In today’s new era of work, diversity and inclusion are increasingly shifting towards the forefront of employers’ HR agendas.
With changing demographics and heightened social and political consciousness, building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture is no longer a mere “nice-to-have”, but a key strategy towards building employee experience and employer identity.
But…What is diversity and inclusion?
To put it simply, diversity is about variety in representation, while inclusion is about engagement.
Diversity refers to the differences in political beliefs, religion, physical ability, culture, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and/or gender identity differences.
A diverse workplace is one whose employee composition reflects the make-up of the society in which it exists and operates
Inclusion, on the other hand, is the practice of providing everyone with equal access to opportunities and resources.
In an inclusive organization, employees feel respected, involved, and treated fairly. They can work while expressing their authentic selves without fear nor discomfort.
Benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace
Statistics have shown that organizations that prioritise diversity and inclusion produce happier, safer and more productive work environments.
Here are some key benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace:
- Higher employee engagement and job satisfaction.
When employees feel comfortable to express their authentic selves without fear of criticism or reproachment, they forge a deeper sense of trust and belonging in an organization.
Having staff who feel like they are accepted and well represented—both at an individual and corporate level—naturally leads to increased job satisfaction.
- Increased productivity
Diversity and inclusion also has significant impact on workplace productivity. since employees who feel belonged and valued are more likely to be invested in their individual/ team’s performance and meet workgroup objectives.
- More creativity and innovation.
How can a business be expected to adapt and evolve if its talent come from a narrow, monocultural remit? True creativity only blossoms when each team member’s distinctive background, skills and experiences are encouraged and celebrated.
These provide opportunities for people to share their unique perspectives, leading to innovative new ideas, out-of-the-box solutions and better problem solving.
Case Study: Diversity and Inclusion at Cantonal Administration of Vaud
Building an inclusive workplace culture is a top priority at the Cantonal Administration of Vaud (État Vaud)
By the initiative of the LGBTIQ and the Parliamentary Commission of the Canton of Vaud, État Vaud had engaged eSkills in 2021 to create an e-learning course on inclusive culture for its government employees.
Through the course, État Vaud’s employees envisioned the desired changes in their organization’s workplace practices and values. They also learnt tips on how to respond to common workplace scenarios and during interactions with citizens, in a positive way that affirms diversity and inclusion.
The module also covered important legal bases and the État Vaud’s official position against discrimination.
It is punctuated by specialists interventions.
The last part of the module sought to raise awareness of common race, gender and cultural stereotypes. Through though-provoking scenarios, employees learnt to question their own inherent cognitive biases, and develop more empathy for others.
Building inclusive culture will always be a work in progress. Companies should strive more to create a more tolerant, diverse environment where employees feel safe, supported and celebrated at the workplace.
Are you looking to build an e-learning programme on diversity and inclusion for your organization? eSkills is here to help!
Arrange for a consultation with us today.