There's no better time to be starting or amping up your diversity and inclusion program. These programs are more than just a current trend: research shows that a diverse workforce is good for business and company culture. When you hire for diversity and manage for inclusion, you're making a critical step toward becoming a recruiting and employer branding powerhouse. You're also joining some of those most innovative companies in the world, and keeping up with the competition. In 2017, more than two-thirds (69 percent) of executives rate diversity and inclusion an important issue, up 32 percent compared to 2014.
But how do you do it right? Diversity and inclusion are two complex topics that go hand-in-hand. Our new eBook, Guide to Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace offers an overview of diversity and inclusion topics and best practices. To get you started, following are some of the ways that diversity and inclusion can contribute to your business:
Increase Profits and Innovation
The reasons for building a diverse and inclusive organization go beyond the idea that welcoming people of all types is "the right thing to do." Diversity and inclusion are essential for competitive advantage as they are tied to better business performance and greater levels of innovation, as shown in the results of a study by Bersin by Deloitte.
- The largest "highly inclusive organizations" generate 2.3 times more cash flow per employee, while the smaller companies had 13 times higher mean cash flow from operations when compared to peer organizations.
- Highly inclusive organizations generate 1.4 times more revenue and are 120 percent more capable of meeting financial targets.
- Firms in the top tier for diversity and inclusion are also 1.8 times more likely to be change-ready and 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders in their market.
A McKinsey studyalso demonstrated the correlation between diversity and financial performance:
- Companies with the highest rankings for racial/ethnic diversity were 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their national industry median.
"Doing the right thing" for better business outcomes in 2017 and beyond means incorporating diversity and inclusion into your business strategy.
Keep Up With Population Trends
Organizational movement toward diversity and inclusion is reflective of larger trends in the American and global population. As of 2015, the majority of births in the United States are racial and ethnic minorities. By 2060, non-Hispanic whites are projected to comprise only 44% of the U.S. population, while those of Hispanic or Latino descent will make up 29%, up from 17% at last count. In addition, Baby Boomers are waiting longer to retire, making the workforce more age diverse. Companies that don't incorporate diversity and inclusion into recruiting and talent management will miss out on a big portion of the available skilled workforce.
Improve Customer Success
The increasingly diverse population means that most companies' customer base will also become more diverse. Logic follows that a worker base that mirrors its customer base will enable a company to create more relevant products and respond more effectively to customer needs.
Enhance Partner Success
Vendors, partners, and suppliers want to do business with companies that reflect their own values. The U.S. federal government and some large companies require that contractors meet certain diversity thresholds. (For more, visit, The U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.) Companies that publicly commit to diversity and inclusion will attract like-minded partners, and a mutual focus on inclusion could result in fairer negotiations.
Attract Top Talent
In order to ensure continued access to the best talent, companies need to ensure sourcing and hiring practices do not inadvertently weed out talented candidates from diverse groups. Job seekers of all types want to know that they will feel a sense of belonging once they land the job.
- Two-thirds of active and passive job seekers say that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers.
An increasingly diverse and globalized workforce means that people of different backgrounds must work together. A focus on inclusion is now a necessity for smooth business operations and employee retention.
Protect Your Reputation
Sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits make the news. Getting diversity and inclusion right can protect a company from potential reputation damage and costly discrimination lawsuits.
Download the eBook Guide to Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace to find the requirements for a successful diversity program. You'll also find insights on how to create an inclusive culture through managing bias and building community, along with recruiting and branding strategies and best practices. Building an organization for future success requires managing for diversity, so don't get started today!