The training videos have been watched and the Human Resources representative has given the mandatory company policy regarding diversity and inclusion, now what?
If a business wishes to do the bare-minimum in implementing the best practice for diversification and inclusion, that may be a good stopping point. However, a business that has higher, more global aspirations would do well to take diversity and inclusion training a step further. After all, companies who utilize the diversity of their employees in a meaningful way that contributes to the overall culture have been shown to outperform their peers.
As a diverse society, it’s no surprise that potential customers, investors, and leaders want to see societal norms reflected in the workplace. Diversity in a company is now something desired and actively sought; unfortunately the inclusion part is sometimes missed as well as a basic understanding of what it means to be a diverse company.
Limited Definitions Mean Limited Outcomes
Companies may believe themselves to be diverse if they hire women and people of various ethnic backgrounds because their definition of diversity is limited to “not a Caucasian male.” Diversity is very broad in definition and in application. Companies can inadvertently limit themselves by stereotyping diversity as differences in gender, ethnicity, or background.
In reality, inclusion as it relates to diversity in the workplace is ensuring that skills and strengths of employees are understood; these skills are targeted to benefit everyone. Educational backgrounds are wagered in the development of expectations to highlight employee strengths, and experience is considered and valued.
Education is something that is often marketable and well-advertised; however, skills beyond competency in software don’t often make their presence known until an opportunity within the job presents itself. Leaders should remain diligent is spotting and using the talents of their employees, and employees should self-advocate for opportunities to showcase their strengths.
One area which deserves special attention when speaking of diversity is experience. No two people have the same experience; therefore, each person can contribute their own knowledge to a business. Experienced people often take the role of leader and act as guides for their less experiences co-workers. However, inexperience in business does not mean sitting out. In fact, innovation and new ideas can often come from fresh eyes. In a diverse and inclusive company, sometimes those with experience will lead and other times they will follow in order to gain new perspective. The employees and their marketable skills will ebb and flow according to projects, but an environment which capitalizes on various strengths can continue to grow in productivity.
To learn more on this topic, visit https://ideal.com/diversity-and-inclusion/.
How Can One Improve?
One of the problems with diversity and inclusion training is not in the training itself, it’s simply the potential applications for a company are being overlooked. Leaders should look for ways to apply what they know or learn about diversity and inclusion to their business model. As is true of people within a business, no two businesses function in the same way. Owners, leaders, and stakeholders in general must look for ways to apply what we know about the best practice methods for encouraging diversity and inclusion to their various businesses.
Below are some links to help businesses understand and increase their diversity and inclusion practices:
- Forbes – William Arruda – The Difference Between Diversity And Inclusion And Why It Is Important To Your Success
- Envanto – Tutorials – Diversity – Andrew Blackman – What Is Diversity & Inclusion Training? (+Why It’s Important)
- eCornell.com – Stand Apart – Diversity and Inclusion Certificate from Cornell University
You can also listen to our Spot On Insurance podcast, Episode 77: Strength in Diversity with Deidre Wright, Director of Engagement and Marketing for the Diversity & Inclusion Institute for Business Insurance.