Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace: Benefits and Challenges

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It is undeniable that many organisations today still do not fully acknowledge the very real link between people’s levels of engagement and organisational performance. Diversity and inclusion training brings to the forefront how to optimise engagements in a way that benefits individuals, groups, and the organisation in a sustainable manner. 

During training, the simple mechanics of engagements are highlighted on the negative front including absenteeism, turnover, apathy, stagnation, negligent behaviour, poor service delivery as well as rigidity, to name a few. The positive benefits such as productivity enhancements, talent retention, employee satisfaction, innovation, increased value-based behaviour as well a greater focus on positive service delivery and flexibility are also covered.

Constant focus

The key to note however is that levels of engagement may either grow or decline continuously. Either a virtuous or a vicious cycle will emerge accordingly depending on how engagement is approached within organisations. Diversity and inclusion consulting will highlight the fact that it is the job of leadership today to rewire the organisation. They must strive to engineer systemic organisational dynamics into a virtuous and reinforcing causal cycle. The aim is to unleash the benefits of constructive engagement on the individual, the group, and the organisation.

Diversity and inclusion training, therefore, introduces a deeper perspective on engagement. It goes beyond the understanding of individual engagement where personal growth, enhancement of emotional intelligence, and facilitation of personal effectiveness are considered important. There is a greater emphasis on growing higher levels of consciousness, allowing for differences, and increasing hope and pride. Morale and ethical issues are also seen as fundamental building blocks of progressive engagement. 

Diversity training companies understand that unless content is holistic and integrated the necessary connections to achieve engagement at a more profound level will be missed. Group dynamics are seen as crucial and to achieve inclusivity a lot of understanding needs to be developed around being more conscious of group dynamics and how to enhance them. Just as individuals go through growth cycles, attention is paid to levels of maturity within groups and how this is established benefiting innovation and creativity. It is essential during diversity and inclusion training that those inherent vulnerabilities within individuals, groups, and organisations are recognised, dealt with, and systematically overcome over time.

Constant attention

Often it is a good idea to design a scorecard on engagement levels and to survey frequently to really get a grip on the pulse of the culture and climate within an organisation to ensure momentum is maintained and the right issues receive attention in real-time. Unless we are aware of the benefits and progress we are making as well as the challenges, it will become easy to be complacent and miss important cues for items requiring attention. 

With diversity and inclusion training the goal within the organisation is very much on ensuring new ways of behaving to support engagement. Transforming the organisational environment to create trust and respect through visible change is the only way to achieve a sense of belonging among unique individuals and varied groups. The level of organisational commitment to treasuring difference must be beyond doubt and so consistency is everything in our response to eradicating what is no longer acceptable. 

As organisations build robust inclusive values, principles, systems, processes, and practices people will see that employers are not merely seeking accolades when it comes to external reputation. What others think becomes less important than what existing employees think and feel about the extent to which they are confident and proud of achievements on the diversity and inclusion front. 

With a more multidimensional focus on engagement, diversity and inclusion consulting companies have the ability to help stretch employee satisfaction to new levels faster. Diversity and inclusion training—if done right—will move the organisation to a greater level of shared consciousness of our interdependencies allowing us to be great in all respects.

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