Often, diversity is defined as a person’s race, gender or ethnicity. For organizations to become an employer of choice and to fully engage their employees, organizations must not only understand diversity but must also recognize the importance of diversity AND inclusion.
Think about this; if you had to organize a team to recommend a new product or service for your organization, who would you choose? Think about it for a minute… Unconsciously, as leaders, it is easy to associate or “choose” people who look or think like us. For your organization to fully embrace the diversity of your people, you must also include them in the discussion.
This doesn’t mean to choose people who “look” different than you, but look for a persons background or experience to determine if they’re a good fit. Coaching and mentoring programs serve as a resource to find employees who have a skill set that you didn’t know about. Imagine if you had a database of your people, with their interests, their skills, volunteer experiences, and other information to help you organize a team… think of it as a skills inventory.
That’s full inclusion. Putting people in places that they can add value, a diverse perspective and a unique experience.
Diversity + Inclusion = Increased Organizational Outcomes