Feeling accepted means feeling safe, satisfied, happy and passionate.
This statement applies to all areas of everyday life, from the private to the professional sphere. In the workplace we talk about engagement, which is the amount of involvement each individual has in the company’s life. This factor is reflected in their motivation and performance.
According to Sapio Research’s data (reported by il Sole 24 Ore) only 16% of Italian companies monitor this factor within the organisation, despite it being very important in the choice of human resources development strategies.
Awareness of the issue is growing all over the world, with an increasing number of companies dedicating HR efforts to inclusion strategies aimed at enhancing diversity in the organisation.
By diversity we mean all the differences that may exist between individuals in a company, from the most recognisable (e.g. gender, age, psychophysical abilities, ethnicity, etc.) to the less obvious ones (such as sexual orientation, religion, culture, food choices, etc.).
Inclusion, on the other hand, is the set of strategies that can be implemented by HR to enhance diversity and turn it into a competitive lever.
When a company is inclusive and supports diversity, it not only improves its employer branding and culture, but also makes it more attractive to qualified talent, and because it considers all professionals without prejudice to gender, religion, etc., it gains access to the best candidates.
According to a recent study by McKinsey & Company, the ED&I (Equality, Diversity & Inclusion) factor is increasingly important also in terms of turnover. The research shows, for example, that profitability is higher in companies where at least 30% of managerial roles are held by women. The figure increases further in organisations where there is greater gender equity. The same applies when the figure is based on the ethnicity of individuals: it’s no coincidence that diversity is increasing more and more each year among high-performing companies.
Valuing diversity and inclusion is an opportunity to create value. In the business environment it translates into an economic advantage, as the value of each individual is capitalised and helps to create a more peaceful and productive working environment. For this to work, however, everyone needs to feel part of the team.
“One size fits all”? No.
One size does not fit all when it comes to diversity. Individuals with different backgrounds need individualised approaches to feel included and involved. Ideas and innovations are born and developed when you are able to value different points of view that come from people with different backgrounds, characters and environments.
Our tip is to study collaborators to develop a series of specific initiatives. These won’t obviously be static activities, but projects that will evolve continuously over time.
Here are a few examples:
- training programmes on diversity issues to increase the level of inclusiveness of the work environment and employees;
- team building, mentoring and networking activities to fluidify internal processes;
- interventions on recruitment to make the work team heterogeneous in relation to gender, age, disability, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, etc.
In a working environment, everyone should have the same core values: transparency, meritocracy and empathy. Only by following this path it will be possible to approach fairness and achieve true inclusion.