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Inclusivity for Diversity in Corporate Culture

by Jody Ordioni

Diversity without inclusion is like a car without oil. It is not enough to arbitrarily employ people so that reservation quotas can be filled for the year-end meeting. If the feeling of mistrust and exclusion still pervades, then diversity in the office place means nothing. It can sully the reputation of the brand if newly hired workers from different backgrounds cannot make productive and meaningful contributions despite trying their best. Diversity and inclusion are terms that take on different meanings in different companies and sectors. The problem of diversity, rather the lack of it, cannot be correctly identified if wholesome data is not provided by companies. The rewards of this practice are many:

Rewards of Inclusion

Companies that emphasize inclusion as a cultural practice stand to reap better yields than most. Companies that observe diversity in management roles experience increase in innovation revenue by as much as 19%. Higher earnings and employee engagement along with efficient problem solving are other byproducts of this useful principle. However, the issue of diversity exceeds the debate on profit and revenue. It is also ethically correct to support the representation of different backgrounds in the company. Companies that have had a shabby history in the diversity department should focus on the positive transition to inclusion.

Adapting Company Culture

Diversity is not a defined, one-size-fits-all notion. There are many different routes to achieve diversity. In its true sense, diversity means bringing together people of different gender, races, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, cognitive structuring, age and more. It means letting radically different thoughts coexist peacefully and respectfully. The richness in creativity stems from this diversity and it also allows to reach a wider customer base that is becoming increasingly globalized.

The most crucial skill any organization needs to possess is self-awareness. It helps to bring about changes by reviewing management-level policies and introducing changes to promote inclusivity.

Three tips that can help foster more diversity in companies are listed below-

Start from the Top

People don’t usually go above and beyond in their job. Imitating their managers, workers do not pay attention to a directive that is not paid heed to by the managers. Therefore, executive managers need to follow the principle of inclusion to inspire junior workers. One part of inclusivity is to promote employees who most deserve it regardless of any biases regarding their personality or appearance. Managers need to be instructed to follow these guidelines to promote inclusion in the workplace.

Inclusion is a Routine Activity

If new methods of thinking and doing are not reiterated, people find it easy to roll into their old ways. Organizations must mix up the teams from different departments so that the employees can know staff of other departments better. Reinforce these teams by practicing team building exercises. From regular check-ins to informal emails, managers can use a host of tools to drive inclusion in the workplace.

Let Every Voice be Heard

Give a platform to those voices in meetings or discussion that are usually drowned in presence of louder people. Read a room and navigate the conversation such that non-dominant speakers also get a chance to express their opinions. A trick to apply this principle is to let the person who spoke the least open the next meeting.

The Bottom Line

Diversity is not only limited to hiring employees from various backgrounds but also ensuring that they feel empowered and included. Acknowledging that the company needs to work on inclusivity is half the battle won. Companies have to ensure that not only is diversity welcome in the office, but they also get their fair due.

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