Diversity and inclusion are not just mere buzzwords that represent a fleeting trend. In the 21st century, companies must integrate these two principles into their core business strategies. From employment to operations, businesses must be able to incorporate all strands of diversity and inclusion: age, disability, gender, race, culture, and religion, into the workplace.
Diversity and inclusion simply mean embracing every individual’s difference and enabling all employees and clients to contribute their unique experiences and reach their full potential. The UK, however, is still not making enough remarkable strides towards achieving diversity and inclusion in the country’s workplaces. To demonstrate, a report by the Parker Review found that more than half of the UK’s largest companies do not have at least one director from a black, Asian, or minority ethnic background. This damning report cements the fact that the UK’s business landscape still has not made satisfactory movements for increased diversity, a reality that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
Workplace diversity and inclusion can bring forth many tangible benefits that can impact your industry position. The most important are:
It drives innovation
Investors these days seek companies that make efforts to meet diversity and inclusion targets. Recently, the Investment Association warned that they would flag the UK’s top companies that refuse to disclose the ethnic makeup of their senior executives or fail to present a credible plan to address the issue. From an investment perspective, diversity and innovation significantly impact business because they allow creative means to solve complex operational problems.
A September 2021 survey by Workday revealed that almost a third of UK businesses do not have a strategic approach to inclusion and diversity.
Data analytics firm Nielsen UK understands how an inclusive workplace attracts and retains the best of talent, which is why it ranked 11th in the inclusive top 50 UK employers list. These inclusive employers know that a diverse workplace puts together a wide variety of skills and talents that can create unique products and services and increases the potential for better productivity.
It encourages valuable feedback
Feedback is important to identify the weak points of your business operations. To encourage valuable feedback, you need to put diversity and inclusion at the forefront of your employee engagement mechanism. Doing so can demonstrate that your company is empathetic to your employees. A variety of backgrounds means a broader range of skills, experiences, and knowledge that can increase your overall business productivity. Accenture UK, for instance, prides itself on having an unwavering commitment to diversity. The company, with its counterpart branches all over the globe, places great emphasis on feedback and knowledge-sharing. Likewise, you can collect prized insights through a personal advisory board that gathers feedback and ideas from your diverse employees. Through the observations they collect, you can evaluate the performance of your company and create ways to improve the way you do business.
It allows you to understand your customers better
A diverse workforce enables you to target a wide range of customers. Hiring individuals from all walks of life help you appeal to a broader target audience and connect to consumers from different backgrounds. Knowing and meeting the needs of your locality requires creating shared connections with your clients. Creating an inclusive climate within and outside your company also allows you to maximize your employees’ growth and development and personalize your clients’ services. Bloomberg, for example, leverages technology and media to advocate for an inclusive workplace and uses publicly available tools to improve diversity metrics. Likewise, by maximizing the country’s diversity in the workplace, your business can become an accurate representation of our society.
Now is the best time to reassess how diversity is handled within your business. Knowing the critical benefits of having an inclusive workplace will help drive your business forward and keep up with the company culture required in a modern workplace.
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