Business Leadership Today

The Impact of Diversity and Inclusion on Organizational Success and Employee Well-being


Matt Tenney, Author of Inspire Greatness: How to Motivate Employees with a Simple, Repeatable, Scalable Process

Diversity and inclusion help us create a thriving and creative workplace. Despite recent criticisms and debates, the benefits of both are undeniable and far-reaching. They are not mere corporate jargon, but the bedrock of a healthy, productive, and innovative workplace. 

Diversity is about representation, about ensuring a mix of different people in the workplace. Inclusion, on the other hand, is about making sure these diverse individuals feel valued, heard, and included. In the words of Vernā Myers, a renowned inclusion advocate, “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.”

When employees from various backgrounds, cultures, and experiences come together, they bring unique perspectives that can lead to groundbreaking ideas and solutions. The benefits to organizations are well-known. 

But diverse, inclusive work environments are just as valuable to employees as they are to their employers.  

Diversity and inclusion are important to employees because they help employees meet their need for belonging in the workplace. When employees feel like they belong, they experience greater feelings of job satisfaction and improvements in their well-being.  

In this article, I’ll discuss why diversity and inclusion matter to employees and how to make these concepts real in your organization.

The Importance of Diversity in the Workplace

Diversity in the workplace is more than a social responsibility or a response to legal requirements. Diversity isn’t about ticking boxes. And it isn’t about meeting quotas. It is a powerful driver of innovation, effective decision-making, and organizational reputation. 


Diversity fosters innovation. A diverse workforce brings together a wide range of perspectives, experiences, and ideas. This variety can spark creativity, leading to innovative solutions and products. 

When employees from different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences collaborate, they challenge each other’s thinking, leading to fresh insights and breakthrough ideas.

Decision Making

Diversity improves decision making and problem solving. Diverse teams are more likely to look at facts carefully, consider a broader range of approaches, and remain objective. 

This thoroughness leads to better decision-making, helping organizations navigate complex business landscapes.


Diversity can significantly improve an organization’s reputation. In today’s globalized world, customers and clients are increasingly diverse. They want to see themselves represented in the companies they do business with. 

A diverse workforce signals to customers that the organization values all individuals and respects differences. It’s important for company culture, can attract a wider customer base, and fosters customer loyalty.

Employees also value diversity and representation. They want to work in an environment where they feel seen, heard, and valued. When employees see that their organization is committed to diversity, it can increase their sense of belonging and job satisfaction.

The Role of Inclusion in Employee Well-Being

Inclusion in the workplace is a key aspect of employee well-being. It goes beyond simply having a diverse workforce. As a leader, you want to ensure all employees feel valued, respected, and part of the team. This improves morale and supports employees’ mental health.


Inclusion fosters a sense of value and respect among employees. When employees feel included, they feel that their contributions are valued and their individuality is respected

This leads to increased job satisfaction and productivity. Employees who feel included are more likely to be engaged in their work, leading to higher performance levels.

Improves Morale

Inclusion plays a significant role in reducing employee turnover because it improves morale. Employees are more likely to stay with an organization where they feel included. They are less likely to seek employment elsewhere, reducing turnover rates. 

Furthermore, an inclusive environment fosters positive relationships among employees, improving morale and creating a more positive workplace culture.

Mental Health

Inclusive policies and practices are crucial in supporting employees’ mental health. Inclusive workplaces are safe spaces where employees feel comfortable expressing themselves without fear of judgment, discrimination, or reprisals. This can reduce stress and anxiety, leading to better mental health. 

Inclusive policies such as flexible working hours, mental health days, and support for employees with disabilities can provide additional support for employees’ mental health.

Inclusion helps us create an environment where all employees feel valued, respected, and supported. Recognizing and appreciating the unique contributions each employee brings to the table makes organizations more resilient. Inclusion is not just good for employees; it’s good for business.

Inclusion and Neurodivergent Employees

While discussions around diversity and inclusion frequently center on aspects such as gender, race, ethnicity, and sexuality, the discourse has evolved to increasingly recognize and incorporate neurodiversity as a crucial element.

Neurodivergence refers to the natural variation in the human brain in terms of sociability, learning, attention, mood, and other mental functions. It includes conditions such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and others. In the workplace, recognizing neurodivergence is crucial as it broadens the understanding of diversity and inclusion.

Neurodivergent employees often bring unique perspectives and strengths to an organization. They may have exceptional abilities in areas such as pattern recognition, memory, or creativity. Their different ways of processing information can lead to innovative solutions and ideas, contributing significantly to the organization’s success.

However, to harness these unique abilities, it’s essential to create an inclusive environment that supports neurodivergent employees. This includes providing reasonable accommodations, fostering understanding and acceptance among all employees, and implementing inclusive hiring practices.

The inclusion of neurodivergent employees not only enriches the diversity of the workforce but also fosters a culture of acceptance and respect. It sends a powerful message that everyone’s contribution is valued, leading to a more inclusive and productive workplace.

Going Forward

As demographic shifts continue to rock the population and the labor force, diversity and inclusion will remain strategic imperatives for modern organizations that want to compete in an increasingly diverse world. 

Diversity brings a variety of perspectives, fostering innovation, enhancing decision-making, and improving an organization’s reputation. Inclusion boosts employee well-being, reduces turnover, and supports mental health. Recognizing and supporting neurodivergent employees enriches the workforce and fosters a culture of acceptance for all.

To create a more inclusive work environment, organizations can implement inclusive hiring practices, provide reasonable accommodations, and foster an environment of understanding and acceptance. Such an environment not only benefits employees by making them feel valued and respected but also benefits organizations by driving innovation and productivity. 

Embracing diversity and inclusion is not just the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do, and essential for long-term success in a rapidly changing world.

Matt Tenney has been working to help organizations develop leaders who improve employee engagement and performance since 2012. He is the author of three leadership books, including the groundbreaking, highly acclaimed book Inspire Greatness: How to Motivate Employees with a Simple, Repeatable, Scalable Process.

Matt’s ideas have been featured in major media outlets and his clients include numerous national associations and Fortune 500 companies.

He is often invited to deliver keynote speeches at conferences and leadership meetings, and is known for delivering valuable, actionable insights in a way that is memorable and deeply inspiring.

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