Being Inclusive of YOUR Company’s Diversity
Companies that value diversity and inclusion often spend a lot of time and resources acquiring and reviewing data on diverse groups to better understand their markets and their workforces. They may justify actions or decisions by citing statistics like, “63% of African American men would like to see more ABC at work,” or, “82% of Gen Z would rather do X than Y.”
Data can be extremely valuable, and it’s certainly admirable that companies care enough to leverage data in their decision-making processes. But it’s important to put this data into context when using it to make decisions about your own workforce.
Why? Because your workforce isn’t necessarily a microcosm of the dataset used to pull together broad-based statistics.
Be Careful How You Interpret Others’ Data
For example, if a study shows that 82% of Gen Z workers would rather work on-site than remotely, that doesn’t mean that preference is necessarily reflective of your 50 Gen Z employees. For whatever reason, your workers in this demographic may be far more likely to prefer working remotely. Making a decision based on a broad-based study could end up alienating your own workers instead of catering to them.
Of course, there’s an easy solution to the challenge of incorrectly attributing general demographic preferences to specific workforce segments: ask your employees!
A Simple Step Toward Inclusion: Ask Your Employees for Their Input
It’s truly surprising how many companies overlook this simple strategy when making decisions. In so many companies, decisions are made top-down without the input of those who will be impacted by the decisions.
This doesn’t mean that top-down decisions are made without any supporting data; it means top-down decisions are often made based on data that is of questionable applicability. Regional and national differences in preferences, company culture, and even individual tastes can mean that the preferences of a company’s own internal staff may vary considerably from the preferences of those who are superficially similar at a macro level.
Exploring Your Own Market Diversity
The same concept holds true for local markets. Just because Hispanic teens generally have certain preferences, doesn’t mean Hispanic teens in the city served by a particular business have those same preferences or hold those preferences as strongly as the national data suggest.
Using data to support business and human resources decisions is sound practice; but, often, companies overlook the extremely valuable source of data right under their own noses in favor of broad-based data that isn’t necessarily reflective of their own markets and workforces.
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 and strategic consulting that link inclusion to employee engagement, productivity, innovation and retention, moving inclusion beyond tactics to a critical business strategy.