Are you finding that ideas are stagnating in your organisation? Are team meetings boring and there’s no fresh perspectives? Have you been worried that your business is just going through the motions and your outputs aren’t increasing?
If this sounds like you and you’re ready to change this, you may be interested to know that the solution is pretty simple! All you need to do is increase the diversity!
“People with different lifestyles and different backgrounds challenge each other more. Diversity creates dissent, and you need that. Without it, you’re not going to get any deep inquiry or breakthroughs. The dynamic created by dissent prevents organizations from becoming too insular and out of touch with their increasingly heterogeneous customer base and as a result, working teams are able to come up with a wider range of solutions to business problems.”
For business and government, the risk when recruiting people from the same background as the staff they already have is that they’ll stagnate, both in terms of profits and sales, and in terms of creative problem solving, and a lack of appropriate policy approaches to solve problems faced by governments.
When employers think of ‘diversity’, they often forget how broad the spectrum of diversity can be. Diversity in one organisation may mean equal numbers of men and women in management positions, rather than a broad range of backgrounds which includes women, who belong to communities ranging from the multicultural to Australian Defence Force members and their family, people with a disability, LGBTIQ, refugees, carers, and older workers.
There is a growing body of academic research which focuses on case studies of businesses who have diverse workforces, that show where inclusion and diversity exist side by side, problem solving improves, decision making improves, innovation rates are higher, efficiency is higher, and the results of better working in all areas reflects in outputs or profits.
The McKinsey organisation has studied various different types of diversity in different companies, which shows that where genuine inclusion exists, lateral thinking, creativity, innovation and better decision making rates are higher.
So what is the difference between diversity and inclusion?
You can’t do diversity without inclusion.
Where inclusion does not exist, nothing will improve regardless of how diverse your workforce is. One definition of inclusion is ‘a work environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully and have equal access to opportunities, resources, and are able to contribute fully to the business’s success’.
Inclusion is more important than diversity in terms of increasing business success, driving innovation and better decision making. You may employ a person from a background which has differences, but you will not achieve better results without ensuring inclusion is also a priority. Genuine inclusion – an appreciation that differences bring different perspectives and different approaches to problem solving.
The research shows that diversity – when managed with proper inclusion – leads to increased sales revenue, increased customer numbers, increased market share and increased relative profits.  It’s important in the public and community sectors as well, with research showing that a diverse workforce with inclusion is more adaptable to change, is more innovative and creative in problem solving, have more solutions to business problems and policy making is more innovative and creative.
And interestingly, for human resource professionals, once you have a diverse team, you open up the recruitment talent pool because diversity is attractive to millennials. Young people entering the workforce for the first time after studying are attracted to diverse teams, and they make up 53.6% of the talent available.
Real commitment is needed from all levels in an organisation, from CEO level to middle management, to team members, to the notion of inclusion. Advertising a job on a website such as ours, without committing to inclusion, will not bring the benefits that diversity can bring. Overcoming prejudice in hiring is a business-wide, company-wide, or department-wide responsibility, but the pay off shows in performance outcomes and business results.
This requires not only a business or departmental wide commitment to inclusion, it needs a moral commitment. Tokenism without inclusion won’t bring the results that the research shows are there for businesses and governments if diversity and inclusion is a priority.
So if you’re ready to make both the business and moral commitment to diversity, and ready to lift sales, performance, and reap the benefits of innovation in your business, government department or social enterprise, you’re ready to advertise with Enabled Employment. S o give us a call at (02) 6162 5127 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can assess your requirements and find you qualified staff who will increase your diversity.
And if you’re from a background that’s a little different, whether that’s a disability, age, caring responsibilities, multicultural, Australian Defence Force or LGBTI, we are confident that employers advertising through our website offer genuine inclusion – and diversity - so check out our jobs at www.enabledemployment.com/jobs and get applying.
 Desvaux, G., Devillard-Hoellinger, S., and Baumgarten, P. (2007), Women Matter: Gender Diversity, a Corporate Performance Driver, New York: McKinsey and Company
 Herring, C. (2009), “Does Diversity Pay?: Race, Gender, and the Business Case for Diversity” American Sociological Review, Vol. 74, No. 2; pp.208–224.