How and Why to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in Your Workplace
The Benefits of Diversity and Inclusion at Work
We have a truly incredible group of intelligent, talented, and creative individuals at LaFleur. You may have a similarly outstanding team at your business. But even the most qualified and exceptional people can’t realize their full potential if they are working in a sub-optimal environment. And diverse, inclusive teams outperform homogeneous ones across a wide range of indicators.
For example, Gartner has shown that gender-diverse and inclusive teams outperform gender-homogeneous, less inclusive teams by 50% on average. A McKinsey & Company study revealed that companies in the top quartile for diversity had financial returns 15% to 30% higher than industry means. Studies also reveal that diverse teams develop more comprehensive approaches to problems while simultaneously making fewer errors.
At LaFleur, we made a conscientious decision to promote diversity and inclusion at work as we continue to grow as an organization.
READ MORE: LaFleur Cares About Diversity and Inclusion
Promoting Diversity, Inclusion, and Outreach in the Workplace With Communication Tools
One of our recent initiatives to foster inclusion among our growing team is implementing a tool called Feelings at Work. We have a very close group of employees who know that others are here to help, encourage, and support them. But maintaining that hallmark of our work culture gets more difficult as the organization grows and people see less of each other. When you don’t know someone well, it can be hard to give them the benefit of the doubt in the same way that you do with people you’re closer to.
Similarly, as our community of team members has expanded, we are encountering new perspectives, learning more about ourselves, and experiencing a few less-than-perfect moments along the way. To promote open, transparent dialogue in a friendly and distinctly LaFleur way, we’ve started using a tool called Feelings at Work, which is a simple way for team members to directly communicate with each other about anything that’s on their mind.
The Feelings at Work app operates within Slack and lets our team members share positive or negative feelings with others. There are no requirements for using Feelings at Work, but we have made it available to everyone to help accomplish several important goals:
- Promoting the friendly, supportive, celebratory culture we have worked hard to establish at LaFleur
- Providing employees with the tools they need to effectively communicate with others at LaFleur
- Strengthening relationships among team members as we continue to grow as an organization
Promoting Inclusion and Diversity Through Shared Knowledge and Experiences
We also have a shared calendar for our entire organization that sends us reminders about holidays, remembrances, and other observances. In the reminder, we have a description along with additional resources people can use to learn more.
In June, for example, we share information about Pride Month and have a calendar event on June 28 that discusses the Stonewall Uprising.
June Is Pride Month!
Pride Month is an opportunity to commemorate and reflect on the history of the LGBTQIA+ movement and to celebrate and promote equal rights, sexual diversity, gender variance, and community building.
What’s Something You Can Do for Pride Month?
Check out the Grand Rapids Pride Center for upcoming classes, events, and services: https://www.grpride.org/
June 28, 1969: The Stonewall Uprising
In the context of anti-gay legal and social systems and after being repeatedly targeted by police raids, patrons at the Stonewall Inn in New York City rioted, which led to a series of protests over the following days and nights. This event is widely considered to be a tipping point that significantly escalated the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights, and it’s one of the reasons Pride Month is celebrated in June.
What’s Something You Can Do to Learn More About the Stonewall Uprising?
Read more about the history before and after Stonewall in “The Right Side of History: 100 Years of LGBTQI Activism” by Adrian Brooks.
These reminders and the inclusive culture we’re developing at LaFleur have helped encourage team members to extend invites to Pride events, share their feelings about the welcoming and positive environment through Feelings at Work and Officevibe, and get involved in Pride Month in other ways.
By making small, manageable investments in calendar reminders and affordable communication tools, we have been able to raise awareness, and help team members feel included.
Promoting Diversity and Inclusion Our Community
One of our hopes for fostering diversity and inclusion among our team at LaFleur is that it will spill over into the wider community. The people and organizations we volunteer with will see how we work together. Our clients will immediately recognize the caliber of our work and understand the dynamics of the team who created it. Our friends and families will hear the stories we tell, meet the people we work with, and see everything LaFleur has to offer. Other businesses will see our success and strive to promote diversity and inclusion on their team.
Ultimately, we know the benefits that a strong, diverse, and supportive team bring to our agency. We also recognize the ever-increasing importance of promoting awareness, communication, inclusion, and positive action in communities of every size, from two people sharing a shared desk space to our hometown of Grand Rapids — and beyond.
Want to Connect With LaFleur?
We love working with other teams and helping other organizations share in the success we’ve experienced as we are continuing to reinvent what work is. We’d love to volunteer with you, get plugged into new communities, talk shop about workplace tools, or hear about how you’re promoting diversity and inclusion.
Goasduff, L. (2018, November 8). Diversity and inclusion build high-performance teams. Gartner. Retrieved from https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/diversity-and-inclusion-build-high-performance-teams/
Hunt, V., & Prince, S. (2015, January). Why diversity matters. McKinsey & Company. Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/why-diversity-matters
Hunt, V., Yee, L., & Prince, S. (2018, January). Delivering through diversity. McKinsey & Company. Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/delivering-through-diversity
Sommers, S. R. (2006). On racial diversity and group decision making: Identifying multiple effects of racial composition on jury deliberations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 90(4), pp. 597-612. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/psp-904597.pdf