The Business Case for Inclusion and Diversity in the Workplace

business team standing in office planning together

When cultivated as integral parts of business strategy, inclusion and diversity can be the bedrock of sustainable growth and resilience, making them indispensable in the professional sphere.

In today's global economy, inclusion and diversity are not just moral imperatives but critical drivers of business success. A commitment to inclusion and diversity in the workplace can enhance an organization's performance, foster innovation and strengthen its market presence, underscoring the value of prioritizing related practices across all levels of an organization.

What is the business case for inclusion and diversity?

The benefits of inclusion and diversity in the workplace are clear.

"Organizations that embrace inclusion and diversity can better position themselves as industry leaders," says Tiffany Davis, chief inclusion and diversity officer, ADP. "By creating and maintaining both, they can discover ideas and solutions that likely didn't receive any exposure before, enhancing their ability to connect with a broader spectrum of communities and bolstering their competitiveness and visibility in the market. In short, inclusion and diversity can be the key to building a business where employees belong, feel seen, heard and valued and, therefore, are comfortable enough to share their thoughts."

Why are inclusion and diversity good for business?

Creativity and innovation

Inclusion and diversity in the workplace can play a significant role in encouraging creativity and innovation. Introducing and welcoming various perspectives and ideas creates an environment that can propel companies toward novel, forward-thinking solutions.

"The convergence of inclusion and diversity is where innovation and creativity thrive," Davis says. "By welcoming and appreciating various thoughts and perspectives, companies can unleash a wellspring of imagination that pushes them to new heights. This injection of various viewpoints, experiences and thinking styles can spur the advanced solutions organizations desire. An environment where inclusion and diversity are encouraged and respected can form the bedrock of these successes. That's how inclusion and diversity evolve from a commitment to an asset that drives problem-solving and innovation."

Employee retention and attraction

A company's commitment to inclusion and diversity in the workplace can influence its success in attracting and retaining talent.

"Embracing inclusion and diversity can create a strategic advantage in attracting and retaining talent," Davis says. "Organizations can motivate a wider range of people to consider its offerings by providing a supportive environment reflective of job seekers' communities, values and aspirations. This approach can help nurture a strong sense of belonging and recognition, empowering everyone to bring their authentic selves to work. In such environments, employees can feel more motivated to stay and develop their careers and work relationships, setting the stage for collaboration and innovation. Over time, this can shape an organization into a hub of excellence where people feel fulfilled within their teams, making the organization more attractive to candidates seeking their next step."

Customer benefits

Aligning inclusion and diversity efforts with customer expectations may enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty, helping a company expand its market reach and maintain its competitive advantage.

"Inclusion and diversity are powerful assets that can elevate customer satisfaction and loyalty," Davis says. "When we cultivate workplaces that reflect diverse customers and clients, we create opportunities to form deeper connections with a wider spectrum of people. This can help us grasp and meet the needs of various consumers, leading to products and services that resonate with a broader audience. Additionally, inclusion and diversity can help us establish strong and enduring relationships with consumers seeking inclusive and diverse companies with which to do business and help us ensure we stay adaptable and in tune with the ever-changing needs of those consumers."

Conclusion and next steps

The case for inclusion and diversity in the workplace is compelling and multifaceted. Embracing and implementing inclusion and diversity may help companies boost financial performance, propel innovation, attract and retain top talent and enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty. As businesses navigate a complex global landscape, inclusion and diversity will remain a cornerstone of successful business strategy, essential for achieving sustainable growth and resilience.

Visit ADP's DE&I Resource Center for more on the benefits of inclusion and diversity.