If you are putting up a business, you must already know that it is illegal to discriminate against an applicant or employee based on his, her, or their race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, or disability.
It is advisable to get the services of an experienced employment attorney when setting up your policies on hiring and creating your employee handbooks.
Hiring a diverse workforce is not only a legal requirement, though, because there are many advantages to it.
The Rewards of Having a Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Workplace
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have become bywords in the workplace. They now represent the standard by which companies are measured, and they are interconnected.
Diversity in the workplace is not enough if it is not inclusive. Inclusivity means accepting and embracing the individuality and differences among employees, giving them a sense of belonging and being valued. It allows each employee to voice opinions and ideas, encouraging collaboration on a horizontal basis rather than a top-down approach.
Having equity in the workplace ensures that the company gives everyone fair treatment. The company gives everyone equal access to resources as well as learning and development opportunities. It means that within a diverse workforce, everyone has the same chances for growth and advancement. It also means that wages and benefits are commensurate to an employee’s inputs to the company.
A diverse mix of employees brings together a wider variety of talent, skills, experiences, concepts, and perspectives that lead to more creativity, better innovation, and higher productivity. They can examine a problem critically from different angles and levels and arrive at a broad range of solutions more quickly. This will help the company achieve faster and better business decision-making, leading to increased profits.
In today’s global marketplace, a company with a multiplicity of cultures has an advantage in knowing the nuances of distinct markets. Having employees who know a variety of languages can help build a broader customer base.
A company that upholds DEI principles attracts the best talents. When millennial and GenZ professionals seek new jobs, they want to know that the company has a strong DEI environment and is not limited to mere statements. They are willing to turn down lucrative positions if a company does not endorse DEI values.
Employees who feel recognized and appreciated have high morale and job satisfaction. They feel motivated to engage and contribute even more to the organization. They will also have more loyalty to the company and will stay long-term, building a solid foundation for business growth and continuity.
A company that implements fair employment practices and ethics gains a good reputation that will result in a positive image in the marketplace. This will give it an edge over competitors.
A 2020 report from McKinsey shows that businesses with more gender diversity have a 25 percent higher likelihood of achieving better profitability than others, while those with more ethnic and cultural diversity have a 36 percent higher likelihood of achieving higher profitability than others.
The report highlighted that businesses benefiting from diversity and inclusion are likely to recover more quickly from the pandemic. These companies will likely use this period to further improve their diversity and inclusion practices to enhance their performance and organizational strength.
However, the report noted that diversity in an organization does not always mean there are equity and inclusion. In many cases, organizations with a diverse workforce did not practice inclusion, with no accountability from managers, no equal opportunity, no openness, but with bias and discrimination.
According to the report, companies need to improve leadership accountability for DEI practices. It recommends assigning management to design and be accountable for DEI programs and projects.
The report also states that companies must create stronger policies and procedures to address DEI microaggressions. These are the day-to-day verbal or behavioral slights, indignities, put-downs, and insults that are derogatory or hostile towards a specific marginalized group such as people of color, women, and the LGBT community.
The report recommends that companies give bystander intervention training to their employees to equip them with effective strategies in addressing any bad behavior they witness.
A Positive and Nurturing Work Environment
A positive and nurturing workplace is a safe environment that fosters trust and cooperation. Even if there is a heavy workload, the spirit of community builds resilience and prevents the possibility of burnout.
When employees are happy, they produce more endorphins that boost their immune system, making them healthier and stronger against infection. This is important amid the current pandemic. Not only will your employees be healthier, but your company will also have a strong and healthy performance.