Having diverse and inclusive working environments is becoming more and more important for all kinds of organizations. Their leaders have comprehended that it is no longer a matter of political correctness, but a strategic move. The data confirms this tendency: companies that promote a workforce in which different sexes, races, generations and backgrounds cohabit harmoniously reach better results in multiple indicators.
Thus, companies with racial inclusion strategies have 35% more chances of obtaining better economic results1, and those with three or more women in their boards have 84% more return on sales2. If we look into variables such as staff’s well-being the data stays highly positive: 87% of employees in companies with pro-diversity programs feel supported and welcome in their working teams3.
Innovation is another aspect visibly enhanced by diversity in working groups. That is exactly what Boehringer Ingelheim, fully committed with adding value through innovation, was aiming at when it reached out to us. At Homuork, we tailored a training experience inspired in our MOOC “Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace” that was imparted among the staff in the spring of 2018.
“The training format is key to us: the fact that it is based on videos makes it more friendly and educational”, said Inma Priego - Responsible for Diversity and Inclusion in the company, even before knowing the numbers that certified the success of the course. 600 out of the 1700 employees that conform the staff of the company in Spain voluntarily signed up to the first module. This was more than a third of the whole team, and a considerably higher participation ratio compared to other trainings run by the organization in the past. “We are very satisfied”, said Inma.
According to her, in order to reach such a good figure it was fundamental that the training was online. This ensured access to all kinds of professionals and profiles of the company’s staff, regardless of their geographic location and the nature of their post. The program proved to be adaptable to employees tight to their shifts, or the fact that the company’s commercial teams run their activity all over the country.
Another cornerstone of the training’s success was counting on the testimony of eight workers of the company. For this, the organization run an internal casting that generated quite a lot of expectation. The chosen few - as well as those involved in the selection, became ambassadors of the course, helping to raise interest among their colleagues.
Here’s one of the videos in which the Boehringer Ingelheim team participated:
After the good reception of the first module, the managers at the company recently started offering the second one and, in order to promote it, they published a series of videos in which some of the staff members talk about their own biases in front of the camera. They also started requesting the completion of this course as prerequisite to access other programs like the one on “Reverse Mentoring”, by which senior staff members learn skills - technological, for instance, from junior members.
Lastly, with their objective of having the whole company trained in Diversity and Inclusion, they are showcasing the program in other related events like the talk that Ana Bella - survivor of abuse and author of the course “Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace - BAMA Psychology”, recently gave in their facilities.
At Homuork, we are convinced that they will succeed, fostering more inclusive working environments, keeping their commitment with innovation and becoming a source of inspiration for other companies regarding positive social impact.
1 Source: 35% more options. Source: “Diversity Matters” McKinsey Report, 2015.
2 Source: 84% higher return on sales. Source: Catalyst Inc. Report, 2011.
3 Source: Innovation, diversity and market growth. Center for Talent Innovation.