Diversity & Inclusion / 3 minute read

How diversity and inclusion has an effect on employee engagement

Written by Philip Brown

3 February 2021

Employee engagement goes way deeper than our teams turning up to work each day and getting the job done to a good standard. Did you know that high performers can hit their targets and be high-functioning team members without ever being engaged?


Is engagement all about performance?

Engagement measures whether our employees feel a true connection to the organisation they work for. This could be a belief in the overall strategy, trust in colleagues and managers, loyalty to the brand they represent or pride in the service, product or work that they undertake on the organisation's behalf. As you can see, this goes way beyond salary and other benefits.

What many managers and decision makers don’t realise is that engagement levels could be low, even if things look on the up and up. It is often a hidden reason for poor staff retention, low morale or other issues like absenteeism/ presenteeism.

The causes of poor engagement can be wide ranging. Naturally, the first things that spring to mind are remuneration, working conditions and the variety of work being undertaken. But many organisations fail to realise that ‘less important’ focus areas (in their eyes, not ours) like, say, diversity and inclusion, could actually be big factors when it comes to low engagement or even poor motivation.


We really do care

To be quite pessimistic for a second, humans can be quite selfish; we work hard for ourselves and our families, with work and our colleagues in a firm second, third or, in some cases, last place on our list of important things in life. So why do we care about who is in our team?

Well, we care about who we work with! It turns out that companies who have highly diverse teams really do perform better.

It isn’t just about the bottom line either. Actually attracting staff to your organisation in the first place, before you get a chance to engage them, hinges quite heavily in diversity and inclusion, with 67% of jobseekers saying that D&I needs to be high on the priority list.

And guess what? According to the same Glassdoor survey we've linked above, over half of us want to see the organisations we work for doing more to promote both diversity and inclusion. That means half of your workforce could be dissatisfied by the way you’re currently handling recruitment, retention and team inclusion. But at the same time, only half us believe our organisations are doing enough.

Now that you've seen the facts and figures, it's time to do something about it. Read our 5 ways to improve diversity article, and think of some easy ways you could start to improve engagement and recruit a more diverse, more engaged workforce.


Check out our D&I in the Workplace Report to find out the results of our in depth research into what you think about D&I in your organisation.

Need some help implementing that change or want to take a deeper dive into the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace? Take a look at some of our blogs on the benefits of diversity and inclusion or email us at anythingspossible@drpgroup.com to enquire about a strategic insights dossier (SID) to discover key areas where your business could benefit from change.