Diversity in the workplace is increasingly becoming a topic of interest for many employers, both in the public and private sector. Workplace diversity entails bringing together people from diverse backgrounds, personalities, cultures, and even viewpoints to achieve an organization or company’s objectives. It accounts for a lot of things, including a successful business. This diversity is crucial in this day and age, considering the world is a global village, and the workplace is just but one of the numerous places where this is representative.
For anyone in business, whether you have a small startup or you run a successful company, workplace diversity is important to consider and put measures in place to enforce. Here are some reasons why you should prioritize this in your workplace.
Improved employee productivity
One of the main benefits of workplace diversity is better employee performance. While most employers do not see the immediate correlation, it is indeed one of the advantages that come with hiring from a diverse pool of talent. Being diverse in the workplace translates into productivity because your staff members feel included and equal. This, in turn, improves their comfort levels with each other and with you as their employer. With increased motivation comes better performance.
When you hire a diverse workforce, you immediately get more talent to tap into. Your current team also benefits from fresh ideas and skills possessed by the new entrants. For example, if you hire a young person to work in a team of employees who are, say, over 45, the latter would probably benefit more from the younger colleague on matters ranging from the latest trends to social media. Injecting diversity into the workplace, be it in terms of age or culture, could enrich ideas and find innovative ways to solve work-related challenges.
Widened talent pool
Organizations and companies which are known for promoting diversity in the workplace are sought after by job seekers. If you are looking for ways to make your workplace diverse, you can do so right from the hiring process. When you open your job ads for application by people from all backgrounds, you open yourself up for more talent, which you can then choose from. This could be as simple as encouraging applicants from different races, gender, countries, ages, and other minorities to apply when you put out offers.
Some companies and organizations do not know, especially those that are for-profit, that your workforce’s composition sometimes influences your potential audience or market. If, for example, you are in the business of making hair products targeted at people of color and all your employees are white male, your audience or market may not readily connect with your product. The same would go for a company that is run by a team of women, yet they are geared towards solving issues concerning men, yet no man is included in the decision-making. When hiring a workforce with profitability in mind, it is important to include people to who your audience can relate. This will later translate into profitability and more exposure for your services or products.
Richer, wider networking opportunities
If you open up your organization to people from different backgrounds, you also welcome networking opportunities beyond the small circles you might have initially started with. You do not have to limit your growth and connections to your city or country. With digital technology, networking is now global. You can interact with people beyond cultural barriers, language differences, and even diversity in opinions. If you have a diverse workforce, you also send out a message to potential collaborators and customers that you are not biased, and they will find it easy to relate to your business.
Some problems affecting companies and organizations would easily be solved by engaging with a diverse workforce. Sometimes, personal experiences or cultural issues inform decision-making and help reach positive solutions for your business. For example, suppose you would like to roll out a social media campaign to makers a certain product to women, young people, or people from a particular culture. In that case, hearing the perspective and personal experiences of one of the targeted people could make all the difference. They could give you the go-ahead to launch the program or give you ideas to tweak it so as to appeal to the target audience. Decision-making is made more effective and faster than it would have been without input from such a person.
While workplace diversity does a lot to improve a company or organization’s profitability, it also contributes to its business reputation. Workplace diversity could be the selling point of a company over another. Usually, the former is viewed as socially responsible, ready to embrace human rights and other values, and more relatable than their competitors win the same niche. When customers choose who to do business with, the chances are that they would opt for a company that is reputed for its diversity as opposed to those with a bad reputation and a history of discrimination. Organizations that promote diversity are also better positioned to receive funding from donors than their counterparts who do not.
Finding a balance in terms of workplace diversity is not easy. It takes a tactful employer to put strategies in place to promote diversity as a business culture. The benefits are numerous. If you own a business and are looking to leverage the benefits of diversity in the workplace, consider hiring from a large talent pool and seeing to it that your employees understand the concept through regular training. At the end of the day, a diverse workplace is enjoyable to work in for employees and has many benefits to an employer. Some companies and organizations work with employee engagement consultants to ensure that they reach this balance. The professional help of an expert can help you design meaningful work diversity policies and make everyone, employees and customers alike, feel welcome and valued.