Diversity and inclusion (or D&I) is a topic you’ve undoubtedly read about over the past couple of years. Indeed, the conversation around it has grown considerably in that time as awareness has risen. But even if D&I isn’t something you’ve actively sought to facilitate within your own company yet, don’t worry – you’re not alone.

Although more businesses have begun recognising D&I as a workplace concept, the introduction of inclusive programmes has been less than speedy as many bosses are still unclear how these should be implemented, found McKinsey. But as part of a study released last year, the consultancy firm reinforced a fact that’s come up many times: gender and ethnic diversity is directly linked to a better business performance.

Elsewhere, in addition to improved financials, PwC has noted other benefits of inclusion. They comprise a better means of recruiting staff and more internal creativity, with people from different backgrounds naturally putting forward diverse ideas and possessing unique approaches to getting things done.

Indeed, there is an increasing awareness that the value of diversity doesn’t end there. Neuro-diversity, diversity of thought and a diversity of character are hugely valuable to an organisation. Within teams it offers complementary and different ways and perspectives to approach a range of problems and opportunities.

The professional services firm surveyed leaders in charge of D&I strategies at their companies and found that an inclusive culture was more likely to be found at global businesses than regional and local counterparts. However, worldwide organisations were also considered the type of businesses with the largest diversity barriers in the place for progression. Clearly, something isn’t adding up.

Inclusion effectively means opportunities for all, whether that’s during the recruitment stage, for job progression, team-building and so on – it’s something that ensures that people are heard, valued and contributing at their best, regardless of any differences. 

Seemingly the problem is that, in addition to the confusion McKinsey highlighted regarding the implementation of inclusion programmes, companies are misinterpreting both inclusivity itself and their employees. 

Look at the team leaders in your organisation. How well do you really know them? Are they securing fair opportunities to develop? What sort of dialogue has there been between you regarding their performance? If your answers are “Not very”, “No” and “Very little,” a change of tact could well be in order. After all, they’re the ones leading the rest of your workers.

Only by getting to really understand your staff – who they are as people and what their strengths are, can you be inclusive. This will ensure that your people are feeling fulfilled and your organisation is getting full value from them, both individually and in terms of the contribution they’re making to their teams. You will have an organisation full of people that feel understood and playing to their strengths – a culture that’s alive and inclusive.

You can only really know your staff if they know themselves. CharacterScope has been designed to help team leaders to understand and develop themselves and their teams, allowing them to recognise their strengths and to develop the ones that will best help them succeed. It helps them build, shape and guide their teams. Indeed, it’s with this understanding that you can create a more inclusive culture. The benefits are ripe for the picking.