J. Kent's Blog - Articles for Employers and Job Seekers

Don’t Forget About the “I” in D&I

Posted by: Emma Berdanier on April 19th, 2018

D&I = Diversity & Inclusion

Most companies today understand both the benefits and importance of recruiting and hiring a diverse workforce that includes a range of ages, ethnicities, religions, social classes, physical abilities, and political and world views. But, once you have the diversity piece down, it’s critical for management to ensure the right culture is in place that promotes, supports, and encourages all employees – from top to bottom – to be aware of the inclusion side of the D&I formula.


“Involvement and empowerment, where the inherent worth and dignity of all people are recognized. An inclusive (organization) promotes and sustains a sense of belonging; it values and practices respect for the talents, beliefs, background, and ways of living of its members.”  – ferris.edu

Assess Your Current Culture

Start by making an objective assessment of your current workforce and culture. If it resembles the clique-like behavior found in many U.S. high school cafeterias, then you’ve got some work to do! Don’t get me wrong – many of our youth “get it” much more than their adult counterparts – but I think we all can relate to the high school cliques from our past, or the infamous packs of like-minded and like-looking youth in movies such as “Mean Girls”. Stemming from this clique-like behavior, social exclusion can result in poor physical and mental health, which eventually means poor performance directly affecting your company. When you promote inclusion into your company, employees are more apt to have positive thoughts when coming in for work. And positive thoughts turn into the positive performance from your employees! 

How Can You Promote Inclusion?

The cost of recruiting talent and the effort required to recruit a diverse talent pool is too costly to afford to lose those candidates due to a lack of inclusivity. Some of these action items are very simple and can make the difference to candidates who may be feeling left out. Daily interactions are the most telling sign of whether or not your company has an inclusive culture… remember that sometimes it’s the small stuff that really matters.

Sources:  Staffing Industry Review (March/April 2018), HR Magazine (April 2018), https://ferris.edu/HTMLS/administration/president/DiversityOffice/Definitions.htm