Will your business still be around in a year? Five years? How about ten? The world is changing at an alarming pace and keeping up with the latest developments and the speed of innovation is - or should be - a key concern for most organisations. Would it surprise you to know that inclusion could be the key to making sure you survive, and thrive, into the future?
Having different people, with different perspectives, experiences and ideas, contributing to your business drives innovation, improves your results and helps you identify and navigate potential challenges. So, it’s imperative that you build a culture where all these diverse individuals feel able to share their ideas, want to give their best and are happy to stay and grow.
Diversity drives innovation
Diverse companies have 19% higher innovation than their competitors. It stands to reason, when you think about it, that having a range of different people in the room will generate new ideas. A team comprised of homogenous individuals is likely to have a similar way of approaching your business, your audience and your products and services. They’re also likely to only be developing solutions for people similar to themselves.
Bringing different types of people into your team enables you to look at everything from a fresh perspective. They will be able to suggest approaches and audience needs that the usual suspects might not have thought of. They will also push the rest of the team to reconsider their assumptions and whether the current way of doing things is the best approach. All of that might be uncomfortable, it might lead to disagreements and friction, but if you can manage that effectively and create a space for it to take place positively and productively, it will push you all on to bigger and better ways of thinking and working.
Diversity manages crises
Diverse teams deal with crises more effectively. That’s because a wider range of people, with varied experiences, skills and approaches, are better equipped to identify more issues and more solutions. Research shows they are also quicker to respond to problems, and better able to reflect on and take constructive learnings from the situation. Diverse organisations are also more resilient and able to weather whatever storm comes their way.
Not only that, but diverse teams are more able to identify potential crises looming on the horizon before they strike. A variety of perspectives means that they can look at things from different angles and one person might spot something that another would miss. There is also more chance of identifying cultural sensitivities, different nuances for different audiences and customer, client or staff needs that have previously been overlooked. So having a diverse organisation, where everyone feels included so that they’re able to see the big picture and speak up where they identify issues, means you can be prepared for problems or even avoid them altogether.
Diversity attracts talent
By 2025 (that’s not long away), millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce. For this generation, diversity and inclusion are massively important attributes for potential employers and they will research these elements when deciding whether to take up a position with you. If you want to attract and retain the top talent, you need a culture of inclusion based on meaningful values and a sense of purpose.
Diversity and inclusion also make your staff happier. Not only does that make them more likely to stay with you, saving you recruitment costs and keeping valuable experience and knowledge within your organisation, but happiness makes staff 20% more productive and produces 37% better results. If that’s not enough to persuade you, it’s also worth considering that employment tribunals cost an average of £8,500 each, so creating positive working environments really is beneficial to your bottom line.
Diverse teams work better together when they’re working in an environment that makes them feel included. Inclusive processes result in decisions being made twice as fast, with fewer meetings. 87% of the time, inclusive teams make better decisions.
So, if you want your organisation to be part of the future, and to be successful as the world continues to evolve, you need to create a way of working that includes everyone.
Want to know more about recruiting and retaining diverse teams? We can help.