How diversity and inclusion can increase a company's productivity and profitability

Employers are increasingly realizing that a diverse and inclusive workforce is not only morally right, but also contributes to a more productive and successful business.

In the article, we will guide you through the traditional and non-traditional aspects of diversity and inclusion and show you practical tips on how to incorporate this big topic into your normal practice in your company.

At the beginning, we can imagine the ordinary setting of working hours as one of the topics of inclusion. As long as your employees do not suffer from the disease of high overtime and have enough space for family and private interests, you have a good starting point. If you know how to work part-time and combine them appropriately not only for junior positions, but also for senior positions, then congratulations. These are already basic and important aspects of a healthy and open working environment.

When we talk about diversity and inclusion in the workplace, we mean treating everyone fairly and equally regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability, age, religion or other similar characteristics.

In addition to the soft human aspects that the topic brings, we also see hidden benefits that do not occur to you at first.

In addition to more satisfied and engaged employees, the topic of diversity and inclusion also brings growth in the financial aspects of business, which we would not expect at first glance.

According to a six-year study by global management consultancy McKinsey, companies with diverse staff are 36% more profitable than less open companies.

Another practical advantage of diverse teams was developed, for example, by the Harvard Business Review, which states in its article that broader demographic and cultural teams solve problems faster than uniform ones.

Thanks to the sharing of approaches and different points of view, we pursue not only faster problem solving, but also innovative approaches to work and higher team productivity.

In addition to a healthier financial situation and a more productive work environment, the issue of diversity is fundamental to attracting and retaining employees.

According to a study by Glassdoor, 76% of job seekers consider a diverse workforce to be an important factor when considering companies and job offers.

As part of modern HR and recruitment, companies are increasingly starting to open up the topics of social responsibility, equality and inclusion. In addition to good deeds, these topics provide a strong ground for quality PR and Employee branding, which is essential for current recruitment.

The power of diversity and inclusion lies in open communication without fear, which is subsequently reflected in the work performance of employees, but also in their satisfaction and turnover rate.

It is not enough to just open the topic of diversity and inclusion, it is necessary to work with it.

Be authentic and build employees' sense of belonging to your organization. In addition to a good atmosphere in teams, you will also increase the probability of long-term cooperation and attract interesting candidates.

Let's illustrate these ideas with concrete examples.

1. Create an environment focused on quality work-life balance and give your employees space for private life, family and interests.
2. Create reduced working hours.
"At Zurich Insurance Company, we try to accommodate and be helpful not only to current employees, but also to future ones. Therefore, we also have various part-time job positions open, which are suitable for university students or parents of small children. We actively communicate with our employees who are on maternity and parental leave and can offer them e.g. contract work in addition to parental leave. After their return to work, we try to meet the demands of working part-time as much as possible. We realize that combining family and work life is not always easy. The employees will repay us for this with loyalty as well as work results."

Margareta Balaďová, HR Manager, Zurich Insurance

3. Support flexible working conditions.

"In addition to the possibility of working part-time, we have also introduced the possibility of concentrated working hours up to 4 days a week (for 40 hours). We also offer the possibility of regular work from home in the form of telework, which allows us to retain employees who decide to move outside of Bratislava or, after agreement with the manager, decide that the quality of work will not be affected by their absence from the office. At the same time, with such a benefit, we can reach candidates from several corners of Slovakia."

Margareta Balaďová, HR Manager, Zurich Insurance

4. Adapt offices for the movement of disabled people.

5. Educate your employees about the importance of diversity and inclusion.

6. Implement diversity and inclusion principles into internal guidelines. An example can be a transparent system of promotion or recruitment based on transparent criteria.

7. Promote diversity from the top: It is important that the topic of diversity and inclusion comes from TOP management.

8. Create space for open dialogue and feedback, for example through regular meetings.

9. Celebrate diversity and create space for sharing cultural customs and traditions.

10. Support the theme of relationships without barriers. We can be inspired by giants such as Amazon, Vodafone, or, for example, DHL, who change their logos to rainbow ones during the LGBTQ holidays, or even financially support the event.

IBM also actively deals with the topic of diversity and inclusion, and here is the opinion of Matúš Mazán, Employer Branding Specialist & TAP IBM Slovensko, spol. Ltd.:

"General statistics clearly show that higher team diversity can contribute to up to 35% better financial results. The diversity of opinions and experiences leads to the creation of new and creative solutions. Organizations that actively support diversity can expect up to 60% more satisfied employees. At IBM, we view diversity and inclusion not only as values, but as key factors that shape our company culture and contribute to sustained success. The diversity of employees creates a dynamic work environment where different opinions, experiences and perspectives come together, providing a unique innovation force. We believe that an inclusive work environment is not only an ethical obligation, but also a strategic approach to achieving excellent results. We create an environment where each individual can contribute their unique skills, and together with diverse teams, we help maintain our position as a leader in the technology industry. At IBM, diversity and inclusion are not only the basis of our identity, but also the key to future success."

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