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In its latest series of articles, the NCDA has taken a closer look at diversity and the many ways it can benefit business. But diversity initiatives must be undertaken with inclusivity in mind, as diversity without inclusion can quickly result in a toxic work culture, and inclusion without diversity can lead to stagnation. The two concepts work best when applied together.

But what exactly do we mean by an inclusive workplace?

Inclusion means that everyone in your diverse workforce feels involved, valued, respected, treated fairly, and embedded in your culture. A central component of inclusivity is giving your employees an opportunity to be heard and recognizing their special talents and the unique perspectives they bring to the table.

Because inclusivity is based on making your team members feel valued and respected, inclusive workplaces naturally see less employee turnover, and notable boosts in productivity. This makes sense as happy employees tend to be far more motivated, compared to employees who feel unheard.

Recognition is another key component of inclusion, as recognizing employees for their work is a good way to create an empowering corporate culture, where employees feel a sense of ownership in their roles.

According to a recent McKinsey and Company survey, respondents who feel very included in their organizations are almost three times more likely than their peers to feel excited by and committed to their organizations. Building a motivated team is predicated on making sure they all have a voice.

Inclusivity also plays an important role in attracting and retaining the right talent. Thirty-nine percent of all respondents to the McKinsey survey say they have turned down or decided not to pursue a job because of a perceived lack of inclusion at an organization. As the job market continues to become even more competitive, diversity and inclusion will remain a deciding factor for potential hires.

Much like with diversity, to get started you need to understand where you currently are. Here are a few quick tips to do just that:

  1. If you have recently done an engagement, psychological safety, or other related employee survey, look at how included your people truly feel and what they say about being an employee.
  2. Review your recruitment data – applicants and candidate as well as employee equity information can be key in knowing where there may be opportunity to improve your equal access plans.
  3. Think about the ideal state of your dealership. If everyone there truly felt included and you lifted the barriers, what would that look like and what is the gap from where you are?
  4. Ask! Talk (surveys are great for this too) to everyone, especially the people in your organization that make up the diverse workforce in your dealership. What would they like to see improve, what do they love about things now?
  5. Don’t forget to look at what you are doing right. Are you involved in the community? Do your staff promote how valued they are? Do you give exceptional opportunities to your team members to have their voices heard? Although an inclusion strategy is usually about change and improvement, we also need to ensure that we do not lose sight of what is already working.

Creating a comprehensive diversity and inclusion strategy is the first step towards a stronger workplace with greater engagement and productivity. Keep an eye for our upcoming articles where we look at practical considerations and other nuances.

Additional Resources for Members
If you would like to know more about how DealerPILOT HR can assist dealerships in building towards a strong D&I strategy, please email [email protected].

The CADA HRAutomation Program by DealerPilotHR is an endorsed affinity program exclusively for the use of NCDA Members.