There’s increasing evidence and research to show the importance of developing a diverse and inclusive workforce, and one of the simplest arguments is found in the changing US demographics. It’s common sense that having a sales or services organization that’s in closer alignment to your customer base will prove beneficial with customer relations. Below are a few facts about the changing demographics according to the US Census Bureau and Nielson predictions:
- In the next 25 years, the US population will be 50% non-white buyers
- The Generation Z population under the age of 10 is already 50.8% multicultural
- US population growth percentage by race by 2050 will be: 19.5% Asian, 21.1% African American, 27.4% +2 races, 85.9% Hispanic but a decrease of 39.4% Non-Hispanic white
For businesses to develop products and properly interface with consumers, they themselves must be reflective of their client populations. However, having a diverse workforce alone will not solve these looming challenges. The last couple of decades has shown that simply hitting compliance numbers to develop diversity is not enough. Employees and the culture of the organization must be inclusive. It is this inclusiveness of thought and behavior that allows a diverse population to perform effectively as a team.
A recent study, based on a survey of 245 global organizations and more than 70 client interviews released by Deloitte in May of 2017, found:
“The research reveals that organizations with inclusive cultures are six times more likely to be innovative, six times more likely to anticipate change and respond effectively, and twice as likely to meet or exceed financial targets. Despite the demonstrated benefits of embracing an inclusive culture, the research also indicates that only 12% of organizations around the world have reached full maturity.”
To download Deloitte’s Building an Inclusive Culture click here.
One of the key challenges most organizations have with the goal of becoming a diverse and inclusive culture is simply gaining an understanding of their current employees’ level of inclusiveness. Having a benchmark of your employees’ competencies such as collaboration, inclusiveness, recognizing others, leveraging diversity, etc. will allow you to evaluate how various departments and the total organization align to your desired culture. Once you have the gap analysis completed, you’re able to implement training, targeted employee development and hiring initiatives.
Building a diverse and inclusive culture has many phases and can be a challenging process, but it’s now a business necessity. The good news is talent assessment tools for individuals and organizational culture have advanced to provide great insight to your current business. As Peter Drucker said, “What gets measured gets improved.”