U.K. organisations still need to do better when it comes to diversity and inclusion (D&I) according to research from O.C. Tanner, with just 43 per cent of U.K. employees feeling that their organisations are more interested in understanding them than categorising them. This is according to O.C. Tanner’s 2023 Global Culture Report which collected and analysed the perspectives of over 36,000 employees, leaders, HR practitioners, and business executives from 20 countries around the world, including 4,653 from the U.K.
The report also reveals that just half of U.K. employees (50 per cent) feel that their opinions are fairly represented within their organisation’s leadership team, with a similar number – 52 per cent – feeling that how their leaders communicate with them is appreciative of all aspects of their identity.
“There are lessons we can all learn from this research” says Robert Ordever, European MD of workplace culture specialist, O.C. Tanner. “While workplaces need to be more diverse and inclusive, it’s important that inclusion is built into multiple aspects of the employee experience rather than it being seen as the HR team’s responsibility.”
O.C. Tanner suggests that true inclusivity is more likely when there is a real commitment to D&I by the organisation and its senior leaders, with inclusion efforts prioritised. This can range from ensuring everyone is given a voice and biases are called-out through to teaching managers how to lead more effectively through inclusion. Building recognition into everyday culture so that the efforts and results of all employees from across the organisation are acknowledged and appreciated, is also key for ensuring everyone feels ‘seen’ and valued.
Although organisations need to make greater progress with their D&I efforts, the report also provides more promising findings, with almost two-thirds of U.K. employees (63 per cent) saying that they feel comfortable discussing diversity and inclusion with their direct leaders. Just 16 per cent don’t feel comfortable and 21 per cent feel neither comfortable nor uncomfortable.
Ordever says, “While more clearly needs to be done to make employees from all backgrounds, genders and ethnic minorities feel a sense of belonging and acceptance across U.K. organisations, I feel that we’re on the right path to positive change. And as organisations continue to invest in D&I and make it a part of the everyday employee experience, truly diverse and inclusive workplaces will become ever closer.”