Diversity has long been used simply as a buzzword by companies seeking to appear more inclusive. However, in recent years the workforce has shifted its expectations to make DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging) a must for companies seeking to hire top talent.
Gartner noted that diversity, equity, and inclusion ranked in HR leaders’ top five priorities for 2022, and job postings specifically for DEIB roles within organizations have jumped by 123% over the past year.
Obviously, this means that diversity can no longer be just a token phrase trotted out at intervals. Instead, it must be an absolute priority to attract candidates who are increasingly listing diversity as a must-have on their list of expectations for a workplace.
Even if the majority of stakeholders have voiced a commitment to creating more inclusive workplaces, a declaration of intent isn’t enough to ensure success. Words are hollow without action, but some organizations, are struggling with where to even begin.
It’s all right to be new to the concept of DEIB. Promoting equity has to start somewhere. Unfortunately for many businesses, that means they are still on the bottom rung of the ladder. Even companies who committed seriously to DEIB initiatives years ago can benefit from newer technology and tools to make their vision a reality.
The best jumping-off point to supercharge your talent pipeline with diverse candidates and remove unconscious bias is understanding what diversity really means in the context of the workplace. There are far too many myths and misunderstandings surrounding “diversity”, and it’s time to clear these up.
What is Diversity in the Workplace?
Diversity in the workplace is supported by organizations that intentionally create, develop, and nurture a workforce made up of individuals who possess a range of characteristics and attributes, including (but not limited to) multiple:
- Gender identities
- Sexual orientations
- Educational backgrounds
These organizations make an effort to remain aware of the makeup of their workforce, avoiding promoting only one type of employee or creating a workplace full of people with similar backgrounds.
Employers who are truly committed to diversity in the workplace make a dedicated and cohesive effort to not only recruit and hire people from all walks of life but to amplify diverse voices at all levels of their organization.
Diversity as a Core Value
Workforce planning with a focus on diversity can only happen if diversity is made a core value of your company. Every employee from the top down should be aware of your organization’s DEIB commitment and policies and feel encouraged to participate actively in the development of a diverse workforce community and positive company culture.
Diversity needs to be the goal not only for recruiters bringing new employees into the company but for HR as they onboard and support employees and managers as they look for rising stars prime for promotion internally. C-suite buy-in is critical, and representation at the highest levels of leadership is a must.
Having a task force within larger companies that benchmarks and tracks diversity and demands accountability can drive real progress. For smaller companies, tools that do benchmarking and tracking around diversity in the workplace can be invaluable to achieving similar goals.
Diversity’s Impact on Business
A diverse workforce not only benefits the talent pool, but can yield tangible benefits for the company hiring. Diversity can drive a number of positive business impacts, increasing creativity and making room for fresh, innovative ideas.
Organizations with diverse workforces are more likely to generate cutting-edge concepts and engineer breakthroughs, and can be up to six times more innovative and agile than companies without a commitment to diversity.
Inclusive businesses generate higher revenues as well, particularly when diversity is extended to the executive level. Companies that focus on building diverse teams are more likely to be top financial performers, and those in the top quartile for gender diversity in particular are 25% more likely to achieve above average profitability.
The link between increased engagement and reduced employee turnover is another vote in favor of diversity. Organizations with highly engaged employes achieve 24% to 59% less turnover than those with low engagement.
Workers in highly diverse and inclusive organizations show a 26% increase in team collaboration and an 18% increase in team commitment. In addition employees in highly diverse organizations are 7% less likely to leave for another company, even if the competitor offers to pay more.
Diversity and Public Perception
From a branding standpoint, DEIB is a good look - but be careful, both customers and employees are savvy to organizations that offer only lip service. According to one survey, 80% of employees don’t believe that their employers have taken steps to combat unconscious bias in the workplace.
This means it is crucial to start DEIB initiatives within the company, and ensure employees believe in the commitment and are benefiting from it before trying to leverage diversity as a hook for hiring or as a way to boost branding.
A DEIB statement or annual report is not enough. Consumers and employees require businesses to actively promote equity and take action to level playing fields. This can and will ultimately lead to greater customer loyalty and employee retention, but it must happen organically. Once DEIB has become cemented as part of your company culture, your organization can become a more serious contender in the current war for top talent.
A staggering 76% of job seekers now list a diverse workforce as a deciding factor when evaluating potential employers and job offers. A growing number (37%) say that they would not apply to a job at a company where there are disparities in employee satisfaction ratings among different ethnic/racial groups.
Diversity will be a critical factor for companies seeking to hire from the youngest generation of talent. A full 87% of Gen Z workers state that DEIB initiatives are very important to the workplace, and 37% revealed that they have turned down job offers out of fear of discrimination.
Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace
A diverse workforce can deliver significant advantages that affect all business processes.
Homogeneity in the workforce means homogeneity when it comes to ideas. Diversifying your workforce brings in different perspectives, leading to fresh energy and new innovations.
You’ll find that diversity in the workforce not only leads to greater financial revenues, but higher levels of productivity and performance across the board.
Boosted Brand Reputation
Companies that actually make strides with DEIB see corresponding advances in public perception, leading to increased employee morale and customer loyalty.
Better Engagement and Reduced Churn
Employees who are engaged are less likely to abandon their current company for a competitor. A diverse workplace can help create an environment that promotes both engagement and retention.
Using Technology to Improve Diversity in the Workplace
How can you improve diversity in your own workplace? Starting with your recruitment practices is a perfect approach. Crosschq’s Talent Intelligence Platform naturally boosts DEIB efforts by widening the talent pool, reducing dependency on recruitment tactics that are rife with unconscious bias, and delivering clear, actionable analytics surrounding employee performance and satisfaction.
Ready to learn more? Request a free demonstration today.
From pre-hire to post-hire, Crosschq helps you source, screen, onboard, and measure the best talent. Fast.
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