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The Digital Generation and the Business Case for Diversity and Inclusion

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Tania Stockbridge
on June 10, 2016

The business case for diversity has never been clearer. Among the most widely distributed facts around the business benefits for diversity include the McKinsey findings that diverse teams outperform industry norms by 35 percent, Bersin findings that diverse organizations have 2.3x higher cash flow per employee, and most recently a PwC survey indicated 85 percent of CEOs whose organizations have a diversity and inclusiveness strategy say the strategy has enhanced the organization’s performance. 

Did you know, however, there is also a business case to be made specifically for diversity and inclusion with millennials? Organizations who have a diversity and inclusion strategy will not only benefit from the innovative ideas that a more diverse employee base will bring into specific departments, such as marketing, product development, and salesbut will also see benefits to their bottom line because millennials want to purchase from organizations that make diversity and inclusion a priority.

A recent study from Aflac on Corporate Social Responsibility found that 92 percent of millennials, whom PeopleFluent has dubbed the Digital Generation, reported being more likely to purchase from an ethical company, and 82 percent believe that companies that stay true to their ethics and values outperform others in their field. This commitment to ethical organizations doesn’t just extend to millennial buying habits; it also applies to their career development.

This sentiment was confirmed in PeopleFluent’s own original research report, “The Digital Generation in the Workplace,” which featured responses to a national survey of nearly 650 working professionals aged 18-35, and included statistics and quotes on this generation’s unique experiences and how that has shaped their approach to the working world.

The PeopleFluent study found that members of the Digital Generation want to be in an environment that reflects their current reality. This is a generation that cares deeply about the ethic and aspirations of fair and equal employment practice to all employees. It also found that the importance of culture cannot be overstated with regard to recruiting the best and brightest young professionals, with 39.1 percent of respondents naming this as an important factor when looking for work.

In addition to being a top consideration for workplace selection, great culture is a catalyst for referrals from current employees, with more than 35 percent saying culture would be the top reason they’d refer someone to their company. The unique culture that comes from having a varied diverse employee base will not only help attract millennials to your organization, but keep them there as well. In fact, PeopleFluent survey participants who felt their organization was not inclusive were 1.7x more likely to be actively looking for a new opportunity.

The Digital Generation is the most diverse in American history, and every Census poll out there indicates that number is only going to grow. Organizations who want to survive and thrive in the economy of the future, can no longer ignore the facts that are presented with these two very important and powerful groups of individuals.

 Do you feel like you have a firm grasp on what success at your organization will look like in 5, 10, 20 years? What are you doing from a talent acquisition and talent management perspective to engage your current employee base and prepare for the future? How are you recruiting the Digital Generation with diversity and inclusion in mind? Do you have capabilities that illustrate and expand your internal and external diversity pools? Are you tying your current pay-for-performance initiatives to diversity and inclusion goals? How does diversity and inclusion fit into your existing compensation planning process? Are you aligning career management capabilities with diversity programs?

These are all questions that need to be considered and accounted for before it’s too late and your competition surpasses you. Unsure of where and how to start? Give us a call or learn more about our diversity and inclusion capabilities here

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