GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A diverse and inclusive environment is one that makes individuals feel equally supported in all areas of the workplace. Benefits of working for an employer that articulates the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace include the ability to innovate, higher revenue growth, growth in employee retention, and a more diverse and talented candidate pool. If employees do not feel that they are being heard or cared for, retention rates will go down.
Diversity Begins with Leadership
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace begin with empathetic leadership. Leaders who understand their employees by showing empathy will be more likely to advocate for effective solutions that directly benefit their employees. By stepping into the problem from the employee’s point of view, leaders will be able to diagnose, assess and attack real problems.
Leadership sets the stage for company mission and purpose. Leaders promote a culture of inclusion. They are the individuals that create an environment in which employees can feel the company is committed to diversity and inclusiveness.
An Important Factor in Candidate Experience
Company culture ranks as one of the top priorities for candidates seeking career opportunities in 2021. Over 65% of American millennials are more likely to care about work culture over salary. Positive workplace culture is imperative to candidates, and the root of a positive culture starts with inclusivity and diversity.
Employees are praised for their strengths and abilities to perform well at work. Employees desire to have an inclusive culture that is productive and collaborative. The dynamic of feeling valued for personal strengths in the workplace improves the feeling of inclusiveness. When employees feel respected, they feel encouraged to speak up with concerns or new innovative ideas.
Diversity in company culture is important to candidates because it contributes to their health and wellness. If employees feel valued in the workplace, they are likely to thrive in their roles and excel throughout their careers. When the right fit for company culture is factored in, employees become more connected with coworkers, and productivity increases. Retention also goes up when candidates find a culture that aligns with personal values and relevant diversity initiatives.
FWF’s Inclusive Culture
FWF’s inclusive culture was just celebrated when the Women in Trucking Association (WIT) announced its annual “Top Company for Women to Work for in Transportation” list.
“Incorporating diverse perspectives and providing opportunity in West Michigan are central components of our mission as an organization. We are dedicated to the growth of our team by building the foundation for career and personal success.”Reese Van Heck, CEO of FWF.
In 2020, Fifth Wheel Freight created the Harmony Network (now called Diversity & Inclusion Alliance), an employee-led group committed to the vision of establishing education, unity and diversity among employees and the community. The Diversity & Inclusion Alliance (DIA) hosts trivia sessions, happy hours and events focused on spreading awareness of key diversity initiatives such as women’s history, Black history and Hispanic heritage.
“DIA was founded not only to promote and celebrate diversity within in the office, but to become effective leaders in our community by being more socially conscious,” says Ashley Sanders. “While COVID-19 has raised some challenges, we plan to keep expanding our efforts through many different avenues.”
The DIA is planning to host happy hours with team building and diversity exercises, the group gives monthly trivia prizes to support local, minority-owned businesses. Additionally, the team plans to do a coat drive in November.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are important topics for companies to address. FWF’s unmatched culture strives to educate and implement diversity initiatives for all employees. You can learn more about FWF and apply here.