According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), organisations run the risk of hampering their own growth by failing to see through the implementation of diversity and inclusion policies.

It said that by focusing on introducing policies and overlooking how to embed diversity and inclusion, organisations run the risk of not responding to the diverse customer base of modern business. Instead, firms need to consistently emphasise to front-line managers the simple fact that more diverse teams are more effective, innovative, and better equipped to deliver superior performance and growth.

This was one of the themes that came out of discussions around research conducted by Bernard Hodes in collaboration with the CIPD.

The research, Diversity & Inclusion – Fringe or Fundamental?, explored the nature of diversity and inclusion issues and highlighted areas where strategies could be better embedded to deliver lasting change.

The report found that diversity and inclusion (D&I) is increasingly fundamental, rather than a fringe issue: 83% of organisations have strategies and policies in place and 57% expect D&I to become more important in the next five years. However, too many organisations are still not looking beyond their legal requirements and too few have a truly embedded approach to D&I that is integral to their talent management strategies according to the findings.

Commenting on the research Helen Rosethorn, CEO of Bernard Hodes, said:

“There is good news and not such good news in the report findings. Clearly D&I is being considered at a more strategic level than ever before – but it is not translating effectively enough into building more inclusive workplaces and people practice”.

Dianah Worman, Diversity Adviser at the CIPD, said:

“The overall message from the discussions was simple – a more diverse workforce is one that delivers superior business performance.

“This isn’t about ticking boxes or chasing fads, it’s about assembling the best teams, that are effective, innovative, creative and can deliver growth.

“While understanding about the business case for diversity and inclusion has grown, UK businesses cannot afford to rest of their laurels. Despite all the great progress that’s been made, there is still more to be done to really land the message with top teams and front-line managers that they should embrace diversity and inclusion because it helps them to achieve critical business objectives better than if they are allowed to keep subconsciously recruiting teams dominated by ‘people like us’.”