Key findings about diversity from the world of research

What are the major drivers that cause people to be prejudice and how can organisations deal with this issue?

Research conducted by SACS suggest that motivation is key. It is important to coach people on how important diversity is in the workplace.

Leaders should be aware that culturally intolerant people can sometimes be reluctant to leave, this supports the view that conservatism is a key driver of prejudice.

Watch the next video in this series here:

Part 5 – What style of leadership promotes inclusiveness?

And watch the previous video here:

Part 3 – Research Findings: Prejudice within the workforce

And if you know of anyone who would benefit from this video, please share it with them.

Video Transcript

Hi, Andrew from SACS and welcome to video number four in our six-video sequence on inclusion.

Earlier videos talked about things like, does a person’s cognitive ability, how smart they are, or their personality or their individual values drive much to do with their inclusiveness?

This one specifically looks at issues that can be dealt with within organisations, and we’ll show you some research findings on that. And then in the subsequent videos, leadership for tolerance and inclusion, and evidence-based tips to make your team and organisation more tolerant and inclusive.

So some really practical techniques, interventions, you might call them, to try to optimise tolerance and inclusion in your work group.

Drivers of tolerance & intolerance

This is finding number nine (refer to video).

The previous findings, the previous eight findings are in videos number two and three of this sequence.

We measured a whole bunch of things, counter productive work behaviour, the tendency to do bad stuff, intention to leave, and affective intention to leave is really, I don’t like it anymore.

Normative means, I’ll sort of stick around or go based on what other people are doing.

And continuance is all about where I decide, look, I just, it’s too much grief to change, I’m going to stick this out because, in effect, it’s too much trouble to do anything else.

Then we have organisational citizenship behaviours.

Organisational citizenship behaviours are where people are doing good things to individually directed focus.

What that means is where people are doing good things to colleagues and helping them, supporting them, volunteering to make their job easier, for instance.

And then organisational citizenship behaviours, which are organizationally directed, are really behaviours where you are doing things to help the organisation out.

Cultural competencies, three cultural competencies behaviours, which is all about, I will modify my behaviours to fit in with other people. Motivation means I think it’s important to create a more inclusive work group.

Cultural competency about knowledge is really where I believe that I know enough to be able to relate to other people from different backgrounds.

Engagement is really a positive mental state about my work. I like my work, I like my colleagues, I like the organisation I work for, those kinds of things.

Negative attitudes towards gender diversity and diversity climate, so you’ve got attitudes towards diversity. And diversity climate is really the degree to which people believe that the organisation that they work for is an organisation that welcomes diversity and encourages people to welcome diversity.

Ethnic Diversity

Now, this data was gathered from well over 2,000 people in a very big study across Australia and New Zealand (refer to video).

So we captured all of this data in a questionnaire form. And when we analysed it, we undertook a mathematical modelling exercise called multiple regression, for those of you who are into statistics. And what it is is that, we are trying to predict negative attitudes towards ethnic diversity.

We focused on ethnic diversity because it’s a really common form of a lack of inclusiveness.

Could we predict this negative attitudes towards ethnic diversity from all of these kind of work-related things?

What we found was that, yes, we could predict people’s negative attitudes towards ethnic diversity with about 50% accuracy.

This is what this adjusted R square means.

Now, 50%, how accurate is that? Well, it’s actually really accurate in social science terms.

The average interview, it predicts with around about 12% accuracy, job performance, for instance.

The average reference check predicts job performance with about 7% accuracy.

The absolutely best interviews ever constructed predict job performance with probably about 25, 20 to 25% accuracy.

So 50% is a really strong relationship.

One of the things that we know is that, negative attitudes towards ethnic diversity can be predicted by all of these other things. And if you look at these, these are all good or bad things to have in an organisation anyway.

Gender Diversity

But the number one predictor of negative attitudes towards ethnic diversity is negative attitudes towards gender diversity.

