As the dust starts to settle on an eventful 2022, where we all started to learn how to work flexibly in “normal” circumstances rather than in the midst of a global health emergency, where we slammed abruptly into the hard end of an escalating cost of living crisis, and where we broke the record for the most Prime Ministers in one news cycle, and where the Watch This Sp_ce team were very excited to win awards, expand the team and host our first online conference and awards, before you’ve had chance to take a breath, 2023 is coming at us.
So what can we expect to be important in the sphere of diversity and inclusion in the coming year? Having analysed organisational trends, reviewed data from leadership feedback and listened to what our own clients are most focused on, these are some of things we expect will, and should, be on your radar as you turn the page on the calendar.
It’s an applicant’s market right now, amid the Great Resignation and the so-called trend for “quiet quitting”. 80% of organisations say they’re experiencing difficulties in recruiting new staff, so this is high on many agendas right now.
58% of jobseekers look for a commitment to diversity and inclusion in prospective employers, and 39% won’t even apply for a job if they don’t believe the organisation is inclusive. So if you’re looking to bring in new talent in the new year, you need to develop your inclusive recruitment practices.
Inclusive recruiting not only broadens your pool of candidates, but it gives you the best chance of finding top talent, without artificial barriers being put in anyone’s way. It also sends a powerful message to your team and audience about your values, and helps you to build a team with the variety of perspectives and ideas you need to drive your organisation forward in 2023.
Ways of working
We’re slowly coming to understand that human beings’ brains function in a wide variety of different ways, and that trying to force everyone into a standard way of working just doesn’t work. Learning about neurodiversity as well as different ways of processing information will be really valuable for your organisation.
Getting to understand your own ways of working, as well as your colleagues’ preferences, will help you all to work better together. You can also then work to individual people’s strengths, enabling them to perform at their best and contribute in ways they really shine, as well as giving people support where they need it.
Related to this is learning about how to communicate effectively with one another. 75% of communications received are misinterpreted, which is a real problem both for your internal collaboration and for your external messaging. Gaining more understanding of how to put information across in a way that works for different approaches will help you to be far more impactful and effective.
We need to recognise that the last few years have been a LOT. We’ve lived through, and continue to live through, global health emergencies, international instability, a cost of living crisis, seismic societal shifts and political uncertainty. It’s no wonder that 92% of UK workers say that they’re experiencing stress.
Looking after your staff’s mental wellbeing needs to be a priority – not only because you have a duty of care and because it’s the right, compassionate thing to do, but also because mental health issues at work cost the UK economy £15 billion a year. Supporting your staff’s wellness is both literally and figuratively valuable to your organisation.
There has been a sharp rise in loneliness amongst the general population in the last few years, and loneliness has been proven to have dramatic effects on health and even life expectancy. With more and more staff working remotely, it’s vital that organisations understand how to support mental wellbeing in these circumstances, and have processes in place to check in on and support staff.
Telling your story
Your reputation as an inclusive organisation is now more important than ever. Stories of discrimination or exclusion are quick to hit the headlines, and social media users regularly share images of apparently homogenous leadership teams or events that only represent limited demographics. Given how much importance employees and customers put on inclusion, with people being four times more likely to buy from a brand with purpose and 64% of consumers preferring to buy from brands with inclusive adverts, your reputation in this area really counts.
Creating compelling audio-visual content that demonstrates your commitment to inclusion, tells the diverse stories of your team members and shows that you understand the wide range of experiences of your audience will set you apart from the competition.
Want to get your new year off to an inclusive start? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we can help you make meaningful progress. We also have some Winter Offers available until the end of January that might help get you going.