The trouble is that just talking about it isn’t enough. To truly embrace a change in your D&I strategy and for your business to benefit from having a diverse workforce it has to actually be diverse. Innovation and customer understanding from having a workforce that is reflective of the world in which your customer exist will drive your business.
Is there a box I can just tick?
Let’s be clear, diversity is not simply a tick box exercise in response to external pressure. Nor is it a quota filling attempt to balance gender or ethnicity or any other criteria. In fact, diversity can be just as much about difference of approach and experience as it is about anything else.
Why bother with diversity?
Quite simply, because when a diverse workforce represents diversity within the organisation’s sphere of influence then it speaks far more closely to its consumer base. And when a business is in tune with customers not only is it more likely to deliver customer excellence, it is also far more likely to deliver innovative solutions which resonate with its consumers.
As the ex-CEO of Ford, Alan Mullally, said ‘diversity is the only business case we need – the only way to satisfy diverse customers is to include their perspectives inside the company.’
What is the role of recruitment?
So hiring a diverse workforce with a view to cultural fit is an imperative for those organisations which want to really deliver something in terms of customer excellence and results. And yes this does require organisations to take a good hard look at their recruitment process, how they define job descriptions, review applications and their interview process. And yes it may also require organisations to look again at the way in which jobs are structured; offering part-time, flexible and job share roles in a bid to attract the most suitable candidates.
Are my competitors doing it?
Diversity is not something that is going to disappear. I truly hope that this is the year that businesses take the steps to ensure their workforce really is diverse. So many businesses worry about what their competitors are up to. In reality a culture of innovation is about creating a difference between your business and your competitors that is not based on price. If embracing a culture of D&I is one of the ways to do this, why wouldn’t you?
To learn more about a culture that really embraces D&I and how to embed that culture in your business.
Get the book: Building a Culture of Innovation here
Get in touch: Culture Consultancy here