“Diversity and inclusion exists when members of an organization act in a manner that recognizes and respects individual similarities and differences such that employees feel they and their work are valued and meaningfully contribute to the mission of the organization.”
Remaining relevant in today’s hyper-competitive business environment requires the full engagement of an organization’s workforce and the retention of highly talented employees. To accomplish this, leaders must capture the passion and commitment of subordinates by providing them with work that has a meaningful impactful on others and is quantifiablely measurable and rewarded; all while connecting with them on a personal level. Similarly, individuals need to connect with their peers in a way that makes them feel their contributions meaningfully add to the team and the organization’s overall success. Simply put, individuals seek to be valuable to and valued by their organizations; limited only by their abilities and desires. Without this sense of value and connectedness, a job becomes nothing more than the means to a paycheck, productivity declines toward that which is required to maintain employment, and attrition rises as employees seek more fulfilling work; all at great cost to the organization.
Gallup researchers found that within the average organization:
- 29 percent of employees are engaged; working with passion and feeling connected to their company
- 56 percent of employees are not engaged; putting in time but not energy or passion into their work
- 15 percent of employees are actively disengaged; acting out their unhappiness and undermining the accomplishments of engaged employees
This research also showed that engaged employees are more productive, profitable, safer, create stronger customer relationships, and stay longer with their company than less engaged employees.
Source: Gallup Study: Engaged Employees Inspire Company Innovation, Gallup Management Journal, October 2006
Increasing workforce diversification challenges all members of an organization attempting to satisfy the individual value proposition. Differences in age, race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation to name but only a few, influence what makes individuals feel valued. Studies have shown the degree to which an individual feels valued by his/her superiors and peers in large part defines his/her work engagement and the subsequent value offered to the organization. Thus, the challenge is a circular one best solved by fostering an organizational culture that respects and embraces diversity and inclusion.
The StrategyDriven Diversity and Inclusion Forum focuses on establishing and maintaining a workplace environment that respects and values individual differences in order to earn full employee engagement and commitment to the achievement of the organization’s goals. Subscribing to this forum provides access to its principles, best practices, and warning flags articles and associated documents.