According to McKinsey, more inclusive and diverse organizations are 35% more likely to outperform their competition. Also, they tend to capture new markets more effectively than their counterparts.
However, diversity is still an issue in the UK workforce. Almost half of employees feel that their employers are not doing enough to achieve the right balance.
Equality in the workplace could be the reason why your business is yet to realise its full potential, as a result, you might need to address this issue.
If you are not sure how removing bias can champion success for your business, this post will explain everything you need to know.
What is equality in the workplace?
Equality in the workplace refers to according fair treatment to each one of your employees. It is accommodating a diverse pool of workers regardless of their age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.
The lack of discrimination in your business is great. However, it is not enough if you are not giving your workforce equal career advancement opportunities. As part of achieving equality, you have to provide equal pay and equal reward.
Most importantly, equality in your business should across all levels. Leaders should not benefit more from this kind of treatment at the expense of their junior staff.
Importance of inclusion
Inclusion is essential to your business success because it allows accommodating a diverse pool of talent. For example, a team of people from different cultures, backgrounds, and experiences tends to come up with brilliantly creative and innovative ideas. According to Forbes, “inclusive teams make better business decisions up to 87% of the time.”
Aside from that, inclusion drives engagement among your workforce ensuring that your employees are not afraid to speak up due to their backgrounds. Once they feel comfortable and confident enough to share their ideas, your business is bound to be progressive.
Inclusion and diversity ensure that each one of your employees feels appreciated. As a result, you get a happy workforce that loves to come to work. Moreover, your employees are more motivated and productive, which in turn creates additional benefits to the business as whole.
Benefits of equality
Equality at the workplace comes with a host of benefits for your business. These include;
Adding new skills
As a business owner, you are probably always looking for people with new skills. When people come from different backgrounds, they bring something unique to the table. This could be a different way of marketing a product or building customer relations.
Your workers look at various aspects of your business from different angles. Most of them have one more skill in their portfolio that could make a difference. In an inclusive working environment, they have no reason to hold back these talents.
Your business becomes the main beneficiary of the new skills and talents. Sometimes, all you need to stay ahead of your completion is a fresh perspective. And with a diverse team, getting the much-needed competitive edge is almost a guarantee.
Over 80% of business executives believe that innovation is vital to business growth.
If you only employ people from the same background, it will be difficult to remain innovative. On the other hand, a diverse pool of workers is likely to raise your company’s innovation profile.
Peoples from diverse backgrounds come with different ideas on how to do things. Hence, you are always a step closer to the next big idea. Forbes Insights highlights how: “companies with above-average diversity produced a greater proportion of revenue from innovation (45% of total) than from companies with below average diversity (26%).”
Opens up your business to new markets
Chances are that you are always trying to push your products into new markets. When you need to penetrate another market, it’s always best to work with someone who understands it.
Employing workers from various different locations gives you an advantage in that of prior experience and knowledge question gives you an advantage. However, their contribution proves to be invaluable when they have a sense of belonging to the company, and this only happens if your organisational culture has embraced equality.
Moreover, the world has become a global village. Most businesses are no longer confined to one market. They are looking for business opportunities in every part of the world. Hiring people from multiple nationalities enhances the overall appeal of your business.
Opening up into foreign markets with a home-grown product and dropping salespeople on the ground in these locations, where they can live and breath your brand, while gaining or strengthening an understanding of their surroundings, will drive unparalleled success. Similarly, it will help potential customers look at your brand favourably.
Helps to win tenders
If you are looking to win government tenders, equality within your company may sway the odds in your favour. Of course, many factors influence your chances of winning a tender. But inclusivity in your workplace is undoubtedly one of them.
Delta eSourcing notes how: “social value is only set to become more important to buyers, businesses and end users increasingly concerned with issues such as sustainability, fair trade and equal pay.”
How to Remove Bias at the Workplace
There are many ways to remove bias from the workplace. If you are thinking of making your workplace culture more inclusive, change your practices. For instance, you could offer internship opportunities to the minority.
Go to career fairs that appreciate and accommodate diverse talents. Nonetheless, eliminating bias does not start and end with hiring. Take it a notch higher by ensuring that there is equity in your recognition and reward systems.
Additionally, see to it that all your employees get equal access to stretch assignments and career development mentorship.
In terms of flexibility, ensure that the benefits you are offering to younger employees are also available to the older ones. In addition, evaluate your worker’s sense of belonging to the company and look for ways to make your company’s work environment more welcoming.
Gone are the days when businesses thrived on a fashion that emulated historical practices. Today, offering jobs or promotions based on gender, race, sexual orientation or religion is problematic. It is one of the strategies that can undermine your business growth and performance.
Implement the ideas we have outlined above to champion equality in the workplace and business success.
Written fro SME News