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Inclusion and Diversity in the Workplace are Critical to Innovation

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If you want your organization to be successful, you need to embrace three key values: social justice, attracting the best talent, and fostering innovation.

According to Iron Mountain’s CEO and President, Bill Meaney, if you want your organization to be successful, you need to embrace three key values: working toward social justice, attracting and retaining the best talent, and fostering creativity and innovation.

The truth of the matter is that this can’t be achieved without diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

And while there are many reasons why organizations should foster diversity and inclusion — for example, it’s simply the right thing to do — it’s also impossible to ignore the real, tangible benefits to be gained.

Innovation can’t happen without the best talent – and that means diversity in the workplace

Let’s face it, the success behind any organization lies with the people, the employees, the talent. To be successful and innovative, this means hiring the best people for the job.

Employing people with diverse backgrounds, unique experiences and fresh viewpoints is the engine behind innovation. If you’re employing people who all share the same experiences and backgrounds, chances are you may not be thinking as creatively as other organizations that have employees from more diverse backgrounds.

It’s clear diversity and inclusion can only benefit your goals and objectives. But how do you create momentum behind inclusion and diversity? Here are four imperatives to focus on:

Leadership representation

We’ve made the point above: it’s so important to have a diverse workforce. To that end, special attention must be given to diversity in leadership roles. Diversity in background, experience and viewpoints must be represented at the table to not only fuel innovation but also accurately represent internal and external customers.

This is how you know your organization is leaning into the future… or not.

Furthermore, on the journey to create and foster a diverse and inclusive organization, it’s recommended to appoint someone in a leadership role whose single focus is inclusion and diversity. This person would be in charge of not only ensuring the organization hires a diverse group of people, but also that the organization is inclusive in its decision making.

Talent Growth and Strength

Organizations should be committed to the professional development of employees with diverse backgrounds. While attracting top talent is important, it’s also important to create space for current employees to grow within the organization.

Corporate social responsibility

It’s essential that you look internally and make changes to contribute to diversity and inclusion in the workplace; but it’s equally important to look outward at how the organization is contributing to positive change in the world.

Organization-sponsored volunteer programs provide employees the opportunity to donate time to their communities. To achieve the highest social and civic impact, they should be given paid time off to make this happen.

Effective communication

Making real change to ensure diversity and inclusion is imperative. Therefore, you must effectively communicate its value to the organization – and that it’s being taken seriously at all levels in the organization.

What actionable, measurable steps are you taking to achieve this? What results are you seeing? Let people know both internally and externally. In fact, more shareholders and customers expect this of you.

A final thought

If the goal of your organization is to remain competitive, foster innovation and do the right thing, then diversity and inclusion is a must-have. The success of your business may depend on it.

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