Billions of dollars are spent globally each year on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, yet business leaders have minimal insight into what works and whether their investments yield positive results. Because workplace inclusion is particularly difficult to define, measure, and influence, it is often under-prioritized in corporate DEI efforts.
But improving employees’ experience of inclusion—feeling valued and respected; believing your perspectives matter; feeling happy, motivated, and like you belong; and feeling supported in your mental and physical well-being—can deliver enormous business value, according to a new report released by Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
Some key findings of the report in the Indian context:
· In India, similar to other countries, a significant gap exists in employees’ experiences depending on if senior leaders are committed to DEI. At companies where senior leaders are committed to DEI, 93% of employees feel valued and respected as opposed to 62% in companies where leaders are not viewed as committed
· An inclusive culture is important for recruitment: Two-thirds of LGBTQ employees and employees with disabilities chose not to apply or declined an offer due to lack of inclusion in the work culture - as did 39% of straight, cis-gendered men
· When companies have diversity on the executive team, 92% of employees report feelings of belonging at work, whereas only 60% of employees feel as though they belong at companies without diversity on the executive team
· A significant gap exists in employees’ experiences based on direct managers’ actions. When direct managers create safe working environments, 90% of employees feel their perspectives matter, which drops to 49% when managers do not create a safe working environment
· Inclusion impacts retention: Companies that increase their BLISS Index scores from the lowest quartile to the median can cut attrition risk by approximately 60%
To improve employees’ happiness, well-being, and retention, the report details actions leaders should focus their inclusion efforts on: -
· Demonstrating leadership commitment to DEI
· Building diversity at the leadership level
· Equipping direct managers, and making them accountable, to create safe teams and environments
· Building stringent safeguards against discriminatory and biased behaviors
· Measuring outcomes focused on DEI