Inclusivity has become a widespread practice in many organizations and consists of providing a platform where every employee has access to equal opportunities despite their race, gender or ability, whilst also having management acknowledge their opinions and feedback.
How does inclusion help business?
A McKinsey & Company study revealed that companies in the top 25% for racial/ethnic and gender diversity were up to 36% more likely to have better financial returns.
Inclusivity allows for their ideas and contributions to be acknowledged and for their work to be appreciated which makes them feel valued, and this leads to a lower turnover rate. A contributing factor to employee retention is the job satisfaction felt through the appreciation and value of their ideas being accepted. This was underlined by the Gartner study which found a 12% increase in employee retention when comparing nondiverse and diverse organizations. Furthermore, research from Great Place to Work found that employees who feel included and comfortable within organizations are 5.4 times more likely to consider a longer tenure.
In addition to this, inclusion promotes employee morale by allowing them to feel more motivated. This leads to a sense of appreciation and satisfaction, which allows them to use the same energy in the office and encourage other employees to improve. This increases engagement, performance, and collaboration within teams, which is evident in a study by UK-based consultancy Cloverpop which recently reported that diverse teams outperform individuals up to 87% of the time.
Without inclusive practices, employee ideas and contributions are disregarded, and their hard work is overlooked, which causes them to develop a feeling of being undervalued and invisible.
How can organizations practice inclusion?
The answer to this is simple and begins with the leadership. Companies need to first align their organizational goals with inclusion initiatives by having management assign resources to inclusivity efforts. For example, renowned global brands such as Visa have shown great examples of their diversity and inclusion policies.
The next step is providing safe spaces for employees, for example, informal events where employees can interact with one another and create a community built on support, trust, and acceptance. Additionally, connecting with your employees on a personal level and using sensitive language allows them to be more comfortable in the workplace.
Companies can provide bias training for their managers to ensure that they acknowledge their own bias and that it will not cloud their judgment during the hiring process. Similarly, emotional intelligence training should also be given to the employees that can help them to be more understanding and empathetic to new employees are hired under the inclusive practice.
How does IFZA practice inclusion?
At IFZA, we comprise of over 40 nationalities. This motivates us to understand and learn about every employee – their cultural cues, values, etiquettes – and develop a relationship of learning. Doing this allows us to nurture an environment of respect and open communication because through understanding everything about them, we can communicate effectively and be sensitive to their beliefs, values and traditions, in every interaction with them, which will not cause them to be offended or feel uncomfortable in any way.
We have recently invited people of determination to work with us so that they can have access to equal opportunities and experience a corporate environment. This fosters an environment of mutual learning and provides our employees with a deeper insight into how to interact with people of different abilities. Additionally, we have regular internship opportunities for job-starters to learn, professionally interact and get first-hand experience in the corporate world. Just like our opportunities for people of determination, these internships also allow our employees to develop their mentorship skills to help the graduates and interns, whilst also allowing the interns to gain essential experience in their fields of interest.
Inclusivity is essential in business and is the key to ensuring that every employee is respected and valued.
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