintain a diverse workplace and the benefits it can bring us. It’s a key topic that we cover on our Leadership Programmes and Management Skills Courses.
Before we dive into the benefits of equality and diversity in the workplace, it’s important to first understand what we mean when we talk about these concepts.
Equality is about ensuring that every employee has the same opportunities and is treated fairly, regardless of their individual characteristics. Diversity, on the other hand, refers to the variety of different perspectives and experiences that employees bring to the workplace.
While these two concepts are often used interchangeably, it’s important to remember that they are not the same thing. Equality is about ensuring that everyone is on a level playing field, while diversity is about valuing the unique perspectives and experiences that everyone brings to the table.
Each of these concepts is important, but when they are combined, they can create a workplace that is truly inclusive and welcoming to all.
Now that we’ve clarified what we mean by equality and diversity in the workplace let’s look at some of the benefits that can come from promoting these values within your organisation.
When employees feel like they are valued and respected, they are more likely to be engaged with their work and committed to their organisation. A positive company culture has been linked with increased productivity, lower rates of absenteeism, and reduced staff turnover.
A team with positive working relationships will be more productive, engaged, and focused, it will also make work a nicer place to be for everyone. So, ask yourself what sort of culture have you created in your team? Do the team ever suffer from presenteeism? Look for the signs of short-term absences and patterns of sickness and work to keep your team happy and motivated.
Consider how YOU feel when you go into work. Do you set the correct tone for your team? Be aware of the impact that your entrance on a Monday morning can have on the team. Do you smile and greet the team with a friendly ‘Good morning’ or avoid eye contact and grumble? You’ll either boost team morale or you can destroy it.
Re-energise and refocus your team with our Team Building Training.
A more diverse workforce will bring a greater range of skills, ideas, and perspectives to the table. This can lead to improved creativity and innovation, as employees are able to share their unique perspectives and brainstorm new ideas.
Studies have shown that organisations with a more diverse workforce tend to outperform their less diverse counterparts. This is likely due to the improved creativity and innovation that diversity brings.
For employees, feeling like they are part of a diverse and inclusive workplace can improve their satisfaction levels and job performance. In fact, research has shown that employees who feel like they belong to an organisation are more likely to go above and beyond for their employer.
Productivity is crucial to any organisation. When an organisation is made up of diverse employees, they are likely to see an increase in workplace productivity. A report by Deloitte concluded that when employees think their organisation is committed to and supportive of diversity their ability to innovate increases by 83%.
Let’s explore why this might happen:
If your workforce come from a range of diverse backgrounds, they are likely to think in different ways compared to a group of similar people who not surprisingly will think in similar ways! So put simply, with more lines of thought you will get new ways of doing things.
This can also give you an increased skill set – when you hire many different people, you are going to get lots of different knowledge and experience.
Staff morale is likely to be higher when people come from different backgrounds and can relate to each other well. So, when your staff works well together, they are going to be happy and want to work towards a common goal. In addition, they are less likely to take time off and will work harder to achieve the company’s targets.
Organisations that are seen to be committed to equality and diversity are more likely to attract a wider range of customers and clients. This can lead to increased market share and improved financial performance.
The more diverse you are as an organisation, the more you will connect with a whole range of people. Quite simply, the wider the range of people you have on your team, the wider the range of customers you will more naturally relate to and therefore understand. Managing diversity is very important.
An organisation with a good reputation for equality and diversity is more likely to attract top talent. This is because potential employees want to work for an organisation that values diversity and inclusion.
It has been shown that valuing diversity improves your brand reputation. These days large companies must publicly disclose their gender pay gap data; with the drive for more inclusive workplaces increasing, introducing, and monitoring diversity in your hiring decisions can improve your chances of acquiring the best staff.
Talent retention is a big challenge for many organisations. By promoting equality and diversity in the workplace, organisations can create an environment that is attractive to top talent. This can help to improve retention rates and reduce recruitment costs.
You’ll be able to recruit the top talent if your job applications are open to everyone, and not just a select few. Staff members will feel empowered that they’ve been hired based solely on their aptitude. Employing people from different cultures may mean that your business benefits from diverse language skills and cultural awareness.
Put simply, with society becoming ever-more inclusive and young talent being acutely aware of inclusivity, your teams need to reflect the society in which we live so you can attract and retain the best talent.
One of the things we areas we approach in our Leadership Programmes is Disability Awareness Training helping your organisation become more inclusive.
Here are some practical actions we can take starting with our recruitment processes in particular:
While implementing a company culture that values and promotes equality and diversity might seem simple enough in theory, the reality is that, primarily due to varying levels of unconscious bias, it can be quite difficult to achieve.
Below are a few examples of how organisations have worked to overcome these challenges and create workplaces that embrace equality and diversity:
Flexible working arrangements are becoming increasingly popular, especially among young workers. By offering flexible working arrangements, organisations can make their workplace more attractive to a wider range of employees.
Unconscious bias training can help employees to recognise and overcome their own biases. This can lead to a more equal and diverse workplace where everyone feels valued and respected.
Having policies and procedures in place that support equality and diversity is essential for creating an inclusive workplace. These might include anti-discrimination policies, harassment policies, or family-friendly policies.
It is important that these policies be communicated to all employees and that they are enforced consistently to be effective.
Making equality and diversity a key part of your recruitment process is a great way to ensure that your workplace is inclusive. This might involve ensuring that your job adverts are accessible to everyone, using diverse recruitment panels, or offering equal opportunities for all employees.
As we’ve mentioned, a diverse hiring policy is key to talent acquisition. By encouraging a mix of perspectives in the workplace, you can create an environment where everyone feels valued and respected. This, in turn, can lead to increased job satisfaction and motivation, leading to improved talent retention.
Offering Equality & Diversity Training can help to raise awareness of the issue and ensure that everyone in the workplace understands the importance of inclusion. This can help to create a more equal and diverse workplace for everyone.
This type of training should be baked into all management training starting right from Team Leader Training and Supervisor Training Courses. It need not be a standalone event; it should be part of all the training that you offer.
When employees feel appreciated for their unique skills and perspectives, they are more likely to be engaged and productive.
A study by McKinsey found that companies with greater gender diversity were 15 per cent more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians. And organizations with ethnically diverse teams were 33 per cent more likely to have financial returns above their industry medians.
In addition, studies have shown that diversity can lead to better problem-solving and creativity. When teams include people with different backgrounds, experiences, and outlooks, they are better able to find new solutions and ideas.
Finally, promoting equality and diversity can help attract and retain the best talent. In today’s global economy, top talent is in high demand. By creating a workplace that is welcoming to all, organisations can position themselves as employers of choice and tap into a larger pool of potential employees.
So, by promoting equality and diversity in the workplace, organizations can improve their bottom line, foster creativity and innovation, and attract and retain top talent.
Our Management Training Courses and Management Development Programmes all cover elements of equality, diversity and inclusion. It’s just so important that the modern-day manager can lead the agenda for this as it sets the tone for the whole company.
Updated on: 26 October, 2022
Originally published: 20 January, 2020
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