How Effective Workplace Diversity & Inclusion Impact Your Organization

Throughout corporate history diversity and inclusion have been two sensitive and highly controversia...

Posted by Jessica Love, HR Consultant on October 14 2014

Throughout corporate history diversity and inclusion have been two sensitive and highly controversial topics, which have shaped and molded organizational cultures. After a generation of diversity work, organizations shutterstock_195461531increasingly worry that despite their success in bringing workplace diversity in the door, even the most diligently executed initiatives will not be enough to shatter the glass, concrete, bamboo, tortilla, and rainbow ceilings. Despite years of incremental progress, truly meaningful breakthroughs remain elusive—with managerial and leadership ranks falling far short of reflecting what should be the most diverse workforce in the history of civilization. Increasingly, executives realize if they don’t get this right, and fail to utilize the diverse talent around them, organizations face weakened financials at best, and extinction at worst.

So first, what is diversity and inclusion? Diversity means all the ways we differ. Some of these differences we are born with and cannot change. Anything that makes us unique is part of this definition of diversity. Inclusion involves bringing together, and harnessing these diverse forces and resources, in a way that is beneficial. In a nut shell, diversity is the mix, and inclusion is making the mix work.

Many companies struggle to realize the full significance of having a diverse and inclusive workforce, focusing instead on numbers. While diversity in organizations is increasingly respected as a fundamental characteristic, neither acceptance nor appreciation have equated to inclusive workplaces where unique vantage points of diverse people are valued. Inclusion enhances an organization’s ability to achieve better business results by engaging people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives through participatory decision-making. It ultimately touches every part of the business, and some of the payoffs include the following:

  • Increased productivity
  • Increased creativity and problem solving
  • Attract and retain talent
  • Synergy and enhanced communication skills
  • Increased market share
  • Satisfy and maintain a diverse customer base

These payoffs are achievable by any organization. You are not exempt! They are direct results of managing and maintaining a diversity plan—which uses diverse perspectives and talents to foster growth and remain competitive. It can only be accomplished through individuals willing and ready to implement it in the already existing culture. Many times, organizational instability is caused because the majority is not willing to accept the minority. But as previously mentioned, the advantages of establishing a diverse and inclusive workforce yield far more value than remaining stagnant.

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The journey to building workforce balance can seem overwhelming, but you are not alone. Berkshire can help you through the process. We can prepare a plan designed to meet your organization’s diversity objectives. Whether it is a traditional diversity plan, or one based on your company’s definition of diversity—we work with you to create a plan that goes beyond race and gender. Ultimately, we’ll work together to shape a compliant and diverse workplace that’s reflective of your company’s vision. To learn about diversity and recruitment please read “ Nine Tips to Increase Diversity in Recruitment.” For additional information please contact Berkshire Associates at 800.882.8904 or bai@berkshireassociates.com.

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