Grab a coffee with your neighbourhood ‘unicorn’ founder, and you’ll probably learn about all the unique challenges they faced on their journey.
But, there’s also a good chance you’ll hear about some of the more common barriers to rocket growth. Barriers like:
- Attracting and keeping the best people
- Innovating first
- Becoming profitable
One thing they might not tell you – that they might not even know – is that there’s one thing that links all three. It’s your Diversity & Inclusion strategy.
Here’s how improving D&I in your organisation can keep it on track for fast growth:
Attracting top talent
Did you know that nearly half of all millennials research a company’s diversity record when considering a job move?
Increasingly, D&I is becoming an expectation. Top talent needs to feel welcome and valued.
This is for all sorts of reasons, including the fact that more people than ever are seeking fulfilment from their work, not just a great salary. Working alongside a more diverse, engaging group of people – in an inclusive and intellectually safe environment – aligns well with changing generational expectations from work.
There’s also a growing number of millennials and Gen Z identifying as non-heterosexual, so LGBTQ+ inclusion is increasingly important. Meanwhile, increasing global talent mobility makes ethnic diversity and inclusion a must.
Millennials will make up 75% of the world’s workforce by 2025. So companies with a strong D&I record put themselves in the best positions to capitalise on how this group’s expectations of work are changing.
Turnover – the productivity killer
High turnover is a productivity bottleneck. How can you focus on moving forward, when most of your hires are just replacing people who’ve left? It’s a common problem – about 95% of all hires are made for this reason.
D&I can help here too. Your people are 3x more likely to leave if they feel you’re not committed to diversity, meaning a strong diversity record can keep your teams together for longer. This frees up time and resources to make hires that will move you forwards, rather than just stopping you from sliding back.
It’s worth noting that inclusion is just as important as diversity when it comes to retention. Diversity isn’t just for Christmas. It requires the creation of a safe space for the unique attitudes and inputs of diverse groups – whether that’s social backgrounds, genders, ethnicities or sexualities.
When we talk about diversity, it’s easy to picture a group of people that all look different. But what about whether they think different? This is called cognitive diversity.
Cognitive diversity is not only improved by having a team that’s varied in terms of age, gender, ethnicity and background, but it’s also linked to one of the most important things for growing businesses: innovation.
BCG data shows that teams with above-average diversity see a mean 45% of revenue stemming from new innovations, compared to just 26% for their non-diverse counterparts. When innovation is so often the competitive advantage, companies tapping into cognitive diversity build a better platform for lift-off.
The road to profitability
Whether your Founder or CEO daydreams of the very lucrative IPO, or the (equally lucrative) exit by acquisition, one big consideration for any investor or buyer will always be your prospects of profitability.
Yep, you guessed it – diverse teams perform better on profitability, too.
McKinsey found that companies with greater gender diversity in their leadership teams were 21% more likely to enjoy above-average profits. This rose to 33% when looking at ethnic diversity.
One challenge to bear in mind is that this needs to go beyond hiring from a diverse candidate pool. It also means making promotion and progression decisions that are fair and equal. This will mean overcoming any ceilings barring women and minority groups from reaching senior roles.
D&I as rocket fuel
There are plenty of factors that’ll fuel or stall your growth – we all know that.
But your diversity and inclusion might be the most often overlooked, and the most under-appreciated. It’s not just that you’ll hire better people, and keep them longer. You can actually innovate faster than your competitors and become more profitable while you’re at it.
In fact, it’s pretty hard to find a D&I downside. Who knew?
Arctic Shores and your D&I
Hiring needs to be fair to be great. That’s why we put fairness at the heart of our solution. Our Director of Customer Solutions & Support, Jill Summers, adds:
“No matter their broader aims, our customers always tell us that their intake of successful hires was much more diverse than in previous years. Our solution is proven to be free of bias (a feat we’re proud of and work hard to maintain). This means candidates progressed on merit, always, providing our customers with a diverse range of talent – and all the benefits that come with it.”