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Engaging the Inclusive Workforce: Strategies & Processes

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  • 0:04 Diversity in the Workplace
  • 0:39 An Inclusive Workforce
  • 1:36 Employee Engagement
  • 2:21 Strategies
  • 4:32 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Millicent Kelly

Millicent has been teaching at the university level since 2004. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and a Master's degree in Human Resources.

Creating a culture that promotes inclusion and diversity is essential in today's workplace. This lesson will focus on strategies and processes that help managers successfully promote the engagement of an inclusive workforce.

Diversity in the Workplace

How is diversity represented in your workplace? Chances are that the workforce in your organization is diverse, or it consists of people that come from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. If you look around you, you will see people of different ages, sexual orientations, genders, and religious orientations. In order to be successful in today's marketplace, organizations need to attract diverse employees in order to attract different sectors of the market. After all, if organizations only attracted one type of employee, they will only appeal to one type of customer.

An Inclusive Workforce

Because organizations operate in a world that values diversity, their workforce needs to be inclusive. Employing an inclusive workforce means that organizations recognize and value the unique individual characteristics that each employee brings to the table. These organizations respect their employees, allow them to feel appreciated for who they are, and encourage a culture of caring support from the top levels of management down.

In an inclusive workplace, everyone is provided with the same opportunities. These organizations promote transparency, honesty, and communication. Employees are seen as investments rather than expendable commodities, and inclusive organizations strive to retain their employees. As a result, employees who work in inclusive organizations tend to:

  • be more invested in their organization's success
  • be happier and healthier
  • enjoy going to work
  • recognize their professional value
  • feel more secure

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is essential in organizations seeking to attract and retain a diverse workforce. An employee that is engaged to an organization has a deep commitment towards the organization, including its respective mission and goals.

Engaged employees offer important benefits to organizations and are essential to the organization's success. They will often work later than they are scheduled in order to complete tasks, and are unlikely to turn down tasks that may be outside of their job responsibilities. In addition, an engaged workforce allows an organization to realize increased productivity, more repeat business, and increased market share. The bottom line? Organizations where diverse employees are engaged are generally more profitable.

Strategies

You are probably wondering by now how exactly organizations can create an engaged diverse workforce. Well, they can do this in several ways. Some of the strategies and processes that can be used to accomplish this goal include:

Promoting the recognition of similarities

It is human nature to focus first on what makes us different from others. Instead, organizations should promote an environment where people look for what they have in common with others. Identification of common bonds help employees connect with each other.

Acknowledging and questioning stereotypes

We all stereotype, or hold generalized, oversimplified views about certain groups or categories of people. However, when not acknowledged or questioned, stereotyping can lead to the development of prejudice, which in turn can lead to discrimination. By questioning and raising awareness of the stereotypes employees hold, organizations can promote inclusivity.

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