When discussing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion with clients, we frequently find that the foundation at the base of the ‘DE&I Pyramid’ is missing - that of Purpose.
When an organisation has defined its purpose clearly (and making a profit is a ‘given’ - this is NOT included in ‘purpose’), promoting shared values that the workforce can get behind. This will in turn, automatically drive an inclusive culture, where a diverse workforce is respected, listened to and valued, in a safe and psychologically secure environment - able to freely express their different opinions and experiences without fear of discrimination or recrimination. A culture that celebrates differences in gender, age, nationality, ethnicity, educational background etc - and that’s when the ‘magic’ happens.
But how does a company find its purpose?
Firstly, consider such areas as: the organisation's mission, vision, goals, values and business strategy. Include the benefits it provides its stakeholders: its customers, shareholders and employees, and the impact it makes on both the communities it serves, and the environment. Additionally, take soundings from key stakeholders and understand its competitive position.
This is clearly a comprehensive process.
But the effort will be well worth the time taken, since purpose-led organisations show up to 40% greater staff retention, and 30% better innovation. A well-defined purpose sits as a foundational rock influencing decision-making and inspiring action from all stakeholders, positively impacting the top and bottom line.
Have you yet defined your purpose?