Roughly 90% of companies in the United States of America consider diversity, inclusion, and equity as their strategic priorities for building productive, resilient teams. With 96% of CEOs citing talent as a top priority, the reinforcement and importance of DEI is expected to grow. Since 2020, thousands of companies have invested in DEI initiatives to suppress inequality and promote employee well-being in the workplace.
Further, 87% of Gen Z believe DEI initiatives are important when reviewing job offers. They prefer to work at organizations that are more inclusive and aligned with their values. A company with an inclusive culture is three times as likely to be high performing and eight times more likely to produce better business results.
In this article, we cover Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB), the benefits of having diverse teams at work, and effective tips for managing an international and diverse team. Fostering and cultivating DEIB in your organization will not only help you boost morale and a sense of belonging in employees from different cultural backgrounds, but it will also help strengthen employee engagement.
According to the Deloitte DEI and Trust Survey, 40% of employees would prefer to leave an organization that does not follow DEIB practices. Creating and fostering diverse teams allows global companies to drive innovation, get new ideas and perspectives, and improve productivity. We all know the impacts turnover and onboarding can have on organizations, so read on to learn more about DEIB and how to enhance your workplace diversity.
Numerous studies have found that a diverse workplace is more likely to experience increased productivity and better financial returns than homogenous ones. Companies with a diverse workforce are also 70% more likely to capture new markets. Here is a more in-depth look at the benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace:
Giving people with unique skills a chance to make an impact boosts their morale which translates into better productivity. According to a recent BCG survey, companies with diverse leadership had 19% higher innovation revenue and 2.3 times higher cash flow than companies with less diversity. When you have unique ideas and perspectives to work with, you find more efficient and reliable ways of doing work.
With more unique solutions, an organization can find better solutions to solve operational and production issues. By hiring professionals from various backgrounds with unique skills, you can improve brand exposure and profits. For example, hiring Microverse developers with international, remote experience has successfully helped companies reach their goals.
Many skilled and talented professionals want to work at inclusive companies so they can bring their whole selves to work and demonstrate their talents. Overall, having diverse teams at work helps make the workforce more motivated and efficient, which in turn, increases the profitability of the business.
Deloitte reports that diverse teams at work are 20% more creative and innovative. Hiring professionals that bring a unique approach to challenges can help you find creative and effective solutions. Diverse, distributed teams are proven to be more innovative, which helps organizations outperform their competitors.
But it's not just about innovation, diverse teams also have a wider range of experiences that helps them make better calculated and informed decisions for the success of a business and they can process facts more carefully when making data-driven decisions. Further, when team members connect on a deeper level around their various work experiences and backgrounds, it improves overall workplace collaboration.
Another benefit of fostering diversity in the workplace is reducing employee turnover. Workplace equity helps employees feel more satisfied and comfortable. They are more likely to stay at inclusive companies where their work is appreciated and respected.
When employees feel confident and motivated, they work to their full potential. With higher morale, they can be more productive and loyal to organizations. The relationship of the employee to their employer is significant for the growth of a company. When you lose an employee, it can cost around 0.5x to 2x their salaries to replace them.
By establishing good relationships with each employee, you can create a healthy work culture and make everyone feel welcome. This is yet another reason having diverse teams at work helps foster happier employees and reduce employee turnover.
Prioritizing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) is essential for a healthy organization. Each of these terms has its own benefits and impacts on the success of a company. Through DEIB, companies can build a healthy and productive workforce with fair and transparent practices. Read more about DEIB and the importance each of these areas holds:
Several studies have shown that organizations prioritizing DEIB values are more successful as workforce diversity allows them to better support customers and lead in their industries.
Are you thinking about how to increase diversity and inclusion in your workplace? Check out the below tips to ensure your team is diverse and inclusive:
If you want your organization to truly embrace diversity, you should prioritize inclusion for all positions ranging from the CEO to more junior employees. If top-level management is not fully onboard with the idea of a diverse workforce, employees will likely not feel satisfied with your organization.
You can promote inclusion through surveys, research, hiring DEIB consultants, and making space for company-wide meetings to discuss the importance of DEIB in the workplace. Ensure that these meetings are inclusive, with a diverse group of professionals representing different departments of the company. Another key way to prioritize inclusion is by hiring a remote and global team.
To increase diversity in your workplace, it’s essential to identify and hire diverse candidates. When creating a job description for a specific role, highlight that you accept candidates from all backgrounds as prospective employees. You should also identify if certain groups of people feel underrepresented at your company. By doing some research, you can evaluate the ratio of professionals from various backgrounds and determine areas for improvement. For example, if the IT department of your company is predominantly female, consider hiring professionals of other genders for open positions. This can help show that your company promotes inclusion and diversity.
