Last year saw major media portrayal of topics concerning diversity and inclusion. The future of foreign workers in the UK continues to make headlines as the Brexit negotiations rumble on, Philip Hammond seemingly blamed Britain’s poor productivity on more disabled people in the workforce, and the year ended with a YES vote for gay marriage in Australia.
The high-profile coverage that these topics receive across mainstream media should prompt employers to recognise the impact that diversity and inclusion successes and failures can have on their business – and even small businesses can make a big difference.
Diversity training and inclusion theories strive to encompass all individuals who make up our work populations, because research has proven that people who feel they're fully accepted for who they are tend to be more productive and efficient workers. A happy and engaged employee brings many direct business benefits when compared with an unhappy and undervalued employee.
Happy employees are…
- 31% more productive
- 3 x more creative
- Likely to take nearly 7 fewer sick days each year
- Able to sell more – happy salespeople produce 27% greater sales
No matter what your business size is, any business owner with employees should always take into consideration the impact of inclusion on the business. Below we take a quick look at some of the key areas and what they mean for employers.
Race and representation
2017 was an exponential diversity and inclusion leap for Europe. This was very visible in some of the firsts that we saw within the UK’s parliament. This included the first female Palestinian MP, female Sikh MP, turban-wearing MP and Muslim MP. Research by McKinsey & Co found that;
Businesses with employees from a good mix of ethnic backgrounds are 35% more likely to outperform their competitors
The plight of gender equality continues. Gender pay discrepancies made global attention through the BBC in 2017. This revelation prompted a lot of inquiry about what parameters are used to justify men getting higher pay than women in the same career position. This awareness may also impact employment regulations in mid-2018 on disclosing any pay discrepancies that a business may practise.
Also, Washington, DC witnessed one of the most profound unified marches of women protesting gender equality. Their protest of gender injustices was another testament to the need for more examination of business practices that influence gender discrepancies.
The world saw inclusive celebrations for 50 years of outlawed homosexuality legislation in the UK. Despite this, a study last September found that 1 in 9 LGBT+ employees have been bullied at work, which shows that employers still have work to do to make the workplace more inclusive and supportive.
What do businesses need to do around diversity and inclusion in 2018?
It's increasingly clear that the diversity, culture and business practices not only impact the success of our businesses, but they can also impact the happiness of employees.
Here are 5 tips for promoting equal opportunities and diversity in the workplace:
1. Ensure that each employee is aware of the legal rules around workplace equality and diversity, referring them to your appropriate policies
2. Provide equality and diversity training programmes to your staff
3. Deal with any discrimination claims as quickly and as sensitively as possible
4. Remind your staff that they can feel confident in raising any grievances they may have, ensuring that they’re fully aware of your grievance policy and your commitment to acting on it
5. Regularly review your policies and internal practices to ensure that there aren’t any areas that have become discriminatory over time
When our platform launches at the end of February, you'll be able to access a range of templates and guides that will help you not just cope with or avoid employment challenges, but also to build and celebrate your status as an employer of a diverse, inclusive and happy team.
Say hello to smarter legal solutions – simply, speedily and affordably delivered, on your terms. Learn more about the features you will be able to access on our platform here. Or follow us on Twitter to be notified when we launch.