In previous posts, we highlighted the importance of diversity and inclusion within organizations. In recent years, data shows that 70% of organizations see diversity as an asset to face their competitors. Several publications and case studies have proven that, indeed, diversity in the workplace brings benefits such as:
- Promoting innovation and creativity within work teams
- Speeding up business growth
- Favouring talent attraction
- Increasing employee loyalty and commitment
- Improving the company’s reputation
According to a report published by McKinsey, such organizations can achieve better results than competitors by up to 36%. It sure sounds well, but how do we get there? What do organizations have to do to turn these reputed benefits into tangible profits? Why do only 5% of them do it right? Where should we begin?
Firstly, we must remember that diversity alone could bring no advantages and could even mean disaster unless it goes hand in hand with efforts and actions to create inclusive environments.
The following are 5 keys steps to start on the right foot:
1. Analyze your organization/company’s culture and identity
Before laying out goals, it is essential to clearly picture who we are and what values represent us. An organization’s DNA must be based on values that include our diversity-related aims.
2. Align these goals with the organization’s strategic plan
There are many ways to include actions to favour diversity in companies, but to get medium to long term success, these actions must be part of the organization’s road map. Responsibility and actions cannot be merely promoted by the department of human resources, or their impact and outreach will be minimum. And this leads to the next point.
3. Get leaders involved
To transform an organization, the role and positioning of its leaders are fundamental. When top representatives speak out and act by the company’s values and goals, target audiences – especially internal ones- show more commitment.
In a recent interview with Forbes, Anjali Sud -CEO of Vimeo- shared the impact that diversity had in the recently-turned-public company. She said:
“Best decisions are made when you have different perspectives in the room”.
Sud, who arrived at the company as Marketing Director and managed to transform Vimeo into a +6 billion-dollar business, admits she thinks of herself as a great example of how being different and thinking differently can bring innovation and creativity to organizations.
4. Make your target audience a part of it
Develop a specific communication plan. Communicate your aims and steps both internally and externally. According to stats offered by the PwC Global Diversity & Inclusion Survey, 76% of employees, clients and investors see diversity as a value and/or a priority that companies should take into account. Do not hesitate to lay out actions that involve bidirectional participation in which stakeholders feel heard and appreciated. Counting on them is a declaration of intention in itself regarding the construction of more inclusive environments, where dialogue and transparency play a key role.
5. Assess the actions and adjust when needed
Achieving goals is not always a piece of cake. It is important to assess the results of our actions, to analyze whether expectations have been met and, if not, adjust the plan accordingly.
These are just five steps to bear in mind but there are various specific practices, strategies and actions to develop, depending on our goals and resources. In the following posts, we will go deeper into some of the best possible actions, so you can get started.
If you would like more information about the McKinsey and PwC studies, please find the links here: