What is diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace are intertwined values that encompass hiring individuals of different backgrounds and perspectives, and wholeheartedly encouraging their participation.

Diversity can include equal representation of different:

  • Ethnicities
  • Ages
  • Genders
  • Sexual orientations
  • Lifestyles
  • Talent
  • Personality characteristics
  • Physical disabilities

Why should HR leaders care about diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

Many millennials feel that diversity and inclusion recruitment is an essential and beneficial aspect of work culture. Indeed, according to Gallup, emphasizing diversity and inclusion in the workplace can increase:

  • Engagement
  • Job-satisfaction
  • Retention  
  • Well-being
  • Profit 
  • Performance
  • Innovation

Inclusion provides fertile ground for diversity, leading to dialogue, innovation, company development, and improvement. 

What can HR leaders do to encourage diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

  • Hire remotely. Remote hiring enables HR leaders to recruit employees from a much larger range of backgrounds, circumstances, and geographical locations. HR leaders can use this opportunity to hire employees who may not otherwise be able to work, like those who suffer from debilitating physical disabilities or chronic illnesses, for instance. 
  • Educate. A company culture that values self-respect and respect towards others is a prerequisite for a healthy, diverse workforce. HR leaders can run periodic diversity and inclusion training sessions to educate employees on respectful communication that nurtures constructive dialogue and disagreement, growth, and innovation. 
  • Build employee-manager relationships. HR leaders can promote a sense of belonging in employees by guiding managers to establish trusting relationships with employees. This starts with respectful communication and open dialogue. HR leaders can support managers in their role as coaches by guiding them in building meaningful, positive, and strong bonds with employees.
  • Nurture employees’ strengths. HR leaders and managers can acknowledge employees’ achievements and positive characteristics. Employees who are aware of their talent can feel involved in their work community and motivated to continue contributing their unique and quality work. 
  • Create transparent guidelines. HR leaders can address diversity and inclusion in the company code of conduct to foster a culture of trust, respect, and employee belonging. This can help managers properly support employees, clarify their rights, and keep work conduct aligned with company values.  

How can diversity and inclusion in the workplace improve company culture?

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace can contribute to a united workforce in which employees feel confident sharing their ideas, while simultaneously respecting and valuing colleagues with differing points of view. Creating this positive environment enables employees to reveal their best selves and build a vibrant company culture.