To Be Truly Inclusive, We Must Move Beyond Diversity

We've been saying this for years: inclusion, not diversity, is what matters most for businesses. It's not about the diverse talent they bring in the door, although that's an important starting point. It's about what happens after this diverse talent has joined the organization.

Inclusion calls us to action. It's not limited to representation metrics as the primary driver. That focus leads organizations into a talent acquisition frenzy. It's not that there's anything wrong with recruiting diverse candidates, but I've seen organizations spend tens of thousands of dollars participating in recruiting events just to, essentially, check a box. Their intent may be noble, but their thinking is limited.

Business Impact is What Matters Most

These numbers may reflect diversity, but I'm here to tell you that these numbers are not measures of inclusion...or, more importantly, business impact.

When organizations wish to increase revenue, they develop growth strategies to help them accomplish that goal. When they hope to reduce costs, they develop meaningful, measurable objectives along with strategies and tactics to help drive down those costs. Yet when organizations address issues related to inclusion and diversity, their metrics (assuming they have them) tend to focus on representation: how many women do we have in leadership positions? How many employees do we have representing certain minority groups?

Don't Stop Counting: Just Do Something With the Numbers You Have

I'm not saying these organizations should stop counting. Diversity metrics have been and will remain extremely important as part of an overall strategy that links to the bottom line. Yet simply tracking the numbers is a halfhearted effort that only focuses on the population and fails to integrate strengths. It does nothing to address the environment in which people work every day. It does nothing to address what needs to be done to ensure that talent brought into the organization has the expertise and resources to meet business goals.

A company may hire the greatest talent, but if there isn't a culture of inclusion, that talent will move on. If you're suffering from a revolving door of diverse candidates that just can't seem to effectively engage with your organization, you're not doing something right.

It's all about inclusion. We can help with that!

Recommended Reading

Becoming an Inclusive Leader

Inclusion: The New Competitive Business Advantage

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Are you tired of workplace diversity training that does not link to business? Are you tired of tactics that don’t drive business results? InclusionINC has inclusion training solutions and strategic consulting that link inclusion to employee engagement, productivity, innovation and retention, moving inclusion beyond tactics to a critical business strategy.

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