Do your employees feel included? Are your employees comfortable to bring their whole selves to work without fear of judgment? In this video, Dr. Stefanie Johnson explains the importance of inclusion and how to measure it.
- Companies clamor to make in onto lists like Diversity Inc's Best Companies to Work For or The Best Companies For Women. Why, because that makes them the company of choice for the most talented people on the market. If you want to reap the benefits of diversity, then you need to ensure that the new talent that you've brought on can bring their whole selves to work. You need to have a culture of inclusion within your organization. But what exactly is inclusion? I like to use a sports analogy. Research shows that football teams, or what we call soccer teams in the U.S., with the greatest diversity score the most goals.
The idea is that people from different countries and cultures bring different skills to the soccer field. Diversity is linked to bottom line performance. But would having greater diversity on your soccer team improve performance if you never pass the ball to people who are different from you? No way, you have to give them the ball and that's the idea behind inclusion. People need to feel they can belong but also they need to believe their uniqueness is valued if they're going to feel included. We see higher turnover rates among women and minorities in the U.S. when they don't feel included.
And the same is true in an international context. You can look at the numbers to measure turnover to ensure that you're getting the full ROI of your diversity initiatives. Be sure that all of your talent feels included and able to contribute fully to your organization by giving them challenging work assignments and ensuring they contribute to conversations. This means that you need to engage in leadership behaviors that make it safe for all people to share their thoughts. Tell people, we want to hear from you. Show them by being supportive when they contribute or asking them to share their thoughts.
John, we haven't heard from you, I'd love to know what you think. You can also increase inclusion through mentoring and employee resource groups. Employee resource groups also called infinity groups, can help enhance inclusion by providing a social network and additional opportunities for non-majority group members. LGBTQ groups are the fastest growing ERGs, but there's also groups for women, minorities, veterans, and parents. Although ERGs are often thought of as a U.S. institution, they're increasing in popularity on a global scale.
At Nielsen, 70% of the 100 countries they operate in have ERGs. Majority group members, in the U.S. that's white men, also tend to have greater access to mentors and sponsors. It's The Old Boy's Network. Be sure that everyone has access to those things. Formal mentoring and sponsorship programs positively impact the representation of women and minorities in your company. The exact impact seems to vary from country to country. But across countries, women's mentoring programs positively impact their access to management and executive roles.
When I interview women CEOs, they always talk about the great female and male mentors they had along the way. If you don't have that, it's really hard to get ahead and having these people make work so much more enjoyable. Knowing others with similar backgrounds and connecting with them can provide benefits that can help keep your talent in your organization.
- How prioritizing diversity and inclusion is good for business
- Establishing accountability
- Creating a global diversity strategy
- Creating a localized strategy
- Using benchmarks to track the progress of your efforts
- Measuring diversity program success
- Diversity and inclusion in Brazil, Russia, India, and China