Why Does Inclusion Matter for Australian Workplaces?

Since 2017, DCA has been surveying Australian workers and each time our research shows inclusion is much more than a ‘feel good’ exercise. It creates a better work environment that is good for businesses and people.

A lot is at stake when workplaces are not inclusive

Our findings show a lot is at stake when teams, managers and organisations are non-inclusive. Non-inclusion significantly increases risk of discrimination and harassment, reduces team performance, and impacts employee wellbeing. Clearly, it pays to be more inclusive!

Non-inclusion diminishes performance

Workers in non-inclusive teams are:

  • 10 times less likely to innovate than workers in inclusive teams
  • 11 times less likely to be highly effective
  • 6 times less likely to provide excellent customer/client service, and
  • 4 times less likely to work extra hard

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Innovation: My team looks for new ideas to solve problems (% always)

  • 4% - Workers in a NON-INCLUSIVE Team
  • 41% - Workers in an INCLUSIVE Team

Effort: I'm willing to work extra hard to help my team succeed (% always)

  • 14% - Workers in a NON-INCLUSIVE Team
  • 54% - Workers in an INCLUSIVE Team

Effectiveness: In my team we work effectively to meet work expectations (% always)

  • 5% - Workers in a NON-INCLUSIVE Team
  • 55% - Workers in an INCLUSIVE Team

Customer service: My team provides excellent customer/client service (% always)

  • 9% - Workers in a NON-INCLUSIVE Team
  • 55% - Workers in an INCLUSIVE Team

Non-inclusion reduces wellbeing

Employees in non-inclusive teams, with non-inclusive managers, and in non-inclusive organisational climates are significantly less satisfied and successful, more likely to leave their organisation, and to report work negatively impacts their mental health compared to those with inclusive teams, managers, and organisational climates.

Workers in non-inclusive teams are:

  • 10 times less likely to be very satisfied with their job than workers in non-inclusive teams
  • 4 times more likely to leave their current employer
  • 4 times more likely to feel work has a negative or very negative impact on their mental health
  • 5 times more likely to experience discrimination and/or harassment 

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Satisfaction: I am very satisfied with my job (% strongly agree)

  • 6% - Workers in a NON-INCLUSIVE Team

61% - Workers in an INCLUSIVE Team

Success: I have been given feedback on my performance that I found helpful in the past 12 months (% yes)

  • 31% - Workers in a NON-INCLUSIVE Team
  • 83% - Workers in an INCLUSIVE Team

 

Security: How likely is it that you will make a genuine effort to find a new job with another employer within the next year (% very likely)

  • 38% - Workers in a NON-INCLUSIVE Team
  • 8% - Workers in an INCLUSIVE Team

Mental health: Over the past 12 months, what impact has your workplace had on your mental health (%very negative + negative)

  • 70% - Workers in a NON-INCLUSIVE Team
  • 16% - Workers in an INCLUSIVE Team

Risk: Experienced discrimination and/or harassment (% yes)

  • 56% - Workers in a NON-INCLUSIVE Team
  • 10% - Workers in an INCLUSIVE Team

Inclusion Benefits Everyone

It’s not just people from target or minority groups who are benefitting from D&I organisational efforts!

Using Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander background as an example, we found that when organisations take action to create a more diverse and inclusive (D&I) workplace, it benefits both Indigenous and non-Indigenous workers.

In organisations taking D&I actions, similar proportions of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander workers and non-Indigenous workers:

  • Feel they are a valued and respected member of their team
  • Feel they belong as part of a team
  • Are given recognition and credit when they contribute to their team’s success. and
  • Are very satisfied with their job.

We consistently find this to be the case for people with and without disability, culturally diverse and non-culturally diverse Australians, men and women, and LGBTIQ+ and non-LGBTIQ+ employees. Clearly then, it’s not just people from under-represented groups who are benefiting from organisational D&I efforts.

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Respected: I am treated as a valued and respected member of my team (% strongly agree + agree)

  • 87% Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Workers in INACTIVE Organisations
  • 88% Non-Indigenous Workers in INACTIVE Organisations
  • 54% Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Workers in ACTIVE Organisations
  • 65% Non-Indigenous Workers in ACTIVE Organisations

Connected: I feel that I belong as part of a team (% strongly agree + agree)

  • 85% Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Workers in INACTIVE Organisations
  • 87% Non-Indigenous Workers in INACTIVE Organisations
  • 48% Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Workers in ACTIVE Organisations
  • 65% Non-Indigenous Workers in ACTIVE Organisations

Progressing: I am given recognition or credit when I contribute to my team's success (% strongly agree + agree)

  • 87% Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Workers in INACTIVE Organisations
  • 80% Non-Indigenous Workers in INACTIVE Organisations
  • 56% Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Workers ACTIVE Organisations
  • 57% Non-Indigenous Workers in ACTIVE Organisations

Satisfaction: Overall, how satisfied are you with your job (% very satisfied)

  • 61% Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Workers in INACTIVE Organisations
  • 50% Non-Indigenous Workers in INACTIVE Organisations
  • 21% Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Workers in ACTIVE Organisations
  • 26% Non-Indigenous Workers in ACTIVE Organisations