Here’s an important truth for success in today’s workplace: diversity and inclusion are critical elements. Noted American politician Thomas Perez, said it powerfully, “Our workforce and our entire economy are strongest when we embrace diversity to its fullest, and that means opening doors of opportunity to everyone and recognizing that the American Dream excludes no one.”
Diversity and Inclusion Work Together
There are two key aspects that work together to create consistency and better business:
- Diversity is simply a mixture of different people in society. It is characterized by Randa Abdel-Fattah stating, “We are, at almost every point of our day, immersed in cultural diversity: faces, clothes, smells, attitudes, values, traditions, behaviors, beliefs, rituals.”
- Inclusion is the practice of combining this wonderful mosaic of differences in a meaningful and positive way so that the differences work well together.
Keys to Diversity
Use these three points to achieve effective diversity:
- Identify employees by their differences, so that you can better understand them. That includes differences in gender, racial and ethnic background, age, tenure, and organizational role.
- Research personnel attitudes and needs. This can be done one-on-one, via surveys, focus groups, and informal luncheons.
- Encourage open-minded attitudes regarding differences.
How to Achieve Inclusion
Employees want the benefits of inclusion. They want to be heard and to have an influence on the organization and, they want to feel comfortable, even safe in the workplace. Here’s how to achieve better inclusion:
- Inform and train your leadership team about inclusive practices.
- Value and celebrate differences
- Listen to employees
- Hold more effective meetings with employees, so they feel understood and valued.
Employees Want Consistency
Diversity and inclusion lead to organizational consistency so that the business:
- Works more smoothly
- Provides increased comfort for employees
- Generates higher levels of productivity
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