Over the past few decades, the business world has seen an increased emphasis on diversity and inclusion. The data shows that not only is it the right thing to do, but efforts to increase diversity and inclusion actually equate to better products and services — and happier customers and employees. Even if you’ve heard the phrase “diversity and inclusion,” many times, it’s easy to find yourself confused by the terms.
The easiest way to look at it is that “diversity” is short-term. Building a diverse team is a relatively easy task. Enacting diverse hiring practices can help you bring new ideas and backgrounds to the table. The problem is, you can’t sustain diversity without inclusion. “Inclusion” is all about the long game.
When you think about creating a diverse team, remember that diversity spans gender, age, religion, race, education level, and experiences. Welcoming team members with developmental disabilities is also a way to diversify your team. Each individual at the table brings with them a different perspective, which has been proven to drive greater creativity and innovation. In fact, a 2017 study by Boston Consulting Group found diverse teams produce 19% more revenue!
Diversity has a direct effect on customers, too. Interacting with a diverse team increases customer service and consumer satisfaction. However, diversity without inclusion won’t last.
Diversity means your team comes from different life experiences and backgrounds, and inclusion means they feel like they belong there. You can invite someone to your party, but if you don’t include them in the festivities, it won’t be much fun for anyone.
There are many ways to create a more inclusive environment. First and foremost, there has to be a commitment that starts at the top. Leaders must be inclusive of all, and open to feedback. Employees should feel welcomed and heard. When employees feel included, studies have found they’re 43% more committed to their organizations! And, when employees feel committed to their workplace, they’re less likely to leave.
Welcoming people of all backgrounds and abilities to the workforce uplifts our entire community. At Goodwill, we work to give individuals with disabilities the tools they need to empower themselves and thrive! Ohio Valley Goodwill provides opportunities for personal fulfillment through skills training, employment services, worksite supports, and more.
These tools are key to diversifying our workforce and making our community more inclusive places to live, work, and play. When everyone feels they have a chance to become productive citizens, our businesses succeed, and so do our neighbors.
Wondering how you can make a difference in making your community more inclusive of everyone? One easy way is to shop at Ohio Valley Goodwill’s retail stores and donate your gently used clothing and household items to Goodwill! When you do, you’re supporting Ohio Valley Goodwill’s mission to help local job seekers with disabilities in their journey to personal and vocational success.