Diversity and inclusion in an organization is better understood by gaining more insight on diversity and inclusion individually and then see its impact on an organization.
Diversity is explained as a collective culmination of differences and similarities that seems to include individual and organizational characteristics, values, beliefs, experiences, backgrounds, races, ethnicities, genders, age, religions, disabilities, sexual orientations, education, personalities, skill sets, knowledge-based preferences, and behaviours. This definition of diversity is provided by The Society of Human Resources Management.
There are two categories of diversity that are explained as:
Visible diversity traits which include the ones that are the emphasized such as race, gender, physical abilities, age and body type.
Sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status, education, and parental status among other such things constitute as invisible diversity traits.
Inclusion is often seen as closely related to diversity although it is in actuality independent of diversity. The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) explains inclusion in which an environment is procured where fair treatment and respect, equality in terms of access to opportunities and resources and the contribution to organization success is completely evident.
Diversity and inclusion in an organization is beneficial to the organization itself in that it is deemed to improve the performance of the employees. Opening to the concept of diversity can widen the organization’s access to the best talent. To ensure that the talent is engages in effective work, inclusion comes to play. The conjunction of diversity and inclusion leads to enhanced innovation, creativity, productivity, reputation, engagement and results.
An organization that ensures a healthy balance of men and women leads to 21% more likely to outperform their competitors. Similarly, a good mix of ethnic backgrounds in an organization leads them outperforming their competitors by 33%. Better decisions of up to 87% are made through teams that are gender, age and ethnically diverse.
The need for diversity and inclusion in an organization
Resources need to be allocated by the organization and they also need to provide training to attract the correct employees that will benefit the organization with best minds and skills. In the current war for talent, it requires an organization to look beyond the traditional recruitment pool. This is what is meant by diversity and inclusion in the organization.
A demographic shift has been experienced since the onset of globalisation. This is also led to increased mobility among the migrant workers travelling to the corners of the globe seeking any means of career progression. This is need for talented and skilled workforce which resulted in diversity and inclusion becoming a key element and driver in the economic growth across the world.
Social harmony isn’t the only benefit that is reaped through the inculcation of diversity and inclusion in an organization but the other benefits that are reaped are the increase in productivity and profitability that will aid the organization to grain succession in global marketplace.
The benefits of diversity and inclusion in an organization stretches beyond what was outlined earlier. The influence of the domination of diversity and inclusion in an organization continues as the makeup of the organization changes significantly. The maintenance of talent continuity and the broadening of the appeal in multiple segment of the market is ensured through increasing the clarity regarding the two concepts and how they fit together.
Organization that constitute diverse and inclusive workforce who are motivated to positively contribute to the same organization benefit through a number of variables such as higher financial performance, novel problem solving and easy employee retention.