And so what we see (refer to video) is really, if you want to predict whether people are likely to be racist, one of the best predictive components is simply whether they are sexist.

Cultural competency, motivation, so that’s this cultural competency here.

Motivation is the belief that I can make a difference. And if I believe that it’s important to contribute to inclusion, then that’s a really strong driver of my positive attitudes towards ethnic diversity.

And so that’s why it’s a really good idea to sponsor this to say to people, “Well, look, you know we’re an inclusive organisation.

We are strongly in favour of ethnic and gender diversity.” And if you put that message out, that will increase the levels of motivation.

In the subsequent two videos, we’re going to go into more detail about how you do that, but that’s message number one, it’s a good thing to do.

Diversity climate

Then we have diversity climate, and you see diversity climate is also a contributor.

These beta weights, by the way, measures of strength of relationship and where they’re significant (refer to video).

What it means is, this is strongly contributing to this.

It’s contributing to it in a negative sense, which means that the better the diversity climate, the less likely it is that people will have racist attitudes.

Cultural competency

Cultural competency behaviour, which is, I am a person who will modify my behaviour in order to fit in with other people.

Interestingly, that’s a positive correlation.

And what that means is that, people who modify their behaviours, in fact, many of them do have negative attitudes towards ethnic diversity.

What that’s saying is that maybe the modifications are not particularly skilful or maybe they’re even negative modifications where they’re saying are our boys, people are so different, I’m going to have to fit in with them.

And so there might even be a kind of a sense of intolerance associated with that or impatience associated with that.

Intention to leave

Intention to leave, now, interestingly, people who tend to be racist tend to be less likely to leave their organisation.

And what that means is that, is really supporting a finding that we had in some of the earlier videos that people who were cautious, people who are conservative, people who kind of are nostalgic for the way things used to be, they are more likely to be intolerant than people who are kind of broad-minded and welcoming of new things.

So it’s that conservatism pathway if you want to put it that way.

Organisational citizenship behaviour

Now here’s another finding that I think is useful (refer to video).

This is a further business case for tolerance.

It’s all about a thing called organisational citizenship behaviour.

And this diagram is what’s called a path analysis.

It’s called a structural equation model, that’s another term for it.

And what we did is we mapped these two characteristics, the cultural competency of motivation and the cultural competency of organisational citizenship behaviour.

The cultural competency of motivation is where I believe that it’s an important and worthwhile thing to make an inclusive workforce.

The organisational citizenship behaviour cultural competency is all about, I will do good things for my colleagues or I will do good things for the organisation, I’ll help the organisation out.

That’s organisational citizenship. And you’ll notice that there’s a very strong relationship between the two.

People who tend to be culturally thoughtful about creating a more culturally inclusive workforce tend also to be the sort of people who will tend to do good things for their colleagues.

Now, the other thing that we see is that, cultural competency of motivation also relate strongly to the negative attitudes towards ethnic diversity.

The organisational citizenship characteristic contributes to this cultural competency motivation.

And in a way, maybe it is a form of organisational citizenship where a person believes that a good organisation is one that’s inclusive, and not surprisingly, that causes people to be less racist.

This is the last video dealing with specific research findings from those two big studies that we undertook with The Scanlan Foundation and with Deakin Uni.

Videos number two to four deal with that.

The next video deals with leadership for tolerance and inclusion.

The way leaders behave in organisation can have a massive impact on the degree to which the organisation is inclusive or not. In the final video, we’re going to give you some really practical tips for what might be called interventions, things that you can do to make a workplace more inclusive.

Join us to find out a little bit more about how you can lead to optimise diversity and inclusion in your work group.

Watch the next video in this series to find out more about creating a diversity friendly workforce:

Part 5 – What style of leadership promotes inclusiveness?

And watch the previous video here:

Part 3 – Research Findings: Prejudice within the workforce

And if you’d like some help to ensure your next hire is tolerant., contact us about our Psychometric Assessments.

SACS Consulting
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