One Reason you should invest in a Diversity & Inclusion Policy = Productivity

“Diversity is having a seat at the table, and Inclusion is having a voice and taking part in the conversation” – Satrix.2

The words, Diversity and Inclusion have become slang words in the workplace.  Everyone, at one time or another, mentions these, but do they really understand and appreciate the seriousness and necessity of them?

Let’s break it down …

How to bring the importance of DIVERSITY and INCLUSION into the workplace?

In South Africa, it is clear we have a very diverse workforce and embracing it will lead to a more creative and innovative workforce, giving companies a competitive advantage. So rather than fighting Diversity, embrace it.

When a company learns the importance of embracing Diversity and Inclusion, they will be able to:

  1. Retain their best people and talent pool1
  2. Drive innovation within that pool
  3. Better understand their customers
  4. And bring about better financial performance

Let’s break that down further …

1.   Retaining your best people1

The marketplace for ideal and suitable candidates has grown. If you are only looking in one quadrant, then you are losing out.  Opening up to the possibility of including different races, ages, genders, and even those with little or no experience, can bring you a bigger pool to choose from.  Discriminating can be at the detriment of your business’s future.

2.   Driving innovation1

When you have people around you who are secure in themselves, in their colleagues, and you, as the business owner, you will find their mind’s opening up to more possibilities. They will feel they can be more creative, more daring with their ideas, thereby producing more effective work and results.

3.   Better understanding your customers1

Through your employees’ eyes, you will see how they welcome your customers better, taking time to understand their needs, their problems that need solving, and how they can be the best for your customers.

4.   Bringing about better financial performance 1

This will, in turn, lead to higher productivity and better financial performance all around.  They are all interlinked. And, at the end of the day, you want your business to grow and prosper.

And, what is at the heart of your business’s success?

Your people.

Diversity is represented at these levels: 1

  • Board members and directors
  • Hiring roles
  • Leadership positions

Get them thinking open-mindedly and with a thought for the greater good, and it will filter down into all the rest of your people, even your customers and suppliers.

The place to start is actually measuring your Diversity and Inclusion by using a Score Card.

The Diversity and Inclusion Score Card3

Having a Diversity and Inclusion Score Card will show you: 3

  • Where you are currently
  • Where you want to go
  • And, how you will get there

The Diversity and Inclusion Score Card can help your business achieve equality across all spheres.  Your Diversity and Inclusion culture can be significantly adjusted with a more positive outlook.  The Score Card will be a go-to tool to ensure you are keeping everyone on the right path to a cohesive, diverse and inclusive environment.  It will help you see whether everyone is being recognised, heard and valued.

A typical Diversity and Inclusion Score Card will measure areas such as: 3

  1. How transparent and dedicated your organisation is towards this way of working and living
  2. How aware your organisation and people are about Diversity and Inclusion and how much is understood
  3. How much you involve everyone to get stuck in and shine through their differences and similarities
  4. How clear your Diversity and Inclusion plan is and whether it takes into account changes environments and situations into the future
  5. How agile your plan is so that no matter who steps into a leadership role or other role, knows precisely what this plan is about and how to implement/carry on with it

The idea around keeping a scorecard is not to call anyone out. Instead, it is about agreeing to a plan of action, formulating the plan, implementing the plan, and checking in regularly to ensure the plan is still on track.

It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes everyone at an organisation to keep a strong Diversity and Inclusive policy going.

Yes, this will be tough.

Yes, this will be trying and stressful.

But, at the end of the day, you will have moulded your perfect team with one vision in mind – a 100% diverse and inclusive organisation.

Should you be in need of direction and implementation, consider my Diversity and Inclusive Policy and Workshop, a collaborative effort with TOPCO media and Labour Excel.

To enquire, please contact Silke Rathbone at Labour Excel or Ralf Fletcher (CEO) at TOPCO media.

Picture of Silke R

Silke R

Article for TOPCO - Labour Excel – Aug 2021 – Diversity and Inclusion Policy

LE Consult Group