How can we resolve our diversity and inclusion (D&I) issues in today’s workplace? That question should be at the forefront of any business leader’s mind right now. The terms are used a lot in our current society, but what exactly do they mean?
Diversity consists of the ways people are different, such as values, beliefs, background, preferences, and behaviors.
Inclusion is the process to engage those differences to improve a sense of safety and belonging in a company's culture.
Workplace diversity revolves around understanding, accepting, and valuing the differences between employees.
When people hear the term “diversity” they often think only of race, gender, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, and religion. However, there are additional differences in personalities, education, skill sets, experiences, and knowledge bases that contribute to workplace diversity.
Creating a respectful environment
With the current state of social unrest, diversity and inclusion are hot topics right now, but many businesses have been trying to implement these initiatives for a long time. Inclusion in the workplace creates a collaborative, supportive, and respectful environment that increases the participation and contribution of all employees. True inclusion removes any intolerance, discrimination, and barriers in the workplace—allowing everyone to feel supported and included.
According to a recent study done by Deloitte University, there seems to be a disparity between the way different generations view diversity in the workplace. Millennials view it as a combination of different perspectives and believe taking advantage of these differences leads to innovation. Gen Xers and Boomers view it as equal and fair representation, regardless of demographics, however, they do not always consider diversity’s effect on business results.
Success and diversity go hand-in-hand
CEO’s, business owners and facility managers would gain a competitive advantage by capitalizing on these differences and viewing them with the millennial mindset. Globally, companies with a D&I team were 22% more likely to be seen as “an industry-leading company with high-caliber talent” and 12% more likely to be seen as an “inclusive workplace for people of diverse backgrounds.”
Diversity and Inclusion programs benefit businesses in several ways. They boost morale, leading to increased productivity and higher social consciousness, which promotes a positive paradigm shift and increases a better bottom line for any company. With employee training on diversity and inclusivity, companies can focus on relationship building and fostering a sense of belonging.
Recently, there has been some discussion that these programs are unnecessary, or that they create more division in the workplace, but when companies track the outcomes of their diversity and inclusion plans, the positive effects are evident. Research indicates that diverse organizations outperform competitors by 35%!
D&I has a big impact on productivity
Any business leader knows that investing in their employees will always contribute to more success. On the other hand, those that do not may find themselves in a negative atmosphere with lower levels of productivity and higher turnover rates. When people feel included in a company’s mission or structure, they are more likely to invest their energy and time into the longevity and future of that organization. When employers take on a sense of responsibility to instill care, compassion, and connectivity in the workplace it promotes the overall health of the organization and the company’s greater purpose.
With the new post-COVID 19 world changing occupant perceptions, and the way working environments are continuing to evolve, it creates many unique opportunities for businesses. It allows your organization to find more diverse candidates, offering expanded talent and better ideas into their company culture. Happier employees ultimately increase a company’s efficiency and make your business more advanced and sustainable in the long run.
Your facility and inclusion
Your facility plays a large part in helping employees and occupants feel welcome and included in your building.
- Do your automated sensors have issues when reading different heights, shapes or colors?
- Are your process flows or machinery primarily geared for right-handers?
- Is your facilty’s climate inclusive for all the cultures and backgrounds of your staff?
- Are all your walkways, turning radiuses, door frames and control buttons accessible to all heights, shapes and anyone with a disability?
One strategy to help remove any implicit bias within your facility is to recruit people, especially those different from you, to help see the facility through a different and new viewpoint. A casual walkthrough with someone of a different gender, ability, race, or age can help reveal the places where the facility is inadvertently causing challenges.
These are challenging times but Flagship's customizable approach to the changing needs of occupants and your facility will help you protect your assets now and into the future. From digital solutions to proving single-source Facilities Management, our teams tailor your program to meet your needs and grow with your organization.
Email a facilities expert today and get the help you need to keep your facility healthy and safe, no matter your location.