The coronavirus pandemic has left organizations amidst murky waters. All organizations, irrespective of their size and scale, are struggling with issues that need immediate attention. These include the health of customers and workforce, the slowdown in acquiring new clients, delayed payments, reduced revenue, attrition, dwindling employee motivation, etc.
Amidst the plethora of struggles that have already made the path hazy for companies, focusing on equal opportunities and fairness for the employees is far-fetched. However, with most businesses gone online and operating virtually, the time may be right to promote diverse talents in the workplace.
It is worth understanding that while decision making is critical in these times, one cannot ignore the importance of employee motivation and engagement. When each voice of the talent pool feels heard and included, it will reap benefits in motivation and productivity. Not only will this help accelerate decision making, but also to achieve organization goals quickly.
How will equity in the workplace benefit businesses?
Equity in the workplace helps foster a culture that strives for transparency and accounts for employees’ feedback and suggestions. It is the right way to handle a diverse set of talents and an effective leadership strategy beneficial for both the employees and the organization.
According to Forbes, “Employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work.” The recognition of diversity and valuing employees despite their differences indicates that the organization is committed to its employees and focuses on achievement and performance.
Employees recognized for their performance are more satisfied and will be motivated to perform better than those who don’t feel heard. This motivation and productivity directly convert to the achievement of financial goals for the organization.
Organizations have come a long way in terms of diversity. Earlier, diversity meant region or religion, but the perspective has broadened over the years, and the definition broadened. A diverse workplace now means a wide set of experiences, thoughts, and backgrounds in one place. This helps make the decision making simpler. Better leaders identify the benefits that a diverse workforce brings to the table and devise strategies that help everyone feel included.
Inclusion strives to offer equal opportunities to the employees irrespective of their background. It ensures that everyone receives equal treatment and opportunities. Here are some direct benefits of inclusivity:
- Increased employee morale
- Employee support for drastic organizational decisions
- Employee confidence
- Reduced attrition
- Increased commitment to goals and performance
On the other hand, the inability to eliminate favoritism and discrimination will go against the organization’s interests. This means there will be employees dissatisfied with their growth and status in the organization, and thus, productivity will face a blow. One prime area of concern is inequities based on gender. Women, religious minorities, transgender employees from several organizations have previously complained of lack of equity and how it affects the workplace. To eliminate these instances, organizations need to be continually invested in the goal of diversity and inclusion.
How to increase inclusivity in the organization?
While most organizations know the impact diversity and inclusion can have on their productivity, it is still challenging to incorporate and achieve the goals. Most business leaders find themselves clueless about how to unleash talent to represent from diverse viewpoints. Here are some ways in which you can emerge as a diverse and inclusive organization and achieve a competitive edge over the others:
- Recognize your organizational goals and determine how you want to portray yourself in the industry
- Roll out clear instructions for your organization’s leaders to stay committed to creating the target reputation for your company
- Continually track if the leaders can create and continue the targeted culture
- Create objective frameworks that help with accountability for the leaders to stick to the goals
- Portray your diversity and inclusion goals inside and outside the organization
- Honestly, convey your progress to customers, employees, and others. Be honest and talk about the work you intend to do but haven’t got around. Recognize your shortcomings and work towards combatting them
- Do not shy away from asking for help from your employees to achieve your goals. This will help you in achieving them, learning from your employees, and growing
- Continually seek employee feedback and check if you are on the right track
- Create multiple mechanisms to seek feedback
Times are now more dynamic than ever. The financial realities have changed dramatically for companies worldwide. Employee motivation and confidence have also taken a huge hit owing to the uncertainty of the times. This calls for better recognition of employees’ changing needs and changing the diversity and inclusion programs to adapt to the changes. A well-designed diversity and inclusion strategy will affect your recruitment dynamics positively. The company will emerge as one that offers equal opportunities and improve your relationships with employees, customers, and stakeholders. These relationships will directly influence financial as well as reputation gains in these tough times.