Corporate leaders are getting the message: diversity is good for business. Creating a diverse workforce is the right thing to do, but research shows that it also improves profits, increases employee satisfaction and raises retention rates. 

Savvy companies are now fostering diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policies. The extent of the benefits that corporate DEI efforts generate can be surprising. Take a look at these five reasons for businesses to prioritize diversity, along with actionable tips for implementing an effective DEI policy.

1. Happy Employees Means Better Productivity

Research indicates that employees with disabilities, people of color, and individuals from other countries are more likely to perceive biases in the workplace. Those perceptions cause workers to disengage. US companies lose a whopping $550 billion a year because of disengagement. Not surprisingly, these unhappy employees often quit, resulting in turnover costs equal to between 90% – 200% of the salary for that position

In contrast, effective DEI policies help employees feel included at their place of work, which causes their performance to increase by 56%

Taking Action: Modern companies that want their employees happy and productive need to make DEI a part of their culture. Ensuring that workers with disabilities have the tools and accommodations to perform their jobs is a powerful way to demonstrate a commitment to diversity. Whether the accommodation is captioning for training videos or accessible office space, taking these steps will promote a diverse workforce. 

When using transcription services or live captioning for events, webinars or meetings, leaders should remember that some tools exclude certain voices by being incapable of accurately interpreting their speech. Selecting a provider like Verbit, whose advanced AI-powered transcription accommodates accents and diverse voices, shows employees that the company values their input. 

2. Diversity Improves Collaboration Outcomes

Diversity at work

One study found that diverse teams were 58% more likely to price stocks correctly than were homogenous teams. Another determined that companies with greater diversity in leadership develop more new products. DEI in business makes employees reflect on their biases and assumptions, allowing teams to generate better ideas. 

Taking Action: Getting teams to collaborate means building employee confidence and letting workers know their voices matter. One way to accomplish this workplace dynamic is by creating a strategic mentorship program. Studies found that arranging a formal mentorship program increases the number of women and minorities in leadership positions from about 9% to 24%.

3. Widening the Pool to Attract Top Talent

Inclusion in Business

According to surveys, 67% of job seekers view diversity as a priority when considering employers. Statistics show that between 2017-18 and 2019-20, requests for recruiters specializing in diversity hires jumped by 800%. These statistics illustrate that both businesses and potential employees are increasingly aware of the need for diverse workforces. Cultural diversity in business and hiring decisions can help companies find qualified candidates they would have otherwise overlooked. For employees, working for a company that shares their values is a growing priority. Businesses that want the best people will need to make DEI a top priority. 

Taking Action: Major companies like Google and IBM are turning to skill testing to avoid implicit biases that negatively impact candidates who are female, Black, Latinx or have disabilities. These industry leaders found that objective skills testing is better than formal academic credentials at predicting who will be the best fit for a position. 

4. Building a Positive Brand Reputation

DEI impacts where people shop. Surveys show that 64% of buyers are more likely to purchase from companies they view as inclusive and diverse. A company’s philosophy influences consumer decisions, with 82% of people being more likely to buy from socially responsible brands. In fact, 66% of shoppers will spend more on an item from a brand they believe is socially conscious rather than buying a cheaper version from a company they don’t know. 

Taking Action: One of the best steps to take is highlighting diversity by portraying minority groups positively in marketing campaigns. People are more likely to buy from a brand that includes their demographic in its advertisements. 

Another must is making sure that websites and apps are fully accessible. Websites that don’t offer accommodations like captions and screen readers, exclude many employees, potential candidates and consumers. Lacking those features will be a dead giveaway that the business isn’t genuinely committed to inclusivity. Also, accessibility online is often a legal requirement because of laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

5. Hitting Financial Targets

Statistics indicate that companies that prioritize inclusivity see 1.4x as much revenue as those that don’t. Another study found that entities with inclusive cultures are more than twice as likely to meet or surpass their financial goals

Taking Action: Prioritizing DEI requires more than hiring diverse employees- it also means keeping them and elevating their voices within the organization. One way to make employees feel respected and valued is to invest in their professional development. Studies show that continuing education for workers comes with an annual price tag of around $1,299– far less than the mentioned costs for replacing employees. 

Remember that all employees should have the chance to participate in professional development programs. Online courses will need audio description services, captions and other solutions to ensure inclusivity and access.

Verbit supports corporate DEI through AI-powered accessibility tools. To learn how our captioning, transcription, audio description and translation solutions are helping businesses promote DEI, contact us.