Employees in inclusive teams are 19 times more likely to be very satisfied with their jobs compared to workers in non-inclusive workplaces, according to research from Diversity Council Australia (DCA).
The Inclusion@Work Index surveyed a nationally representative sample of 3,000 Australian workers, led by DCA and sponsored by Suncorp. The survey found that 58% of employees in inclusive environments said they were very satisfied with their jobs, compared to 3% in non-inclusive workplaces, while 58% of employees in inclusive environments aid they were highly effective, compared to 6% in non-inclusive environments, and 45% of employees in inclusive environments saying they were more likely to innovate against 5% in non-inclusive environments, while 62% of employees said they were likely to stay with their employer over the coming year, compared to 16% in non-inclusive workplaces.
“The clear observation from the index is that individuals that work in inclusive organisations are much more likely to be committed to their job, to put in discretionary effort, to feel as though they’re going to progress in their career, and are more likely to feel valued and respected and all these things have positive impacts on the business,” said Lisa Annese, DCA CEO. “The conclusion w reach is that inclusive workplaces are better work places.”
The index did find that people who didn’t belong to a minority or diversity group – men from Anglo-Celtic background and older men – are less supportive of inclusion programs, Annese said. Annese also added that the index found that more than one in five Australian workers experienced discrimination or harassment last year alone (22%), with 38% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, Australians with a disability (34%) and Australians under 30 (30%) reporting experiencing discrimination or harassment last year.
Annese said that while certain groups may feel that committing to inclusivity programs comes at the expense of traditionally dominant groups, the reality doesn’t bear that out.
“Every person benefits from being in an inclusive workplace,” Annese said. “If you support women by making workplaces more flexible, making them fairer, removing discrimination, you’re making a workplace a nicer place to be.”
Annese noted that for the benefits of inclusion to be felt, the policies and practices must be more than just token.
“Just having the diversity isn’t enough – people have to feel included,” she said. “If they’re in a workplace that is authentically inclusive, people who are naturally innovative or creative can bring those skills. People who have natural skills in other ways, use those skills. They don’t have to conform to a narrow standard of success.”
The index found that sector leaders in developing inclusive workplaces include financial and insurance services and education and training. Laggard sectors included manufacturing, and information, media and telecommunications.