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How to achieve diversity and inclusion for business success

How is business success achieved? The answer to this question makes entrepreneurs in any sector lose sleep, but the truth is that there is no secret formula for success. What works for some may not work for others. In this article that we have written in collaboration with teamtailor we tell you everything

What does exist and has shown to give very good results is to apply good business practices. For example, promoting work-life balance, promoting equity, providing constant training to employees, or applying new work methodologies. Within this set of good practices, we can also include the promotion of diversity and inclusion.

Therefore, if we want to achieve success with our business idea, it is clear that one of the first objectives that we must set ourselves and work to achieve is inclusion and diversity in our workforce, but how can we do it?

Table of Contents

Diversity and inclusion for business success: necessary but different

We usually talk about both terms together, but it should be made clear that these are two different things. 

diversity implies integrate different talents into the company that will make it work in a more optimal way. We are committed to diversity when our work teams are made up of people of different ages, gender, race, social origin, and also with different abilities.

Inclusion, for its part, is the ability of the company to manage and integrate individual differences within a work team. It implies feeling comfortable at work, being yourself and, at the same time, feeling part of the team. It is one more step towards that diversity that we have just defined.

As you can imagine, those people who have a disability, or some personal or social trait that has led to discrimination, have it a little more complicated to access a job. When they do, getting them to feel included implies an extra effort on the part of the company and its workers. However, it is an effort that is well worth it, because all the members of the workforce, the organization itself, and society as a whole benefit from it.

Moving Toward Diversity and Inclusion: Steps to Business Success

Foster inclusive leadership

We always define the leader as that person who is capable of lead the team. He does not impose his decisions or give orders, but becomes an example to follow and gets subordinates to do what they should of their own accord and with the enough motivation.

A good way to achieve inclusion, and with it diversity in the company, is by working on inclusive leadership. This must be horizontal and collaborative, with people who are open to inclusion and diversity and are sensitive to it.

In addition, it is essential that there is no homogeneity in the executives. If we are looking for heterogeneity for work teams, we also need it among leaders. To the extent that the company can, the leaders must remain outside of stereotypes or molds imposed by a model of society that we are already leaving behind.

End unconscious biases

In order to achieve diversity and inclusion goals first we need to make sure we have a diverse workforce. 

How are we going to be inclusive of older workers if we never hire anyone over 40? How can we advocate for the employment of people with disabilities if no one on the workforce has a recognized disability?

Diversity and inclusion starts with hiring, and we know full well that Some people have it very difficult to access a job. Not because they're not ready to work, which they often are, but because recruiters end up applying unconscious biases that contribute to discarding them.

Thus, if our workforce is made up almost entirely of white men between the ages of 30 and 50, possibly a person of African origin, an 18-year-old looking for his first job, or a woman, they will immediately be discarded in favor of another candidate who is male, white, and between the ages of 30 and 50.

Ending unconscious biases is very complicated, and requires investing time and resources in train recruiting staff. It is the Human Resources technicians who have to be aware that they are applying biases, because only in this way will they be able to set them aside and make a more objective work that will lead to diversity in the workforce.

Enhance communication for business success

Imagine a work team in which everyone hears normally, and one day a deaf employee joins.

Unfortunately, most people are not used to dealing directly with groups that have special difficulties in accessing employment, such as the disabled, and when the time comes to interact with them they do not know very well how to do it and tend to have an attitude that is either too overprotective or ignores the special needs that person may have. This is normal, and the only way around this obstacle is with communication.

Going back to the previous example, the template members should be previously reported of the arrival of a deaf person, and on the way in which the way of working is going to be adapted so that the team can become efficient as soon as possible.

Must raise awareness, inform and train. Convey the positive aspects of the differences between team members, and highlight the advantages that integration can have.

In the example we are looking at, the company can advocate for measures such as offering sign language training to all of its employees who wish to learn it. 

Do corporate volunteering

What do most of us know about people with disabilities, about those who belong to a certain ethnic group, have a different sexual orientation than ours, or come from another country? Little or nothing, because most of what we think we know are rather stereotypes that have little to do with reality.

Given the most people have a fairly homogeneous social circle, interest in diversity and inclusion must be promoted, and a good way to do this is through corporate volunteering, for example, with people at risk of social exclusion.

The idea is take the worker out of his usual social environment and put him in contact with people who live in other realities. That you can learn more about what their life is like, what needs they have, what problems they have to face, etc. This helps to develop empathy and promotes the rapprochement of points of view.

Experience shows us that employees who do this type of volunteering of a social nature are much more open to the arrival of people who fall outside the prototypical profile on the staff.

Apply the Robin technique for business success

It is usual that in the meetings there are always two or three people who "carry the singing voice". Then there are some who participate from time to time and others who they always prefer to go unnoticed.

Generally, those who never contribute anything are not that they have nothing to contribute, it is that they don't feel comfortable doing it. They may feel left out of the meeting if they perceive themselves as a minority, are shy, or have communication problems.

The robin technique seeks everyone's participation for greater integration. With her, each team member must have at least one turn to speak, and you are free to choose whether you want to use it or pass it on.

Curiously, when we directly give a person the turn to speak instead of waiting for them to voluntarily communicate, we find that he begins to share his ideas and opinions, and little by little he lets go.

It is a way of getting everyone to collaborate, of working to achieve that integration that is nothing more than feeling comfortable and at ease, and also for the team members to get to know each other a little better.

Train employees on diversity and inclusion

At the beginning of this article we have pointed out the differences between diversity and inclusion because we know that many people are not entirely clear about it, and it is that this is not a discipline in which they usually receive training, so doubts are normal.

A company cannot go from 0 to 100 in diversity and inclusion, this is a slow road where you have to move safely and, to reach the goal, it is essential to good disposition of the employees. For this reason, perhaps the first step to take is to offer training in these matters.

A squad trained in these matters will be much more prepared to receive colleagues of any type and condition. We can even find that it is the employees who propose to the company new ways of achieving diversity and inclusion.

Employees are the most valuable resource any company has. The more comfortable they feel, and the more motivated they are to work, the closer the entity will be to achieving its objectives. Precisely for this reason, diversity and inclusion are essential when you want to achieve success. Known pWhy diversity and inclusion are essential to long-term business success.



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