5 Simple Steps to Foster Inclusion & Diversity
Developing your Company Culture: 4 Key Principles
Join us for a 4-part series that explores developing your company culture and taking your organization to the next level.
- A Culture of Impactful Leadership
- Continuous Development – The Path to Employee Engagement & Retention
- 5 Simple Steps to Foster Inclusion & Diversity
- 6 Secrets to Purposeful Collaboration & Equitable Experiences – Coming soon!
Part 3: 5 Simple Steps to Foster Inclusion & Diversity
The business case for committing to diversity & inclusion is compelling. It has been shown that companies with above-average diversity produced a greater proportion of revenue from innovation (45% of total) than from companies with below average diversity (26%). This innovation-related advantage also translates into overall better ﬁnancial performance. It follows that with the workforce becoming increasingly diverse across all categories, 57% of workers believe that employers should be doing more to increase workplace diversity. A study by McKinsey demonstrated that gender and ethnic diversity are clearly correlated with profitability.
Furthermore, when you bring people with diverse backgrounds together, it drives innovation. Instead of collaborating with a team of homogenous people – all with the same education, thinking, and background – the diversity of circumstances, ideas, and perspectives leads to enhanced problem solving and advancements in innovation.
When you diversify your employee base, your company culture benefits from the wealth of those perspectives, experiences, and approaches to problem solving. Diverse backgrounds include gender and ethnicity, but also age & generation, gender & gender identity, sexual orientation, religion & spiritual beliefs, disability, education, and socioeconomic status & background.
Diversity is a powerful force to drive revenue and profitability. Here’s how you can foster diversity in your organization.
Simple Solutions to Foster Diversity
- Offer Diverse Benefits
Organizations can foster a welcoming environment to diversity by offering benefits that are inclusive. Employers should address the gaps and disparities in benefit plan offerings to optimize the health, productivity, well-being, and financial protection of underrepresented groups. This might mean providing benefits that don’t just cater to a heterosexual married couple with two kids. Building an inclusive benefits package shows employees, and prospective employees, that the company isn’t just talking about DEI – it’s taking action, making investments, and enacting changes.
The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts at HealthEdge have led to a conscious decision this year to enhance our US benefits package with more inclusive offerings. This includes things like infertility services, gender affirming services, travel & lodging reimbursement to ensure employees have access to covered women’s health services, and an increased parental bonding leave policy from 4 weeks to 14 weeks for birth and adoptive parents.
- Seek talent with diverse backgrounds
Understand the current composition of your workforce – look at it by type, role, and function. Determine how you can diversify, and how you can attract/appeal to different candidate pools. Make it a goal to have a diverse pool of candidates to pull from. A hybrid/virtual workforce can help with this – when you expand your geographic boundary for hiring you get a broader pool of diverse candidates.
- Educate your hiring managers
Hiring diverse candidates can take a little longer – which is why it’s crucial to educate your hiring managers on why diverse candidates are so important. Help them understand the business case for hiring diverse candidates and why it’s worth the investment in time and effort.
- Foster an Environment of Inclusion & Belonging
It’s critical to create a work environment where people feel like they can bring their most authentic self and highest potential to work. What good is it to hire for diversity if your employees don’t feel like they can be themselves – where the work environment doesn’t support diversity. This is where inclusion and belonging come into play. Create an environment that fosters and welcomes diversity.
- Internal Inclusion Best Practices
There are many ways to make diverse employees feel included in the organization:
- Create a community for them to be a part of. At HealthEdge, we have an iBelong group that seeks to include employees throughout the organization with ongoing virtual chats and a monthly event. Events serve to provide awareness and education in an interesting and engaging way. The community also offers a safe space to seek support and discuss challenging topics.
- Educate managers on how to make employees feel welcome within their group. For example, recognize there are introverts and extroverts in our Zoom meetings. A simple technique during meetings is to present a topic and give everyone a minute to think about it before soliciting a response. Another is to go around the table during a discussion and give everyone a chance to contribute – not just the most loquacious extroverts.
- Encourage managers to build 1:1 relationship with their team members to build trust and provide support throughout their career journey.
Diversity & inclusion is a powerful way to increase revenue, profitability, and innovation. Learn more about HealthEdge’s culture of belonging here.