In today’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) business environment where past methods cannot solve new problems, eliciting and integrating a diversity of thought is essential for challenging established practices and for breakthrough innovation.
Diversity management refers to organisational efforts to manage diversity’s complexity and unlock diversity of thought. Today’s best practice diversity management involves creating an organisational culture that celebrates, values, respects, and rewards individual differences and unique perspectives, also known as workplace inclusion.
Inclusion in the Australian landscape
Inclusion is more than just the latest buzzword; it has benefits for businesses and employees too. Inclusion at work matters to the majority of Australian workers; as it fuels and improves team performance, collaboration, employee satisfaction, success, and security, whilst also minimising the risk of harassment and discrimination.
Inclusive workplaces benefit everyone, not just those employees who may be the intended target of diversity and inclusion initiatives (e.g., people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people with disability, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples, LGBTQI+ and women).
Inclusion at work matters to Australian workers
3 out of 4 Australian workers support or strongly support their organisation taking action to create a workplace that is diverse and inclusive.
Only 3% oppose or strongly oppose their organisation taking action.
Inclusion at work is good for business
If you work in an inclusive team, you are:
- 10 times more likely to be highly effective than workers in non-inclusive teams
- 9 times more likely to innovate
- 5 times more likely to provide excellent customer/client service
Inclusion at work is good for employees
If you work in an inclusive team, you are:
- 19 times more likely to be very satisfied with your job than workers in non-inclusive teams
- 4 times more likely to stay with your employer
- 2 times more likely to receive regular career development opportunities
What is Inclusion at Work?
Inclusion occurs when a diversity of people (i.e., from different ages, cultural backgrounds, genders) are respected, connected, progressing, and contributing to organisational innovation and success.
The State of Inclusion
Almost one in two Australians work in an inclusive team or for an inclusive manager.
One in five Australians has personally experienced harassment and/or discrimination at work in the past year.
38% of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Australians have personally experienced harassment and/or discrimination in the past 12 months — the highest rate of workplace discrimination and harassment of any demographic group.
What is the value of diversity and inclusion?
Leaders and organisations genuinely committed to workplace diversity and inclusion create a safe place for individuals to bring their whole selves to work — an environment where members from non-majority groups can share novel ideas and perspectives free from the risk of ridicule, rejection or penalty. In diverse and inclusive workplaces, employees are less likely to cover or mask their differences, employees celebrate individual uniqueness and are respectfully curious about eachothers differences.
Creating and nurturing workplace diversity and inclusion is absolutely crucial for fostering genuine and sustainable innovation, growth, psychological safety, and business success. Where diversity and inclusion lack, employees are less likely to speak up, contribute their ideas, experiences, and unique perspectives, challenge the behaviours of colleagues or superiors, or challenge the status quo.
Not surprisingly, given its positive emotional effects, diversity and inclusion are linked to greater employee engagement and productivity. Over time, the positive effects of diverse and inclusive workplace practices on employee well-being drive improved productivity and organisational performance.
Action thought: How is your workplace fostering diversity and inclusion?
We have the experience and background to help your workplace grow in diversity and inclusion. Contact us to empower your organisation today.