Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace
No doubt, you’ve heard the words Diversity and Inclusion a lot lately. And for good reason! Diversity and inclusion are essential for a healthy working environment and a better world. In this article, we’re going to discuss them. How they interact. And why they don’t always go together. Like with any buzz word, it’s easy to not know the true meaning. Let’s explore!
Diversity covers ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and everything that sets us apart into “groups.” These are the characteristics that we’re born with and which define us, whether we like it or not. This is the “who and what” we are.
Embracing Diverse Workplaces
Many employers are embracing diverse workplaces because they bring together people from all walks of life Therefore, offering diversity not only in the background, but also a viewpoint. The best possible team is one that has many personalities, skills, and viewpoints. Why is this a good thing? Because diversity leads to innovation. Imagine a workplace where everyone pretty much was the same in terms of their skillset and view. The business would quickly become stagnant.
One might assume that differences in viewpoint and beliefs would be detrimental, but it’s quite the opposite. This is how important conversations are started. When everyone speaks up with their differing opinions, sparks start to fly. But in terms of business success, many would argue that diversity is not enough. You can hire a diverse workforce, but if they’re not coming together for a conversation, your efforts have been useless.
The Who What and How
Diversity is the “who and what” of the equation. Therefore, inclusion is the “how.” How do we bring these diverse groups together?
Inclusion is the choice to embrace and welcome diversity. If diversity is a noun, inclusion is a verb. Of the two, diversity is the easiest to understand. You can see what the color one’s skin is, you can learn of the gender they choose to identify with. However, when it comes to inclusion, things get a little more complicated. You can hire a diverse workforce, but can you bring them together and celebrate their differences? Can you make sure all voices are heard, even if they’re opposing? Are you allowing everyone access to opportunities? If you are, congratulations, because you’ve created an inclusive environment.
Why Do Diversity and Inclusion Matter?
So, we can all intuitively sense the importance of diversity and inclusion efforts. Let’s look at some hard facts:
- The greater the gender equality, the lower the level of harassment.
- When employees feel included, there is less turnover.
- Teams are as much as 150% less likely to understand target customers when they are homogenous. That means that diverse teams are more likely to have their finger on the pulse of what customers want.
- Innovation comes from diverse viewpoints.
As you can see, diversity and inclusion are two separate things, and they don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. It takes effort to create a diverse, inclusive environment. However, once you do, it’s well worth the effort. To create a thriving workplace, hire people with different backgrounds. Then, put in the work to get the conversation flowing. A 2016 study showed that two-thirds of employees agree that job satisfaction is heightened when there is respectful treatment of all employees. Regardless of their background.
An Effective Solution
In real-life interactions help to strengthen teams and allow people to better understand one another. Looking for help to incorporate diversity and inclusion activities into your company? Our Plan2Play for Work solution focuses on workplace inclusion and engagement.
How it Works
The Plan2Play Connect App brings people together that want to do similar activities with similar schedules, in similar locations. Pick the activity, time, and location, and the app does the rest to invite people you know or find people for you.
Employers can also create team-building exercises, volunteer activities, and company social events. When employees do these activities with co-workers the mobile app reports back to the wellness program dashboard. It records general details and assigns points (more points are awarded to employees if they organize and participate with co-workers). It is up to the employer on how they want to reward employees i.e. time off, $$, credit to health care, etc. The key is to further promote inclusion, a sense of belonging, health, and wellness.
The Plan2Play for Work platform encourages employees to be active socially and physically and above all, connect in a real-life and human way with fellow employees.