The month of February always brings an increased focus on diversity and inclusion, but in truth every company could benefit from addressing these issues all year-round. Simply put, today’s employees don’t want to work for a company that only pays attention one month of the year. A recent Glassdoor survey showed that more than half of employees want their employers to improve diversity, and 67% of candidates seek out companies that emphasize it in their culture.(1)
Doing the right thing is not only good for your teams, it’s also good for business
Addressing diversity and inclusion in your workplace isn’t just the right thing for your employees, it can lead to benefits for your overall organization. That’s because teams full of people with different backgrounds who are allowed to be themselves are shown to be more innovative, more engaged, and financially more successful than less diverse teams.
Recent studies have shown:
Inclusive companies are almost twice as innovative(2)
83% of millennials are more engaged working for companies with an inclusive culture(3)
Inclusive teams are 120% more likely to hit financial goals(4)
High-functioning diverse teams are more effective - which shouldn’t be surprising - a variety of ethnicities, backgrounds, generations and experiences brings together a greater variety of ideas. Millennials in particular are seeking out companies who emphasize diversity and inclusion. This is the same group who will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025(5), which means looking the other way simply isn’t an option for future success.
Actions you can take today
Here are few steps you can take to increase inclusivity within your organization:
Seek support from all levels of leadership: More CEOs are recognizing the need for diversity and inclusion, but almost half of managers say they’re too busy to focus on them.(6) Companies must find ways to bridge this disconnect to see successful results.
Raise awareness of what you’re already doing: Just one-third of employees were aware of diversity initiatives at their workplace and an additional 21 percent were uncertain about them.(1) You may already have great tools and resources in place, but they won’t make an impact if people aren’t aware they exist.
Understand how your employees feel: Your diversity and inclusion efforts will be more impactful if you understand how your employees feel about these issues. Survey tools—such as Navigate’s new diversity and inclusion survey—can help you set a baseline for how your employees feel right now. From there, you can begin to take steps toward meaningful change and have a better sense of your progress as you deliver that change.
Our CEO’s Conversation with Joseph Jones
This month, Navigate’s CEO Troy Vincent sat down with his friend and local leader in Des Moines - Joseph Jones. Jones is not only the Executive Director of The Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Citizen Engagement, he’s also a local City Councilman, and an adjunct professor at Drake University. Jones joined Vincent and the Navigate team to talk about all things related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Topics ranged from what communities like Des Moines can be doing better on these issues, to how companies just like Navigate can do more to both foster an open dialogue with their teams and take meaningful actions to do more to create a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace. Check out their conversation here.
Key takeaways from Joseph for organizations and individuals wanting to learn more from our black and minority co-workers, neighbors, and friends:
Have dialogues and educate yourself – Encourage employees to have diverse ‘listening partners’ and learn together. Read, find new ways to learn more about what others are going through.
Engage in your communities – Show it through how you engage in your community and how you invest your time and money.
Have the right people in the room as you make decisions – Make sure the people who are impacted by the work you’re doing are in the room. As Joseph said, using a term The Harkin Institute embraces from the Disability Community…“Nothing about us, without us.”
Just try – Be okay with making mistakes – just try – don’t let the fear of doing something wrong prevent you from doing anything at all.
“Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, step out of your comfort zone, and just try.” – Joseph Jones, Executive Director for The Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement."
The Harkin Institute’s primary focus includes four of the issue areas important to their founder, Senator Tom Harkin (retired): labor and employment, people with disabilities, retirement security, and wellness and nutrition. Learn more about their good work at harkininstitute.org.
Want more info?
For more specific actions you can take—and how the right wellbeing program can help facilitate your efforts, generate engagement, and more—come back to this space the final week of February for a second blog post on this topic. In the meantime, reach out to Navigate’s business development team and Book a Demo now.