In 1996, nearly 25 years ago, a study showcased the real potential and value that a diverse team brings to the organizations. Since then, companies have attempted to get a more diverse workforce but have failed to incorporate a new approach to unleash its true potential.
In 2021 and the upcoming years, the companies’ job and hiring trends will continue to shift from putting shareholders in the center of their activities. Instead, employees will have more weight along with the other shareholders. CEO’s will redirect to culture-first thinking where employee’s needs are met.
What are the cultural drivers for employees?
The company’s culture is more and more prevalent in order to attract and keep employees. Glassdoor’s research points out that job seekers care about the companies’ culture and spend a fair amount of time researching a company before accepting a job offer.
What else drives employee satisfaction? The top 3 cultural drivers are:
- Clear mission – this will connect the daily workflow to a broader social purpose
- High-quality leadership – seniors who empathize inspire and are competent in employee’s eyes
- Clearly defined career development – so that employees’ see the pathway to work possibilities within the organization
Bringing diversity and inclusion to your company
And while employee satisfaction will continue to be a rising driver for companies, so will diversity and inclusion. So far, the statistics make it clear that companies who have incorporated diversity programs as their business strategy instead of just as an HR program are reaping benefits. Among these advantages are:
- Better decision-making up to 87% of the time
- Outperforming results with female board members
- 35% higher EBIT (earnings before investment and taxation)
- 2 times faster decision-making and execution by diverse teams
Have a diverse workforce but leverage it the right way
Having a diverse team does not stop at hiring a candidate from an underrepresented group to add to your workforce stats. This is where companies fail to activate the power of a diverse team.
People need to feel like they belong. They need to feel that they have power over their work. This is how they feel ownership and belonging. So how do you nurture that feeling of belonging? Here are 3 aspects of the company to reconsider:
- The company climate
It is crucial to create opportunities for employees to speak up and express their opinion, to gain opportunities, and feel that they can participate. Work transparency and open feedback sessions help with the feeling of inclusion as well.
- The leadership
Leaders set the model for a diversity-inclusion. They need to value, engage, and respect diverse people. A step towards that is to stop hiring the same people as them and to start developing one of the most valuable skill – listening.
- The practices
If diversity and belonging are taken seriously, then strict practices need to be set where all employees have to be inclusive. If there are D&I training programs or simply metrics to live up to, the company becomes more inclusive.
What tools can you use?
Diversity and Inclusion attract a lot of attention and knowledge gaps in all HR professionals. It is a complex area, and much more will be developed over the years.
So far, what you can follow is to consider including a diverse team as a first step. There are tools out there who can help you to tap into the personality, values, and culture and how they can match with your company.
Beyond that, there are some models and frameworks for leveraging Belonging like the framework of Lynn Shore – developed in her insightful research.
The most important take from her framework is to move away from “sameness” and go to the top with “uniqueness”. How you make employees feel like they belong is a matter of moving from left to right (from “Differentiation” to “Inclusion”).
Diversity and Belonging can be a rather broad and hard scope to begin to obtain. A more approachable way to grasp is through tapping into the personality and the personal values of candidates while recruiting. What applicants have as core values and what their personality is like is the root of diversity. It is beneficial for you and your organization to nurture it. It creates a sense of empowerment for employees that boosts a happier and move motivated work environment.
You can learn more about the advantages of personality, values, and culture in our free whitepaper.
Or you can get more inspiration about recruitment in the new era here on our blog.
“Diversity and inclusion is a business strategy, not an HR program ” by Joshbersin, 2018
“Inclusion and diversity in work groups: a review and model for future research” by Lynn Shore, 2010
“Getting serious about diversity: enough already with the business case” by Robin J. Ely and David Thomas, Harvard, 2020
“Glassdors’s job & hiring trends for 2020” by Glassdoor, 2019
“Making differences matter: a new paradigm for managinf diversity” by Robin J. Ely and David Thomas, Harvard, 1996
“New research: diversity + inclusion = better decision making at work ‘” by Erik Larson, Forbes, 2017
“Why belonging is such a big issue in business today?” by Joshbersin, 2020