Six Reasons To Be An Inclusive Leader
Workplace diversity is defined as: understanding, accepting and valuing differences between people of different races, ethnicities, genders, ages, religions, disabilities and sexual orientations, as well as differences in personalities, skill sets, experiences and knowledge bases.
Diversity and inclusion have become important topics in corporate America. Whether driven by leadership or by employee demand, many companies are taking a stand on specific issues.
To be effective in an increasingly political setting, it's important to build your skills as an inclusive leader. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share these key reasons to be an inclusive leader from Ryan Jenkins, a speaker on Millennial and Gen Z issues.
1. Workforce diversity is accelerating. Forty-five percent of U.S. Millennials (the largest generation in the workforce) are minorities. And members of the post-Millennial generation, Gen Z, who have begun entering the workforce continue that diversity. And by 2023, people of color will comprise the majority of the American working class.
2. Generational diversity is expanding. The average global life expectancy of humans in 1900 was 31 years old. Today, the average life expectancy is 72 years old. Due to advances in medicine and technology, humans are living longer, and they are working longer. Extended careers will eventually expand the number of generations in the workforce from five to six or seven.
3. Attract, retain and engage Millennials. Eighty percent of workers indicate inclusion is important when choosing an employer. And 53 percent of Millennials say they would leave their current organization for a more inclusive one; 30 percent say they have left an organization for a more inclusive one. And according to Deloitte University Leadership Center for Inclusion and the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, Millennials feel more engaged, empowered and authentic when they believe their organization is inclusive.
4. Unlock more innovation. Eighty-five percent of enterprises agree that diversity results in the most innovative ideas. Non-diverse teams are likely to approach a problem from a similar vantage point, ultimately narrowing the possible solutions. Conversely, a diverse team is better equipped to approach a problem from various angles, likely shortening the time it takes to arrive at a suitable solution. Inclusive leaders can leverage their team's cognitive diversity to be more innovative.
5. Outperform the competition. Companies with inclusive practices in hiring, promotion, development, leadership and team management generate up to 30 percent higher revenue per employee and greater profitability than their competitors. Diverse teams led by an inclusive leader also outperform.
6. Technology has streamlined. Ubiquitous connectivity has opened the door to a global workforce, and various technologies have made employee communication and collaboration across countries effortless. Additionally, with the increased focus on the bias (conscious and unconscious) that exists in recruiting, many new technologies have emerged to reduce biases.
In step with these trends, take the opportunity to learn to be a more inclusive leader within your team, and with your management, suppliers and customers.
Source: Ryan Jenkins is a Millennial and Generation Z speaker who helps organizations lead, engage and sell to emerging generations. He is a leading voice on the multi-generational workplace and the future of work. He is also the author of The Millennial Manual: The Complete How-To Guide to Manage, Develop, and Engage Millennials at Work. Access more generational insights on his blog and YouTube channel.