Diversity & Inclusion / 3 minute read

Does diversity and inclusion have an effect on productivity?

Written by Maisie Tomlinson

3 February 2021

Did you know that diversity and inclusion could be one of the main reasons why your productivity is experiencing a dip? We explore some of the ways that a lack of D&I can cause problems, from operations right through to staff retention.


The impact on engagement

Last month, we spoke a lot about employee engagement, specifically how a lack of it can spell disaster. And guess what? Poor diversity and inclusion strategies can contribute to poor engagement.

According to this Deloitte study, there is a statistically significant relationship between diversity and engagement. That means if you don’t have a mix of people working for you, your workforce is less likely to go the extra mile, put in the extra hours or be advocates for the organisation they work for.


The impact on sales and organisational relationships

As well as the effects that a lack of diversity and inclusion can have on your business internally, there are also plenty of external pitfalls that come with a lack of diverse hires.

In the UK, it’s now expected that organisations have robust policies in place regarding their talent policies. Indeed, there are a lot of organisations who are doing it right, with proper policies and talent attraction strategies that have diversity and inclusion built into them, who will prefer to deal with suppliers who operate like them.

If you, like us at DRPG, spend a lot of time tendering for work and sharing your business practices with your prospective clients, there’s a high likelihood that your teams and hiring processes will come under scrutiny at some stage. Often, there are factors that contribute to a successful tender or bid that may even include questions around the diversity of the supplier’s teams.

Simply put, if your workforce isn’t as diverse as the client’s, or doesn’t match their requirements, it could result in a ‘no thanks’, even if you’ve ticked the box on everything else! This can have a dramatic effect on overall sales revenues.


The impact on staff retention

You guessed it – if it’s really obvious that diversity and inclusion isn’t a high priority, then those who work for you that believe it should be won’t hang around for long. Although it probably won’t be the main reason for someone leaving, unless it’s a particularly heinous case, it’ll add up to the other factors that contribute towards poor engagement and staff retention, making it harder to keep the best people.

It’s also important to remember that diversity and inclusion doesn’t end at the completion of the hiring process either. Really simple stuff that we should all be mastering by now, like accessible facilities and CSR projects supporting D&I, should also be present and visible. If it’s clear that you aren’t keen on investing in these basics, your employees may also question if you’re prepared to invest in the other aspects of their work life.


The impact on your creativity and innovation

Stagnation is something that all businesses experience at some stage, from board level all the way to departmental level. But guess what? Having a more diverse workforce breeds creativity.

Just dropping some of your rigid hiring policies and maybe thinking about taking more gambles on people with less experience and less education, but maybe more life experience or a different background, will pay off as you gain new perspectives, new ways of working and ideas that a less diverse workforce may not have come up with.


If you feel your hiring process isn’t attracting the right people, or your current teams aren’t diverse enough, then you should also check out our article on how to become more diverse.

We ran a short survey to see if people believed their organisations were doing enough to promote D&I in the work[place. Check out our D&I in the Workplace Report to find out the results.