For decades, working was mainly focused on efficiency and to a lesser extent on collaboration. Collaboration was only important if it benefited efficiency. Burnout, bullying, microaggression and discrimination at work were swept under the carpet so as not to disturb the majority of workers. This majority consisted mainly of white men, coming from the middle class. In recent years, a completely different sound has been heard: inclusion is at the heart of business transformations.  Globalization has left behind a multifaceted world, populated by equally diverse consumers and users.  Faced with this new situation, companies reflect this change in the profile of their employees by making their workforce diverse.  Diversity in the workplace leads to more innovation. Scientific research shows that companies that pay a lot of attention to cultural diversity have a higher turnover, have more satisfied and loyal employees and come up with innovative and creative solutions. Diverse people also provide diverse ideas.

Diverse is not inclusion

Where diversity policy is aimed at recognizing and valuing differences between people, inclusion is about creating a working environment in which everyone is welcome and can be themselves. In order for diversity to really work in your organization, it is therefore important that there is a culture within the company where everyone respects each other and everyone is involved. In short, it comes down to the following: “Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance.”

Together we achieve more

More and more companies are striving for a diverse composition of their workforce and for an inclusive organization.  This leads to more productivity, profitability and motivated staff, as we often say. But where do these claims come from? And to what extent are they true?

A 2017 Harvard study shows that cognitive diversity leads to faster problem-solving. Employees with different backgrounds have different experiences and views, so they come up with different solutions. In this way, the best strategy can be chosen earlier.
The Boston Consulting Group also demonstrated in 2017 that an inclusive leadership team enriches innovation. The study found that the MT of companies with an above-average diversity factor reported 19% higher profits from innovation.
Companies with a more prominent variation in the work environment achieve more profit. McKinsey & Company discovered this. This global board advisory firm conducted research at approximately 200 companies in Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the United States. The most diverse top groups earned more money, this study found. 
A glassdoor survey indicates that 67% of job seekers have a diverse workforce when looking at job openings. Yellow reported with their research that diversity plays a role in 83% of job seekers when searching for vacancies. When your company has enough diversity, you get even better recruitment results!
Is diversity innovative? According to Josh Bersin’s research, diversity in the workplace leads to a higher degree of innovation, and inclusive companies are 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders in their market.
Cloverpop has found a direct link between diversity in the workplace and decision-making. These researchers found that when diverse teams made a business decision:• Decisions had 87% better results than decisions made by individuals.• On average, decisions were made twice as fast, in less than half the time.• The results of the decision team improved by a total of 60%.

How to promote diversity within an organization

Commitment at c-level

Make diversity and inclusion part of the company’s strategy. Spread the word and act accordingly. As management, explicitly state that you value diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Explain why that’s important to the company. Formulate a vision, clear goals and measures to achieve them.

Train the executives

Make managers aware of their own biases. Managers and executives are indispensable for an effective diversity policy. The executives within a company must ensure that everyone has equal opportunities. They should contribute to a safe corporate culture, where there is room to learn from mistakes and where employees dare to address abuses.

Create support

It is not only important that managers join the diversity policy, but this also applies to the rest of the employees. Creating support within an organization is indispensable. If employees do not see the importance of a diverse workplace, it does not get off the ground.

Consider specific needs

Make sure your employees feel that everyone counts. As a company, consider their specific needs. Provide that desk at eye level for wheelchair users and set up pumping rooms for pregnant employees. Celebrate not only Christmas but also Keti Koti and Ramadan. They may be small actions, but they do have long-term effects.

Provide role models

When it comes to diversity, employers focus a lot on the recruitment and selection of candidates. But it is above all the transfer to higher management positions that creates a major challenge.

Track results: measuring is knowing

Do you want to know why so many elderly people, women or people with a different ethnic background say goodbye to your company? Use results from employee satisfaction surveys and exit interviews. Make sure that you as a company have insight into the departure reasons of employees and adjust the policy or actions accordingly.

The Netherlands celebrates Diversity Day!

On 4 October 2022, the Working Netherlands will celebrate Diversity Day! Under the motto ‘Difference Enriched!’, companies organise festive activities to promote diversity and inclusion. In 2021, more than 425 companies participated in Diversity Day. This year, the organization is going for more than 600 participants. Including us.

Sources

L’inclusive design est-il la clé du succès ? https://www.wojo.com/blog/fr/la-boite-du-futur/2019/08/21/inclusive-design/

Inclusie op de werkvloer: ‘Ga er samen mee aan de slag’: https://www.kis.nl/artikel/inclusie-op-de-werkvloer-%E2%80%98ga-er-samen-mee-aan-de-slag%E2%80%99#:~:text=Waar%20diversiteitsbeleid%20gericht%20is%20op,er%20tot%20hun%20recht%20komen

‘Divers én inclusief worden is zoveel meer dan streefcijfers’: https://mtsprout.nl/partners/leiderschapsontwikkeling/divers-en-inclusief-worden-is-zoveel-meer-dan-streefcijfers

Diversiteit op de werkvloer draagt bij aan het succes van een onderneming: https://www.bas.eu/diversiteit-op-de-werkvloer-draagt-bij-aan-het-succes-van-een-onderneming/

Save the date: 4 oktober Diversity Day! https://www.ser.nl/nl/actueel/Nieuws/Save-the-date-4-oktober-2022-Diversity-Day

Diversiteit en inclusiviteit: https://vamossupport.nl/nieuws-cases/people/diversiteit-en-inclusiviteit/

Cijfers liegen niet! 5 redenen waarom diversiteit goed is voor jouw bedrijf: https://blog.brockmeyer.com/nl/cijfers-liegen-niet-5-redenen-waarom-diversiteit-goed-is-voor-jouw-bedrijf

Zo zorg je voor en inclusieve werkvloer: https://www.diversiteitopdewerkvloer.nl/artikelen/zo-zorg-je-voor-een-inclusieve-werkvloer