Incorporating D&I into recognition to drive workplace success

A new report from the Achievers Workforce Institute highlights the importance of integrating D&I initiatives with employee recognition programmes.
By: | July 12, 2021

Organisations that align their diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts with their recognition strategy achieve benefit from a wide range of benefits, including better financial performance, higher employee engagement and more success in their D&I and recognition efforts, reported the Achievers Workforce Institute.

In their new 2021 D&I Insights report, Achievers identified the correlation between a strong culture of recognition and a strong commitment to D&I. A study conducted as part of the report saw 82% of employees and 89% of HR leaders “strongly agree” or “agree that their company is committed to D&I and 87% of employees report a high level of inclusion.

Conversely, at companies with a weak culture of recognition, only 39% of employees and 38% of HR leaders say there is a commitment to D&I and only 43% of employees feel included. This, according to Achievers, means that where there is a strong culture of recognition, employees and HR leaders are more than twice as likely to report that they feel included at their organisation.

While incorporating D&I into recognition creates better workplace outcomes, not enough companies are doing so. According to Achievers, in organisations where recognition incorporates D&I elements, employees and HR leaders report greater financial success and higher levels of employee engagement.

Specifically, at organisations where D&I is integrated with recognition, 55% of employees say they are “highly engaged” and 41% of HR leaders say they have a “highly engaged workforce.” At the other end of the scale, only 17% of employees say they are “highly engaged” and 0% of HR leaders say their workforce is “highly engaged”.

Therefore, in organisations where recognition practices go hand-in-hand with D&I efforts, there are three times the number of highly engaged employees, Achievers summarised, while also highlighting how incorporating D&I into recognition makes both programme more effective.

About half (53%) of employees say that D&I initiatives such as Employee Resource Groups, D&I learning courses, talent exchange or job shadowing progammes, and mentoring/sponsorship programmes are “very effective” or “somewhat effective at giving them a sense of inclusion.

Among employees whose companies integrate D&I with recognition, this number rises to 69%. Meanwhile, among workers whose companies do not integrate D&I with recognition, only 10% say these programmes have a positive effect on their feelings of inclusion.

In addition, respondents noted that when it comes to the effectiveness of D&I initiatives, recognition has a key role to play. Programmes that recognise their support of D&I were the second most effective way to boost employee inclusion, reported as being just slightly less effective than mentoring/sponsorship programmes.

READ: How to create a sense of belonging at the workplace

Looking ahead, both recognition and D&I will benefit from an empowered, data-informed perspective and an inspired approach to driving best-in-class business practices, said Dr Natalie Baumgartner, Chief Workforce Scientist, Achievers Workforce Institute.

She added, “Based on our research, this up leveled approach to success must ensure that recognition and D&I leaders are working together in lockstep as they strive to make improvements in their respective areas.

“Companies that prioritise the powerful integration of recognition and D&I will be ensuring that their employees feel welcomed, included and appreciated – resulting in higher levels of engagement, productivity and overall organisational success.”

Click here to download the full report and receive tips on how you can integrate your recognition programmes to increase inclusion and belonging, while driving business results.