By Zachary S. Sielicky
Business leaders are having more open conversations about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. While this is not novel, the spotlight on racial, gender and other biases has rejuvenated talks about increasing workplace diversity and equal opportunities. The goal is to create a workplace with open communication channels that allow all employees to express their opinions and concerns. This is precisely what chambers of commerce like us seek to achieve.
We are an independent local association of employers and employees. Our goal is to promote the quality of life for all members through providing public/private education and economic opportunities. We believe in helping businesses prosper so our entire community may thrive.
What Is Diversity and Inclusion in The Workplace?
Managers have an objective to create a workplace environment that promotes the integration of employees from various walks of life. This is key to business success, even in regions with significantly lower diversity rates from the national averages. Diversity refers to the individual traits that make people unique, while inclusion deals with the social norms and behavior that make people feel welcome.
The goal of diversity and inclusion in the workplace is to promote the development and advancement of marginalized and underrepresented groups. This ensures an active, productive workplace environment free from bullying and harassment. Employers should enact measures to ensure their workforce is a true representation of the diverse populations and groups in the communities they serve.
Inclusion aims to create a thriving workplace environment where all employees and managers are treated fairly, with respect, and given equal opportunities and resources to contribute to the organization’s goals. Diversity and inclusion are often used in tandem, but remain two disparate concepts, with unique approaches and merits.
Benefits of Diversity and Inclusion
The top five merits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace include:
- Variety of perspective – You can benefit from faster decision making from teams comprised of varying backgrounds and work experiences.
- Attract skilled candidates – Many people are drawn to businesses that show value for workplace diversity and inclusion.
- Increased employee performance – Diversity results in more creativity, happy employees, equal distribution and resources and opportunities, which are vital in workplace performance.
- Market expansion – With a diversified workforce, you can target customers from different backgrounds and walks of life.
- Increased ROI – Better performance, motivation, reduced employee turnover, extended market, and other workplace diversity outcomes drive sales and return on investment.
Diversity and Inclusion Resources
Are you looking for new ways to ensure a genuinely diversified and integrated workforce that reflects your community?
There are several resources for managers and HR teams looking to augment diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The top recommendations include development courses, training programs and books. We encourage our employer-members to read as many diversity and inclusion books as possible to understand the different aspects of the workplace environment.
We aim to encourage employers to start internal conversations that emphasize the role of diversity and inclusion in workforce performance, employee requirements and other business practices. Watch the video below beginning at 1:16:50 at hear from one of the nations top speakers on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion – Noah Prince – on how businesses of all sizes can take steps today to create a more inclusive environment in their place of business.
The author Zachary S. Sielicky is the Membership Manager for the Salem Chamber of Commerce. Zachary advises businesses in the Mid-Willamette Valley on how to connect with the community and fellow businesses. The Salem Chamber is a Convener of leaders, a Catalyst for positive change, and a Champion for a thriving community. Are you a business leader? Find out what kind HERE.