How To Maximize Inclusivity In Your Business

how to maximize company inclusivity

Inclusivity is an apolitical concept that is consistently been a source of social tension. Should businesses focus on being inclusive, or should they just worry about finding the best people for the job? But while this question gets a lot of circulation, it ignores an essential element of what it means to be inclusive. 

The idea is not to hand out jobs based on race or gender. It is about reevaluating your language and hiring criteria to make sure that the business has access to the widest possible range of talent. In other words, it is as much for your benefit as it is for anyone else. 

In this article, we look at how you can improve inclusivity within your business, and what sort of benefits you might experience when you do. 

DEI Board 

A DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) board can help businesses not only make their hiring policies more inclusive but also ensure that all aspects of their public-facing operations are appealing to a wider range of people. 

Putting together a DEI board can be hard work, but the benefits are significant. Not only will they help you achieve your inclusivity goals, but they can also translate directly into a higher profit margin. Businesses that prioritize diversity report up to 35% more revenue than those that do not. 

Not only will the DEI board help you take concrete steps toward improving inclusivity in your workplace, but it may help simply by existing. Job candidates will see the DEI board as a sign that you are receptive to hiring people from all backgrounds. 

Inclusive Language 

The language you use on your website and other public-facing communications can have a big impact on how your business is perceived. Inclusive language avoids bias and words that imply discrimination or simply disrespect. 

It is easier than you might think to use “exclusive language.” For example, unnecessary references to gender or race can be enough to make some people uncomfortable. 

By being more careful and considerate with your language, you not only attract people from a wider range of backgrounds, but you also improve your company culture for existing employees. 

The Benefits Of Diversity For Your Business 

Of course, from a social justice perspective, diversity is good for its own sake, insuring that everyone is given a fair shot at having a seat at the table. And that is awesome, but in the headings below, we look at the benefits of diversity that are more specific to your bottom line. Read on to learn more about how diverse hiring and public outreach practices can help your business. 

You Attract Better Talent 

Michael has just gotten his MBA. Distinguished school, had high marks, and had a reputation for being a pretty sharp guy. He made a lot of friends at school with some influential people within the local business scene, and as such he’s become something of a hot commodity. Everyone wants him which means for right now, he gets to write his own ticket. 

Michael is considering an offer from Company X. It is a middle-tier position with plenty of room to grow and a competitive salary. But there is a problem. When he looks at the company leadership, he notices that it’s all white men. 

Michael is black. He knows that he is leadership material, but he also knows that it isn’t sensible to assume that he will get to be the first black man in Company X’s C-suite. Instead, he takes a job at Company Y. It is for a little less money, but they have a long history of promoting people from all backgrounds. 

When your business staff is monolithic in appearance, it can be a real deterrence to people like Michael, who will justifiably want to know what sort of future they will have at a company that has never promoted a minority before. 

You Are More In Touch With Your Customers 

No matter your business, chances are good that you don’t serve just one segment of the population. Your customer base is diverse. Your staff should be as well. Having diverse team members allows you to access the mindset of a wider range of people. 

Obviously, a black employee can’t speak for black customers any more than a white employee can for white customers. However, having a diverse team will allow you to tap into a wider range of cultural ideas. It will help you improve the way you use public-facing language, or even design your products to appeal to a wider range of people. 

A Better Work Culture 

This consideration is somewhat less tangible than the others on our list, but it is supported by many studies. Businesses with inclusive hiring policies are consistently viewed as having a better culture by the people who work there. This statement tracks for everyone working within the company, regardless of their background. 

It is hard to say exactly why that is. A simple explanation may be that inclusive businesses demonstrate the attitude that good work is rewarded. It could also be that the same kind of business that will prioritize inclusivity will also make a point of launching other employee-centric initiatives. 

It Looks Better 

It is hard to put this in a way that isn’t terribly reductive, but the naked truth is that having a team of people from one background is a bad look. You may not have planned it that way, but to the public, it won’t always matter. Consumers value diversity and inclusivity, which means you should too. 

That doesn’t mean doing a recruitment scavenger hunt looking for people that fit various background criteria. It does mean that you should tweak your hiring criteria to make sure that it appeals to a wider range of qualified candidates. 

Remember, There Is No Such Thing As A Diverse Hire 

People use the word diversity as though it could describe a person. That is not the case. You can’t make a “diverse,” hire because the word itself just means “variety.” You can, however, diversify your hiring practices to maximize the number of perspectives that are accessible to your business. This helps strengthen your company as well as eliminate discrimination in the workplace.

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