Every HR department strives to employ the best. They search for talent and the right skills to make the organisation grow. In all these endeavours, there is a need to strike a balance between different aspects – age, race, ethnicity, skills, talents, etc. For a fact, it is easier to have a diverse workforce than an inclusive. Sadly, most people confuse diversity for inclusivity.
Diversity in the workplace
Workforce diversity means employing people with diverse characteristics. Occurs when a company understands, values, and accepts differences that people have. Such differences may include races, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender, education level, personality, experience, knowledge base and skill set.
There are different perceptions of diversity:
- Millennials regard diversity as a combination of different experiences, perspectives and backgrounds, which they believe leads to innovations.
- Others regard workplace diversity as an equal and fair representation of all workers irrespective of demographic
Inclusion in the workplace
Inclusion is better felt when the workplace environment is conducive. Essentially, it involves collaboration, respect and support for each of the employees. Ultimately, these motivate every member to participate as well as collaborate.
Diversity & inclusion in the workplace may seem an easy thing, but it is not easy to implement. In fact, it is one of the hottest topics. Most companies view diversity & inclusion as a strategy, practice or a mission to offer support to a varied workforce, and use the resulting effect to the company’s advantage.
Benefits of diversity & inclusion in the workplace
Embracing diversity and inclusion in the workplace come with numerous benefits. Such benefits are:
Creative concepts are usually born when people of diverse skills, background, experience, working style and even age work together collaboratively. Such a diverse team can share their ideas and offer feedback concerning an issue at hand. If one person can give a fabulous idea, another person may be having the experience to implement it.
In essence, employees get exposure to multiple perspectives and views. Combining these perspectives can bring out a novel idea – innovation.
Grows a company talent pool
A company that practices workplace inclusion and diversity attracts a diverse workforce. This is because potential employees view it as a progressive company. If many candidates apply for the same position, it is easier to sample out the best. Again, a reputable company will always retain its employees.
A workplace that embraces inclusivity and diversity, without a doubt, hires individuals of diverse backgrounds. This comes with a host of talent, experiences and skills. Ultimately, this leads to work being done with efficiency. Efficiency translates to higher productivity.
It is the role of human resource manager to find people with the right skills so that they can fit perfectly in the company’s portfolio. If people have different skills and experiences, they can learn from each other.
Better decision making
Making the right decision can be very difficult. But if you have a diverse team, it is straightforward to come up with better choices. A diverse team has people with different experiences and perspectives. They can share these differences, and in turn, come up with numerous solutions, which may lead to making an informed decision.
Improved employee engagement
An employee feels part of an organisation if s/he is fully valued, respected and listened to. A feeling of inclusion makes employees participate in all activities fully, i.e. if employees feel they included, they become more engaged.