For decades, HR programs in every industry have utilized diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs in an effort to treat workers fairly. As an ethical approach to business, the three-tiered DEI framework represents a powerful movement toward the engaged involvement of every employee working in service of a unified organizational mission.
I firmly believe this is more than a noble operating principle: implementing DEI programs can provide an edge against competitors. Sarah Dong of the Global Research and Consulting Group lays out four data-based advantages of businesses that foreground DEI:
- Advantage in talent acquisition
- Increased employee satisfaction
- Better alignment with customer base
- Improved decision-making and corporate innovation
When you recruit with a focus on racial, gender, and ethnic diversity, your sources of talent grow commensurately. Particularly in this season of a shrunken labor pool, organizations should recruit from historically overlooked backgrounds, casting a wider net in order to find better candidates. As you diversify your talent at all levels of employment and substantively include their varying perspectives in decision-making, you will notice greater engagement among your workers, particularly among those who have traditionally been in the minority at organizations. In turn, your customer base appreciates a workforce that better reflects the diversity of the world around them. Finally, “diversity” is not just a word describing the make-up of employees: companies who focus on diversity are more likely to innovate and overcome challenges with unique solutions that enhance the brand and yield better products.
Unconscious bias in the workplace creates blind spots and unleveraged opportunities. The hiring pool shrinks, customer needs are neglected, innovation declines, and a limited variety of experience impedes imaginative decision-making among leadership. This all translates to a weak bottom line.
Studies bear this out. With regard to gender equality, McKinsey & Company’s 2020 report on the advantages of DEI in the workplace demonstrates that organizations ensuring gender diversity on executive teams were 25 percent more likely to enjoy higher profitability overall. Specifically, businesses with 30 percent more women at the executive level consistently performed better than organizations with fewer women leaders. Racial and ethnic diversity yielded similar advantages, with organizations in the top quartile seeing higher profits by a margin of 36 percent than organizations that have weaker diversity. Common sense and data agree that DEI creates opportunities.
In my work at TGC, I find that openness, flexibility, and diversity inspire enthusiasm among customers and employees alike. In our employee engagement evaluations, leadership training, team building, and use of assessment tools, we prioritize DEI and ensure that organizations have the tools to thoughtfully leverage this approach.
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