Think about all the people you work with. Do they all look the same? Do they have the exact same beliefs? Probably not. Over the years, the demographics of the American workforce have changed dramatically. Before, the workforce was comprised of mostly white males, whereas today, we are able to see a mix of genders, race, religion, age, and so on. Diversity is probably one of the most common buzzwords that make employers nervous. Why? Because nowadays, it seems that diversity is wrapped up in legalities and controversial issues, making it a hard topic of discussion. The fact of the matter is that diversity is a very important element of any business. In fact, the country we live in is diverse in itself. There are so many different ethnicities among us and when we understand how to approach diversity, we will be able to see how beneficial it can be. When it comes to diversity in the workplace studies are showing that the more diverse the workplace is, the more success it achieves. Having a diverse workforce will require managers and supervisors to review their management practices and come up with new approaches to manage certain people. Having diversity in the workplace has many advantages that business owners should be aware of.
Advantages Against Competitors
Companies that employ workers who identify with a small portion of the market don’t have access to the insights, experiences, and worldviews of the entire marketplace. By having a diverse workforce, a company has an advantage in innovation and will be able to outperform its competitors. This is because organizations employing a diverse workforce can supply a greater variety of solutions to problems in service, sourcing, and allocation of resources. Employees from diverse backgrounds bring individual talents and experiences in suggesting ideas that are flexible in adapting to fluctuating markets and customer demands. What’s more, the company will have a diverse collection of skills and experiences (e.g. languages and cultural understanding), which allows them to provide better service to customers on a global basis. In addition, a diverse workforce that feels comfortable communicating their opinions and unique points of view provide a larger pool of ideas and experiences that managers can use to meet business needs as well as employee needs, which brings us to the next point.
Employees Can Learn From Each Other
Having diversity in a company allows employees to learn from each other and grow. When people are exposed to new ideas and cultures, they are forced to open their minds and gain a clear view of the people that surround them. Some people have unconscious barriers when it comes to interacting with people that don’t look like them, don’t share their same beliefs, don’t speak their same language, or are simply culturally different than them. Bringing diversity into your organization will help break those barriers and will help their personal growth. Think about all the different points of view and ideas you will be able to incorporate into your business practices! Many studies have shown that diverse groups are more innovative than homogeneous groups. This is because when we are faced with people that are not like ourselves, we are forced to think differently. A study found that “the mere presence of diversity in a group creates awkwardness, and the need to diffuse this tension leads to better group problem-solving.” At the end of the day, if you value innovation, fresh ideas, and creative problem solving, you should consider cultivating diversity within your company.
Diversity Helps the Bottom Line
Why are diverse companies more successful? Well, diverse companies are better able to attract and retain top talent, improve their customer orientation, and have higher employee satisfaction rates than companies that are not diverse. Uniting diverse individuals with different backgrounds pools their strengths into a common company culture. When employees feel valued by their managers, they become happier individuals and in return, more productive. That diverse group becomes a team that is committed to seeing the company succeed.
The success of any business calls for a diverse workforce that can bring fresh ideas and different points of view to the table. Once you’ve come up with diversity strategies, be sure to link them to specific goals like morale, retention, performance and the bottom line.
How diverse is your company? What can you do to increase diversity within your company? Comment below with your ideas!