Develop a robust diversity strategy

Author: Amanda Patterson, City Business Library

On the 5th of August, we ran a special event to cover diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The event took place in panel format with partners from across the small business industry. We asked and they answered….

Here is a combination of what we learnt and what we thought…

Why is Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace so important?
This was the question which kicked off our conversation with a panel of diversity and inclusion experts with the City Business Library. While we don’t want to ask the question, there are many businesses who still see a robust diversity and inclusion strategy as an extra to their operations. However, statistics show that a company with a diverse workforce have 12% higher employee productivity, 19% higher team retention, 57% higher team collaboration and 42% higher team commitment (McKinsey, Jan 2018).

But it isn’t just about getting the most of your employees – diversity is about every single person, it’s about the right to be treated without discrimination – especially in status, rights and opportunities. 

So, where do you start? As a start-up or a small business, you may feel that your efforts need to be focussed elsewhere, however building a strong D&I ethos into your business from the start is easier than trying to implement it later.

One of our panellists, Graham, founder of Collazon suggests including D&I in your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) and PESTLE (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental) analysis.

As your business continues to grow, continue to assess and develop your D&I strategy in line with your growth. Taking on employees? Develop a strategic D&I driven recruitment and onboarding process. Managing a large team? Communicate leadership commitments, implement employee engagement groups and regularly speak to your employees and foster an open and safe space for dialogue around inclusion. 

If you’re not sure how to grow – ask your team, ask for help, reach out to employee representation groups or consultants.  The first step is having the right intention.

For more events like this, visit our website
City Business Library is a business research and enterprise facility specialising in market research and business information.

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