Diversity & Inclusion – building winning teams

Diversity & Inclusion – building winning teams

The corporate sector is abuzz with discussions around Diversity and Inclusion to prove that it is more than just policies and headcounts. It significantly impacts human resources, teams, companies, performance, wellbeing, and productivity.

Leading management consultancies like Mckinsey. PwC, Deloitte, and KPMG have over the last few years tracked companies across the globe. One common observation that strongly stands out is the likelihood of financial outperformance in companies that are diverse and inclusive. Reports show that diverse companies show higher team performance, and even increase in revenue.

To quote a growth consultant, “It’s more than just D&I. It’s about creating a genuine sense of belonging in our work culture. Again, diversity cannot exist without inclusion. One without the other can still trigger off a toxic environment.”

Why does Diversity & Inclusion matter?

They are interlinked and have a distinct role to play. An organization that represents a diverse workforce and also values their perspectives, contributions, and presence to integrate in a strategized manner is truly diverse and inclusive. One without the other holds no value and will not have the same impact as when exercised together.

The benefits are real.

Complementing work culture:

A fair work culture makes employees feel more connected at work, encourages them to work smarter, and shows greater readiness to innovate resulting in higher quality work. As a result, decision-making is better and so are business results.

Higher employee retention:

When a company truly value the ideas, presence, and contributions of employees, they commit thems. Inclusive workplaces boost physical and mental health. Team morale and trust between employees – and between employees and leadership are some of the additional benefits that come along.

Innovation becomes a key reinforcer:

It’s a fact that companies are more likely to deliver fresh and innovative ideas with a more diverse team. Diverse teams give companies the much-needed width to make them unique representatives in a competitive industry. This can also prove useful in the ever-changing and ever-expanding consumer profiles as innovative and inclusive work environments attract talent as well as business.

Better performance and higher returns:

D&I can be seen as a competitive advantage – a key differentiator; thereby increasing performance and profitability. Marketing experts even suggest that diverse teams are more likely to push marketing boundaries and show agility towards demanding work environments.

What needs to change?

Now that it’s agreeable that Diversity and Inclusion can have a high and quality impact on the overall functioning of an organization, what is that needs to change and where should you start. The best way of course is to review the recruitment policy and structure and to widen the talent pool.

One key initiative is to introduce a long-term D&I policy and program. A dedicated training program highlighting expectations from employees goes a long way in establishing such a culture. Management teams must also be prepared to create a transparent atmosphere where employees are encouraged to call out colleagues in an attempt to build trust, safety and diffuse a potentially toxic situation.

Should you not know where to start then it is well worth the while to collaborate with professionals in the field. With the right tools, guidance, and changes in work culture to make it more diverse and inclusive; stay abreast, ahead, and competitive.