Are you finding it difficult to find new employees? Is your organization having trouble moving into new markets or appealing to new target groups? And do you want to implement future-oriented HR policies with engaged employees? There is one solution that can solve these (and many more) problems: focus on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. But what can you think of when you think of diversity and inclusion? And why is it important to know the difference between diversity and inclusion? In this blog, read five practical tips for setting your organization up for the future with a solid D&I policy.

Definitions diversity and inclusion

In today’s day and age, you hear it more and more: diversity and inclusion is an incredibly important topic. Not only for organizations, but especially for employees. But what exactly is diversity and inclusion?

Diversity: “the visible and invisible ways in which people can differ from one another, the variety of characteristics, traits and perspectives within a group, community or organization.”

Many people think of diversity in terms of skin color or sexual preference. But it is much broader than that: religion, education level, language, age, or political affiliation also count. Or think about neurodiversity: people with ASD, AD(H)D or dyslexia can be enormously valuable to your organization if they are offered the right opportunities and environment. And there are many other aspects in which people can differ from each other.

Inclusion: “creating an environment in which all individuals, regardless of background or differences, are fully engaged, valued and respected.”

Inclusion is more about what you do with the diversity in your organization. You can have such a diverse workforce, but if you do not actively work to create a safe working environment in which all voices are equally heard, you will still be guilty of inequality in your organization.

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace: not one or the other

So diversity and inclusion are two different things, but they cannot be separated. They are inseparable. Without diversity, you can’t do much with inclusion; without inclusion, diversity cannot be used effectively. So it’s important to work with both if you want to secure diversity and inclusion in the workplace. But what does it provide your organization and what are the benefits?

1. Increased innovation and creativity

Diversity brings together different perspectives, backgrounds and experiences. This leads to a wider range of ideas and solutions. Inclusive work environments encourage open communication and encourage employees to express their unique points of view. This fosters a culture of innovation and creativity, allowing organizations to better adapt to change and gain competitive advantages.

2. Improved decision-making

Diversity in teams can lead to better decision-making. Different perspectives and thinking styles help identify blind spots, explore different possibilities and make more informed decisions. When people from diverse backgrounds work together, assumptions are challenged and a broader understanding of complex situations emerges.

3. Strengthened customer relationships

A diverse and inclusive workplace can help better meet the needs and expectations of a diverse customer base. By attracting and retaining diverse employees, an organization can better understand and respond to the needs of different audiences. This can lead to improved customer relationships, greater customer satisfaction and ultimately a greater market share.

4. Higher productivity and performance

Inclusive work environments promote a sense of belonging and well-being among employees. When employees feel valued and respected, they are more productive and perform better. Diversity can also provide a diversity of skills and talents within an organization, promoting teamwork and complementing each other’s weaknesses.

5. Improved employer branding and talent attraction

Organizations that value diversity and inclusion can become attractive employers to a wider range of talent. Fostering an inclusive culture and demonstrating commitment to diversity can help attract top candidates, especially those who value an inclusive work environment. A diverse workforce can also help attract diverse customers and stakeholders.

These benefits show that diversity and inclusion in the workplace are not just an ethical imperative, but can be strategically important to an organization’s success. Enough reason to get started with diversity and inclusion in the workplace!

How do you address diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

To secure diversity and inclusion in your organization, there are a number of concrete steps you can already take. Some can be implemented immediately, others are more for the long term. The most important thing is to show your employees that you are working on it and that you consider diversity and inclusion important in the workplace. How do you get started?

Step 1: Analyze your job postings

To create a diverse workforce, if you do not already have one, it is important to look critically at your job postings and how you profile yourself as an employer. Look at the images on your website and social media channels, what text you use in them and how people can see it. After all, when you get new applicants, chances are they will have looked at this. And if they can’t identify with what the organization portrays, chances are they will look elsewhere.

So also be critical of job ads: phrases like “you are analytical,” “you have a strong, critical opinion” or “you are a confident leader” are things we automatically associate more with male characteristics. So women are less likely to respond to these. Turn it around and use “you are able to think analytically” or “you can substantiate and express your opinion well”. That already feels different, right?

You can also think about including an explicit disclaimer about diversity and inclusion in your job posting. Many government organizations already do this, but for many other organisations this is also standard. This shows applicants that you consider it an important issue and that you are working on it.

Step 2: Create awareness and provide training

Creating awareness can help you integrally put D&I on the map within your organization and give it more support. There are several reasons why awareness is so important: in recruitment and selection procedures, for example, it is essential to recognize and deal with unconscious advantages. But it is also important for leaders, on the one hand, to recognize and be able to use different talents and abilities. On the other hand, it is also essential for them to recognize the challenges of various groups, to be able to guide them in this and to present themselves as allies.

Step 3: Train management

Step 3 is actually a logical continuation of step 2. If you want to get started with training, it is essential to include management and (team) leaders. They set a good example in the organization and can ensure that employees are more inclined to go along with change.

Not everyone will see a focus on diversity and inclusion as welcome. Instead, for many people, it is perceived as an intrusion or as if they are put behind compared to “diverse” colleagues. It is up to leaders to address these concerns and show that diversity and inclusion in the workplace will bring many benefits to everyone, including the entire organization. To do this, of course, they must first be well aware of the challenges and how to address them, so: training!

Step 4: Stay engaged with your employees

Precisely because it can be a sensitive subject for many people, regardless of their position in the organization, it is important to stay well informed about how employees are doing. Give your employees a chance to give input and feedback and let them know how they are experiencing the process. But also stay right in the conversation about how they are experiencing their work or the organizational culture, how much stress they are experiencing and how they are doing overall.

An innovative and integral HR tool like 2DAYSMOOD can help you do this in a simple and quick way. With the tool, employees receive a short survey in which they indicate how they are doing, answer a few questions for an in-depth module, and you then get to see the anonymous results in real time in handy dashboards. This allows you to quickly respond to changes and assist teams where needed.

Step 5: Create a strong diversity and inclusion policy

A policy that focuses on diversity and inclusion can help bring about the desired culture change. The policy should outline what the organization is doing to promote diversity and combat discrimination, as well as how it implements inclusion in practice. It should be clear to employees what they can expect and what is expected of them.

The policy outlines the organization’s values, goals and practices regarding diversity and inclusion. It thus serves as a guide for promoting an inclusive culture and includes specific measures and practices the organization takes to ensure diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Think about setting up recruitment and selection policies, offering training or using working groups. It also indicates who is responsible for implementing and enforcing the policy.

Do you want to know whether the policy is effective? Then it is good to measure the effects. This way you can quickly see if changes are needed so that the policy continues to meet the wishes and needs within the organization.

Working on diversity and inclusion in the workplace: get started!

It is now clear why diversity and inclusion has become so important in today’s society. Not only does it bring many benefits to the organization, but also for employees it is one of the most important factors contributing to job happiness. With these practical tips, you can quickly get started to set up your organization in an inclusive way and create a future-oriented HR policy!

Want to know how to quickly and simply measure the effects of your policies? Then contact one of our experts and deploy 2DAYSMOOD’s tool right away!