The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
Work place diversity is the key to survival and growth. I feel that people really want to contribute to the long-term success of their organizations and leaders should create a culture where everyone’s perspective is heard.
“Diversity and inclusion in the workplace are essential business tools today.”
When cultural diversity is acknowledged and honored, managers find new ways to maximize and capitalize on the different skills, styles and sensibilities of employees from different cultures. When employees are understood and accepted for their different cultural backgrounds and beliefs of their colleagues, they are more capable of working harmoniously with their fellow staff and engaging in productive activity. By honoring diversity and inclusion you are able to:
- Recognize, appreciate and utilize the unique insights, perspectives and backgrounds of others
- Avoid discrimination and disrespectful behavior
- Create an environment of trust, respect and tolerance
- Appreciate the business case for diversity as it affects your company’s bottom line
When employees feel valued and respected, they are much more likely to be engaged and thereby put forth their best efforts on the company’s behalf. Leadership that inspires, rather than rules, motivates employees. Employees are able to quickly differentiate a culture of inclusion from one of exclusion. This is precisely why embracing a diverse workplace is important.
“Inclusiveness is better than judgmental polarization.” – John Brummett
While there are many efforts to label a company as diverse, the “diversity hires” may find themselves blocked from promotions and in a vicious and unfortunately common cycle of high turnover in companies with failing diversity retention initiatives. It is important for senior management to be committed to diversity and implement diversity and cultural competence training. Moreover, in daily interactions between employees, there are always teachable moments to further cement the principles of inclusion and tolerance in the workplace.
With understanding differences, identifying commonalities and when everyone feels included, they are far more likely to engage fully, develop loyalty and enjoy job satisfaction. It takes awareness of different backgrounds, cultures, and personality traits when managing diversity which is an important key to developing an effective people management strategy and maximizing the contribution of every employee in the workplace.
Although it requires a large commitment by management and employees, diversity pays off. By investing time learning about managing diversity in the workplace, you are taking the step you need to bring your organization into the 21st century and place it in a position to out-perform and out-compete those whose diversity awareness fall short and cripples progress.
One sure way to improve morale in a company is to treat each employee with respect. This means recognizing them for who they are as individuals, valuing their input and making them feel welcome in the organizational family. A combination of fresh thinking and experience is the most powerful ammunition an organization can have in its arsenal to beat the competition. The more organizations focus on creating an inclusive culture, the better opportunity they have to demonstrate agility in overcoming today’s economic barriers.
As companies and businesses are learning, diversity inclusion is tied to and related to the bottom line of the organization. If employees feel included in the organization then they will want to stay there and keep producing at high levels. Therefore, the company costs for recruitment and orientation trainings are kept down. Companies that incorporate a consistent diversity program and advocate diversity in the workplace experience valuable benefits such as:
- An inclusive environment minimizes an insider vs. outsider culture to gain traction
- People feel that they contribute to the greater good and they are likely to go the extra mile
- Improves productivity, morale, innovation, and the total quality of your organization
- Reduced harassment incidences, charges, and discrimination
- Diversity recruitment improves workplace staffing and retention rates are higher
“Education is the key to developing an attitude of inclusion. The practice of inclusion provides the model of acceptance, belonging, participation, worth and dignity.”
The benefits of diversity training in the workplace are obvious–men and women of different cultural, ethnic, socioeconomic, and religious backgrounds work together and create a harmonious work environment.
Both Avatel and our manufacturing partner Avaya are committed to creating a diverse and fully inclusive workplace that strengthens our organizations and enhances our ability to adapt to change by developing and maintaining a workplace environment that is welcoming and supportive of all.
Avatel and Avaya share in the belief of a culture of unity and inclusion. We embrace diversity as a competitive advantage. Harmonizing and leveraging the diversity of our people will realize our full potential. In the spirit of global community, our diversity will unite us, and it will enhance the quality of our work and our work-lives.
Jamie Wood, Avatel EVP
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