Millennials are redefining inclusion and diversity in the workplace. These two concepts may be plain compliance and avoidance of discrimination suits in the older days. For younger generations, they take it more seriously.
According to Gallup, millennials are idealistic because they want every person to create a change in the company by giving them a voice. Because collaboration is at the front lines of work culture, everyone should contribute and engage in the discussion.
Diversity and inclusion are not just about providing disability benefits or promoting a person of color. It’s knowing that these people have the intelligence and skills that will drive the company to success.
Inclusion vs. Diversity
Millennials create a new division between the two concepts. However, they differ from those of their counterparts. Diversity, for non-millennials, is all about equal opportunities and representation. To foster diversity, non-millennials consider people’s religion and demographic background. Inclusion is related to this, as they focus more on equal opportunities with promotions and raises.
Millennials, on the other hand, have a more individualistic view of diversity. It is less of a person’s demographic backgrounds and affiliations but more of their thoughts and experiences.
Forbes cites that 32 percent of millennials are keener on recognizing individual identities of people. 35 percent pay attention to people’s experiences and 29 percent on thoughts, opinions, and ideas.
Millennials view inclusion as “a culture of connection” between people from different walks of life. They make sure that every person, especially those who are part of the minority, has equal opportunities to speak their minds and be heard.
Therefore, diversity and inclusion for millennials is about every person’s contribution to the pool of ideas, their unique skill sets, and their perspectives. Equal opportunities are great, but it’s all about recognizing that they are, in fact, more than just their skin color, religion, etc.
Letting Go of Stereotypes and Prejudice
People often have internalized biases and prejudice. It’s understandable to have remnants of the problematic views of the culture that precedes that of millennials. What matters is the process of unlearning.
For people with disabilities in the workplace, people can fail to look beyond the physical attributes and make necessary adjustments. They can have an entire page of achievements and degrees, yet the focus is still on their differences. Companies may hire them but refuse to acknowledge necessary adjustments, may it be a ramp or sign language and other accommodations.
Luckily, millennials foster healthy communication. They are more inclined to have sensitive conversations to bridge gaps. When done correctly, it can be a part of the learning curve of everybody in the office.
Because of millennials’ perception of inclusion, everyone has the opportunity to voice out their thoughts and opinions. That can alter the way people collaborate and the outcomes of every output, presentation, or brainstorming. For this generation, fusing brilliant minds is the goal.
How Inclusion and Diversity Benefit the Businesses
Maybe millennials are onto something with their idealistic views of inclusion and diversity. In their efforts to improve workplace culture, these two concepts have several benefits for businesses.
More People, More Talents, More Skills
Inclusion and diversity in the workplace give the company access to a broader talent pool because the brains and the skills are not confined in the majority. Workplaces with above-average diversity perform better because of innovative products and services that increase their revenues by 19 percent.
Employee Retention and Loyalty
Millennials also consider diversity and inclusion when applying for a job. These, then, attract more talents to apply for a position in the company. Additionally, they increase employee retention because they increase the loyalty of employees.
That is crucial in the survival of businesses because millennials will be the overwhelming majority of the workforce by 2025. That is the same generation with a reputation of job-hopping, and the number one reason for their job-hopping is the lack of engagement in the workplace.
Engagement, Collaboration, and Innovation
Because the key to inclusion and diversity is to have every voice be heard, employee engagement and collaboration improve. As more ideas are present in the table, more innovation and creativity are cultivated into the work environment. That fosters better problem-solving, decision-making, and brainstorming in the company.
There are a lot of things to think about when running a business, and one of them should be including everyone in it. No matter the race, ethnicity, gender, etc., these are people who have something to offer to the table. Maybe people are like a box of chocolates—if you tweak Forrest Gump’s quote—you’ll never know what you’re going to get.