As society becomes more diverse and connected to the rest of the world, leaders need to be aware of how important it is to create environments that recognise and accept diversity.

Studies by McKinsey shows on “Diversity wins” is the third study in a series by McKinsey on the business case for diversity, after Why diversity matters (2015) and Delivering with diversity (2016). (2018). A recent analysis demonstrates not only that the business case remains strong but also that the link between executive team diversity and the probability of financial outperformance has become stronger over time.

These results are based on our biggest data collection to date, which includes 15 nations and over 1,000 multinational corporations.

The research also gives new ideas about why inclusion is important by looking at how employees feel in online evaluations through “social listening.” It demonstrates that organisations, especially those with a somewhat diverse workforce, should prioritise inclusion.

In the midst of the COVID-19 issue, inclusiveness and diversity are more important than ever. By looking at the histories of hundreds of firms in our 2014 data set, we found that the generally slow change in diversity is hiding a growing divide within these businesses.

While most have made little progress, are stagnant, or are even regressing in terms of diversity, others are making tremendous improvements, notably in executive teams. We show that these inclusion and diversity (I&D) winners approach inclusion and diversity in a systematic, business-led way. “With a focus on inclusion, we also show where businesses should be much more brave to build a lasting culture of inclusion and encourage inclusive behaviour.”

Examining the future of work

One of the most crucial things to think about, but also one of the less apparent things to think about, is the need to reexamine our value systems in order for the future of work to be successful.

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This means that we need to make the value of diversity or openness part of the organisation’s DNA if we want to reach our goal. We cannot assert that we are world-class if we do not regard it to that degree.

When we speak about diversity, we are referring to the characteristics that distinguish each of us as unique people. These characteristics include our upbringings, temperaments, perspectives on life, and philosophical views. Our one-of-a-kind histories and perspectives shape not just how we see the world around us, but also what we do with it and how we think about it.

“Equity” refers to the idea of making and following rules and procedures that are fair to everyone and help everyone reach their goals. Equity is not the same thing as equality, since equality presumes that everyone has lived through the same experiences. Equity, on the other hand, takes this into account.

When we speak of an organisation as being inclusive, we are referring to a place where everyone is made to feel welcome, where they are allowed to completely express who they are, and where they are encouraged to realise their academic and personal potential to the fullest extent possible. Variety is essential, without a doubt, but it is not sufficient on its own.

Recognising unconscious bias

One of the most effective ways for a business to improve its DEI (diversity, equity and inclusivity) is to teach employees how to recognise and avoid unconscious biases. Do not, however, allow this to cause you to be confused with the typical training that is available about issues of race, religion, and sex; rather, what I am talking about is a more in-depth study into why we make hasty judgments based on “brain language” and how the brain accomplishes this on its own.

In Neuro Linguistic Programming, we learn about the NLP Communication Model, which helps us understand how the brain actively uses information through the perception of the senses and generalises, deletes, and distorts information according to your own meta-programming.

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(Meta-programming refers to the ability of a program to manipulate or modify its own code or behaviour at runtime. This means that the brain can change its own neural connections or patterns of activity based on what it has seen or learned. This is thought to be a key mechanism in processes such as neuroplasticity and learning.)

When we look at organisations, we must recognise that our humans have more capital in them than is recognised. Very often, our organisations are made up of humans first and then systems.

If we take this approach of empowering our human capital and turning them into growth-empowered leaders, we will have a deeper and more complete understanding of why we actively but subconsciously exclude or choose things based on human meta-programming.

Give them long-lasting tools and ways to check their work to help them avoid bias and be more open, diverse, and driven by equity. This means our human capital is more valuable.

Steps into the right direction

Having unconscious bias training that is reinforced over time and includes coaching can have a big impact on your business in the long run. But the key to its success is reinforcement. Here are 5 ways to start mitigating biases:

  1. Make sure that staff are aware of the concept of stereotyping, which is the basis of prejudice. It is possible to enhance awareness and keep individuals attentive of their stereotyping behaviours and attitudes by providing staff with education about stereotyping.
  2. Set expectations. Make sure your staff is aware that you are making the elimination of prejudice a priority. To start, make use of vocabulary that is pertinent. Make sure that everyone in the company knows how important diversity, inclusion, and equality are. You should show that you care about diversity by including a diversity statement in your company’s core values.
  3. Maintain open communication on how employees are hired and promotions are made. Because of this openness, workers will have the assurance that the procedures for recruiting and promotion do not exhibit any prejudice against them based on gender, age, colour, sexual orientation, race, sex, or any other characteristic. If you are actively recruiting individuals with a variety of skills and backgrounds, being honest about the fact that you are doing so can strengthen the confidence of your workers in the hiring and promotion processes.
  4. Make leaders accountable. Demonstrating the significance of a fair working environment to the culture of the business may be accomplished by ensuring that decision-makers are held responsible for the firm’s principles.
  5. Establish well-defined standards for judging candidates’ credentials and performance. The existence of such criteria eradicates almost all of the chances that bias will have an effect on the evaluation process. Blind assessments are used by certain businesses so that employees are judged only based on the quality of their job and not on factors such as their gender or colour.
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The pandemic has shown how important it is to have a place of work that is open and friendly to everyone. The study’s results show that firms should make inclusion one of their top priorities and handle diversity and inclusion in a business-driven way.

Employees should be taught how to recognise and avoid unconscious biases, and leaders should be aware of the need to rethink value systems in order to create environments where everyone feels welcome.

It also important for leaders to recognise the need to rethink value systems in order to create environments that are welcoming to everyone. Businesses need to put diversity, equality, and inclusion at the top of their list of priorities if they want to be successful in today’s world, which is changing quickly and has a lot of different people.