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The Role of Diversity Practices and Inclusion in Promoting Trust and Employee Engagement WRITTEN BY STEPHANIE N. DOWNEY, LISA VAN DER WERFF, KECIA M. THOMAS, VICTORIA C. PLAUT
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Abstract The aim of this study is to explore the ways in which diversity practices affect certain aspects of workplace environments, such as workplace well-being and employee engagement. Examining the role that trust and feelings of inclusion play in fostering diversity initiatives in the workplace can help us see how they influence overall team dynamics and individual expectations.
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Introduction: Why do we need Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace? From a business standpoint, diversity and inclusion initiatives increase profitability and bring in more organizational revenue. They also increase creativity, flexibility, successful adjustment to fluctuations in the market, and overall individual and organizational growth (Thomas & Ely, 1996). From an interpersonal standpoint, having a culture of diversity and inclusivity gives individuals greater psychological capital and psychological safety. If people are being valued for their work by both their co-workers and managers and are being encouraged to express innovate thoughts and generate new ideas in their line of work, then they will have greater leverage in being able to confidently express their values and concerns and overcome challenges. Overall, diversity and inclusion contribute to greater employee well- being, which is a vital ingredient to overall workplace well-being.
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What do we Need to Look for when Examining Diversity Practices and Engagement? Climate How well individuals can trust their fellow co-workers and managers Employees’ perceptions of inclusion; do they feel that their organization is pushing for diversity and inclusion incentives? Do employees feel that they are an insider in their organization, and are they able to access important networks and be involved in decision making processes? An Organization’s Approach to Diversity and Inclusion Treating diversity like a quota is the antithesis of creating an inclusive workplace environment. Diversity practices should be committed to supporting employees from all backgrounds. A successful diversity program should communicate its goals in a way that frames diversity as a challenge and an opportunity rather than as a threat or hurdle to overcome (Jayne & Dipboye, 2004; Howard-Grenville & Hoffman, 2003).
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RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ENGAGEMENT AND SOCIAL EXCHANGE THEORY (SET) The Social Exchange Theory A trusting climate will provide a mechanism through which diversity practices can increase an employee’s sense of engagement in their work ((SET; Blau, 1964).
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