At Culture Shift we feel passionate about creating a positive, inclusive and diverse workplace culture, representative of the real world. And we know that much of the UK workforce feel the same as diversity and inclusion become increasingly popular topics of conversation and important to businesses.
In fact, research already notwithstanding, we conducted our own to uncover the true sentiment of how organisations are faring in the current climate across the board, while highlighting advice for employers to diversify their workforce. Our recent report on ‘maintaining workplace culture in a rapidly changing environment,’ showed that almost half (46%) of Britain’s workforce think their employer could do more when it comes to diversity, with 58% of employees from ethnic minority backgrounds agreeing.
Despite 79% of employees confirming that working somewhere with a diverse workforce is an important factor for their happiness at work, 40% think diversity seems like less of a priority in the workplace currently, with 50% stating it should be more of a priority. The report also uncovered that 41% of employees said their employer makes token gestures that feel surface level when it comes to diversity and inclusion, with more than half (52%) of employees from ethnic minority backgrounds agreeing this is the case.
Diversity and inclusion have long been key factors for ensuring a positive and happy work environment, however the events of recent months, such as the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, have resulted in these climbing up the agenda of many employers.
The research found that fostering a diverse workforce representative of reality is a key factor for creating a positive culture and a key component for most employees’ happiness at work. With many calling for more to be done when it comes to ensuring that not only do under-represented groups have a presence in businesses, but also a seat at the table and a voice, there are various factors organisations should be keeping front on mind whilst planning for the future.
On fostering a diverse workforce, representative of reality, our research revealed that:
- 86% of employees said working at a company with a strong ethical background was important to them, with 91% stating that working at a company with a good reputation for treating employees fairly was integral to their happiness at work
- Almost half (47%) of employees from ethnic minority backgrounds said diversity seems like less of a priority in the workplace currently, with 59% stating it should be more of a priority
- Almost one-quarter (23%) said their employer could improve workplace culture by recruiting more people from ethnic minority backgrounds, as well as by providing training to the workforce on diversity and inclusion
- 19% said their employer could improve its culture and be more inclusive by recruiting more people from LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) backgrounds
- One-in-five (21%) said their employer could improve its culture by recruiting more people of varying abilities, a better gender balance and more people of different religions/faiths
- 23% of women said their employer should recruit a better gender balance, compared to just 18% of men
To create an empowering culture for all employees, it’s absolutely essential for organisations to be diverse, inclusive and showcase true representation across all levels of the business. Not only do recruitment processes need to be inclusive, but promotion opportunities too, and employees from marginalised backgrounds need to be supported through their career, as well as other employees.
We firmly believe this is an incredibly important conversation to have and the insights uncovered in our research solidify that we’re not alone in believing more action needs to be taken by those at the top. It’s a shift that won’t happen overnight, but there needs to be clear intent from employers to keep diversity and inclusion at the top of their agenda.
As part of our research, we also connected with Olive Strachan MBE, founder of Olive Strachan Resources Ltd, global business woman and diversity and inclusion specialist. This is what she had to say: “The insights on diversity and inclusion uncovered in Culture Shift’s report really do resonate with me, as they shine a light on the lack of true representation across the UK’s positions of power. Employees are calling for their employers to focus on recruiting people from more diverse backgrounds, while providing training to the workforce on diversity and inclusion, confirming action really does need to be taken.
“If organisations want to create a happy work environment then they should take heed, as most employees confirmed working somewhere with a diverse workforce was an important factor to their happiness at work.”
We hope the insights uncovered in our report, combined with the fact that diverse workforces are consistently proven to be more successful, result in employers making some tangible changes across the board to ensure their teams are truly representative of reality.