Diversity and Inclusion are often used in conjunction and rightly so since diversity brings people from various backgrounds and identities together whereas inclusion is the factor that celebrates the differences in each individual and empowers them to bring in their unique perspectives to influence the common goals in the organization. Inclusion not only makes employees happier at the workplace, it is essential for the success of diversity strategies.
An ideally inclusive workplace ensures that recognition and opportunities are given to employees based on their performance and displayed ability. This meritocratic system brings about the sense of fairness and equality in the institution. The system, along with being able to contribute to innovation and be heard, contributes to employee satisfaction and boosts productivity in the organization.
Inclusion requires everyone in the workplace to become accountable for their behavior and practices. This leads to awareness, introspection and change that creates a supportive environment that allows everyone in it to be more in tune with their authentic self and thrive. A good inclusion strategy results in low employee turnover that leads to a stable environment where there is greater project continuity and employees do not have to adapt to different personalities regularly. This reduces transition time and effort and thus mitigates threats to productivity.
Diversity and Inclusion Hiring Practices
Inclusion also encompasses hiring practices. During the process of hiring, the candidates must not be judged with a traditional lens and this must continue into the culture of the organization where employees are not judged on the basis of their appearance and are allowed to express themselves without the fear of being judged.
Genuine acceptance of individuals also extends to trust in their knowledge, ability and experience and existing members will be more inclined to give the new employees creative autonomy in the way they perform their tasks. This culture of support, trust and lack of judgment aids creativity, innovation and subsequently productivity. Research even shows that effective inclusion of culturally diverse members results in higher team creativity and personal creativity which directly result in productivity and employee satisfaction respectively.
Although minimalism is in trend currently, research shows that minimalistic work environments are counterproductive. Employees when allowed to express themselves and personalize their workspaces are happier and feel more accepted. This bridges the gap between an individual’s personal identity and professional identity without disturbing professional etiquette. Inclusion gives importance to the concept of equity and brings awareness to the needs of marginalized groups and addresses them. Inclusion strategies often encompass effective employee engagement activities that often result in employees feeling happier and well connected with their co-workers. Inclusive leadership is currently one of the widely discussed concepts. This practice induces feelings of respect, value, belonging and psychological safety.
Any well-developed inclusion strategy promotes behavior and practices that lead to a supportive, cohesive environment and promotes loyalty and organizational commitment. These are highly correlated to employee satisfaction, happiness and productivity in the workplace.