If you think “diversity” is just another trend that companies use to attract employees or get good PR, think again. Diversity and inclusiveness are real factors in how businesses perform, how they attract and retain talent, and even how customers make purchasing decisions. Studies show that companies with more diverse senior management teams are more likely achieve greater profits.
In fact, Forbes recently published its second annual list of The Best Employers For Diversity 2019. While it included a handful of insurance companies, only Nationwide Mutual ranked in the top 100, at 81. Clearly, there’s more we can do in our industry.
There’s progress being made on that. Former Insurance Commissioner, Dave Jones, founded the Insurance Diversity Initiative (IDI) in 2011 “in an effort to focus on diversity” and report on how the initiative is doing. IDI publishes a monthly newsletter that you can find on their site.
On a smaller scale, there are changes you could implement in your own office to encourage diversity and a spirit of inclusiveness. Recruit Loop, a recruiting and HR tech company, offers a quick overview and offers 5 ways to improve workplace diversity:
- Stop following societal stereotypes
- Share the decision making process
- Educate employees
- Promote flexibility
- Respect different career goals
Diversity and inclusiveness aren’t only about the right mix and percentages of ethnicities, genders, and age groups, etc. They’re also about creating a work environment where everyone feels valued and respected – where ideas from employees of all backgrounds and levels are given a chance.
One of our newest insurance CE books, #224 – Diversity Training, sums it all up perfectly:
Diversity is an effort of inclusiveness. So, when a company decides to ensure that diversity happens, it should not be within the context of tolerance of people, but in valuing and appreciating individuals that will add to the fabric of a company’s culture. In lieu of tolerance, agents should see their goal as creating welcoming environments, understanding and appreciating differences.
So what does all of this mean for you and your business? Millennials are all about! Think about attracting new, younger agents who could help you connect with a younger clientele. Think about how having bi-lingual agents in your office could improve the customer service you’re able to offer your clients. Think about how seasoned agents, nearing retirement themselves may be able to connect and better serve clients who need help planning for retirement.
The proof is in the pudding. Diversity isn’t just a social issue. It’s a business one too. And the truth is, if you’re not embracing diversity and inclusiveness and the potential they offer for growth and expansion, you could be left behind.
Learn much more in our CE course #224 – Diversity Training and earn 3 hours of CE credit while you’re at it. Want a little challenge? Ask your team to complete the course and then organize an office lunch to discuss how you can make some positive changes in your office. You might be surprised by who has great ideas you’ve never heard before.