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Diversity and Inclusion as Drivers of Bottom-Line Results

Posted by Surovi Dey Dhupar

We live in a world made smaller by technology, with our customers increasingly representing a global view. Workplace diversity fosters innovation and creativity, which in today’s hyper-competitive world differentiate a good organization from a great one. With that being the case, there’s never been a stronger reason for Diversity and Inclusion (D&I). Successful organizations take everyone along. From gender to generational diversity or cultural to ethnic diversity, they include everyone in the journey.

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According to the PricewaterhouseCoopers 18th Annual Global CEO Survey, 85% of CEOs think their diversity and inclusion strategies have improved their bottom line. That’s probably because organizations that promote diverse ideas, thoughts, and experiences will naturally outperform an organization with more narrow perspective and set of experiences.

Having a D&I strategy will help an organization to focus more on this and drive better results.

Here are three steps to getting the most out of your diversity and inclusion plan:

1. Ensure a diversity and inclusion strategy that makes sense for your business. Identify your needs and see if it makes sense to mirror your customer base. If your customer base is millennial focused, then ensure that your team members include those who can mirror that group’s mindset. Or, take for example, a leading Pan-Asian bank, which ensured its hiring strategy embraced more mature and experienced professionals, as the customer base was typically more than 50 years old.

2. Next, connect the dots, so your diversity and inclusion strategy delivers results. What gets measured, gets done. To get the most of your D&I strategy, place targets around desired outcomes, and then reward performance with incentives. Many organizations are now publishing D&I scorecards and linking performance bonuses to diversity targets.

3. Once your organization is performing against these benchmarks, promote your good work. Do this by ensuring you are communicating your focus on D&I and successes in that area with your employees, external partners/client, suppliers, and potential employees. Basically, just get the word out. Many clients are now adding a D&I clause when looking for prospective partners, and communicating your success will certainly help in this.

Firms with strong global presence typically understand and focus more on serving a diverse customer-base than firms serving local markets only. Business Process Management (BPM) companies, for example, often responsible for front-line customer interactions, understand the importance of reflecting a global view. With a mix of onshore, near shore, and offshore delivery centers, global BPM companies benefit a lot from a robust diversity and inclusion strategy that starts from hiring people from diverse backgrounds and then ensuring that they create an organizational culture that promotes inclusion. This benefits their clients and the community but, most importantly, their business. Diversity and Inclusion, therefore, is a business imperative.

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