Another effective way to ensure diversity is by educating professionals involved in the hiring process. In 2020, the number of HR professionals considering diversity and inclusion as top priorities was reported to be 1.8 times higher than in 2019. If you want to hire diverse teams at work, it is important to let hiring managers understand your goals and vision.
Conduct employee surveys, assess current workforce diversity, and share the data with your hiring team. With the help of company-wide evaluation, the hiring team will be able to understand your requirements and improve their current diversity recruiting processes.
An international or distributed team is a group of professionals who reside in different parts of the world but work for the same organization. From adaptability to cross-collaborative communication, there are many things to take into account to manage a remote team successfully.
At Microverse, we have a number of practices that help set us up for success. Something key for us, is working asynchronously first, and prioritizing strong documentation to ensure regardless of where, and when, team members read something, they can understand it. We also have a number of practices set in place, like a weekly Friday meeting to connect as a remote, async team and share wins and blunders from the week.
Keeping connections strong is another crucial part of leading strong, diverse remote teams, and to help do this, we host yearly global team retreats. There is a lot that goes into these retreats and being able to bring together people from many different countries and cultures, so we start preparing many months in advance. We also work with visa or location consultants, where necessary, to ensure we can get as many of our team members together for the retreats as possible.
By embracing diversity and overcoming barriers to remote work, your organization can benefit in many ways. The following tips can help you understand how to build meaningful relationships with remote team members:
When you practice inclusiveness, you respect and value all team members irrespective of cultural diversity. It can be anything from speaking different languages to body language. By practicing inclusiveness, you can be respectful of their cultures and learn new things.
Consider understanding cross-cultural communication patterns and adopting low-context communication. To learn more about cross-cultural teams and international collaboration, we recommend The Culture Map. This book highlights insights on working effectively in the global marketplace and is something we recommend all new team members read. Other ways to practice inclusiveness include updating company policies to cater to people from different backgrounds and, where appropriate, translating to different languages.
Clear and frequent communication in the workplace boosts employee engagement. Whether it is asynchronous or synchronous, ensure you’re making space to communicate clearly to team members. Regular communication allows employees to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and opinions with others as well.
Asynchronous best practices is a great way for your team to increase their productivity, especially if they work across different time zones. Various tools are available to improve team efficiencies when working async, such as Twist or Loom - which are some of our favorites. Meetings can be a great way to discuss and brainstorm complex challenges in the workplace. There are numerous video conferencing tools, like Zoom, that help conduct meetings and have features like break-out rooms to break people out into groups virtually.
These also help encourage the success of an international team. As a leader, you can initiate conversations and encourage other team members to share their ideas. Even though global team members work from different parts of the world, you can and should promote open communication habits.
Providing constructive feedback allows team members to understand things that are not working and find ways to improve. When you administer feedback, you allow them to work on their skills and grow professionally.
This, in turn, will benefit your organization by improving performance. Make sure you keep constructive feedback specific. Many employers schedule private meetings with each team member to deliver constructive feedback. At Microverse, we encourage frequent feedback, not just yearly reviews, as we have a culture of continuous improvement and learning.
Advancements in technology help many companies connect better with their international teams. Using the same tools across your organization, and having a strong knowledge base, make a world of difference.
We recommend always using globally available tools. We previously shared the top tools for remote teams, but two that stand out beyond those we shared above, are Deel, which helps you hire and manage contracts internationally, and Rippling, which helps manage HR systems.
To track and measure DEI strategies, you might consider Illoominus. This tool helps companies manage their DEI initiatives and fulfill their diversity commitments in a much more organized and effective way.
Finally, to manage your remote team more effectively, use a reliable project management tool. For the team at Microverse, that tool is Asana. It can help you organize and delegate tasks to team members depending on their skills and expertise. Also, with the right tool, you can track the progress of each project and have a good async overview of these.
As we continue learning more about DEIB at Microverse, we continue to learn from, and with, experts in the space. We recently spoke with Noelle London, CEO and Founder of Illoominus who shared:
"DEIB within organizations is a journey and everyone is trying to figure out how to move beyond DEIB strategies on a shelf into an actionable plan to make organizations more inclusive. It's important to experiment with some of the initiatives mentioned above and along the way to intentionally measure how initiatives correlate with the DEIB outcomes you're hoping to see. It starts with data and this data can illuminate what's working along the way and help ensure that inclusion truly becomes is a part your organization's DNA."
When it comes to having DEIB conversations, some companies are still struggling. If you want your team to be more inclusive, grow a global team, make DEIB a company priority, reach out to and hire diverse team members, talk to your current employees, and continue to promote DEIB.
Remember that diversity in the workplace is more than hiring diverse team members. It is about creating a culture of inclusion and valuing the unique contributions of all employees, from many different backgrounds.
So, are you ready to create a team of skilled and qualified international professionals?
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