Whether it's a matter of gender equality, disability, workplace integration or individual differences, diversity and inclusion are now more important than ever in companies and Human Resources departments. In order to answer any questions you may have with regard to these key issues, we asked Pascal Guillemin, our Human Resources Director, the following question: what's the best way to incorporate diversity & inclusion into an HR strategy? Below he shares some useful tips and sets out several meaningful measures that your company can take in this area, starting today.
13 Jun 2023
What do we mean by diversity and inclusion?
Diversity refers to the strategies put into place to fight discrimination in the workplace¹. Diversity is multifaceted and covers dimensions such as:
- sexual orientation
- social class
The aims are to provide employees with optimal working conditions and equal opportunities to develop, with the goal of turning individual differences into essential assets for a company.
“Diversity is about accepting differences”
– Pascal Guillemin
As for inclusion, it means ensuring that all employees of a company have access to all departments and positions, indiscriminately, so they are equally integrated into the organisation².
But how can you manage diversity and inclusion effectively to ensure that these values are reflected in your workplace?
What steps can you promote and structure to embrace diversity & inclusion as part of a sustainable approach?
The steps taken to include more diverse profiles within a company should be instigated by its managers and supported by its employees. That said, the more a company grows, the more it needs to structure its initiatives to make them more effective and sustainable.
Refer to our checklist to learn about 8 levers you can apply to incorporate more diversity & inclusion into your HR strategy. We have compiled a list of specific steps you can take to turn individual differences into performance levers for your company.
Download the checklist!
In short, you should bear in mind that effective management and a good understanding of your workforce are essential for deconstructing practices and operating methods and building them back up to be more inclusive – but that’s not all! The most important point is to focus on individuals and not on processes. The surest way to change the collective mindset is to take gradual steps, every single day.
Can a commitment to diversity and inclusion make a company more attractive?
In 2023, companies are more aware of these critical issues than ever before. For future employees, who have submitted an application and are starting the hiring process, diversity and inclusion are seldom decisive when it comes to whether or not they want to be part of a company. This is because, just like in the area of sustainable development, most companies are already implementing diversity and inclusion policies. These are therefore viewed as standard practice and are no longer considered differentiating factors.
That being said, not working on these issues and not communicating about a willingness to change things can cause many employees to disengage and even leave a company. Pascal Guillemin is convinced that these topics need to be addressed through recurring, ongoing and long-lasting initiatives. One annual campaign isn’t enough to change how people think, and your company should never relent in its efforts. While it’s true that these issues may be dismissed as trends, this is just one more reason why they must become part of your company’s values in their own right, so you can adapt to the new world of work and put into place operational practices backed up by meaningful actions.
What are the actual benefits of prioritising diversity and inclusion?
Your company’s values may not match with those of your individual employees, so you need to focus on teaching them to understand and accept other people’s differences. In this way, all your employees, including new hires, will feel comfortable on the job. They won’t feel rejected, and they’ll stay longer in the organisation; moreover, they’ll be more committed to their work and will be more willing to collaborate with their colleagues. Teamwork is another dimension that shouldn’t be overlooked, as it is a major driver of engagement in this new world of work.
According to Pascal Guillemin, the greatest danger is noting that what’s claimed and communicated doesn’t match with what’s actually practised within an organisation. That’s why we’ve put together our checklist as a way to help you implement practical solutions to incorporate more diversity & inclusion into your company.