By | Linda Carter
Diversity is a word that has been given wings in recent years. It’s something that has only recently started to be taken seriously by many sectors but many businesses are certainly making up for lost time as far as diversifying the workplace is concerned.
What is diversity in the workplace?
In essence, diversity in the workplace means that a company employs a wide range of diverse individuals. It means that a company’s workforce includes people of varying gender, age, religion, race, ethnicity, cultural background, sexual orientation, languages, education and abilities, all of whom are working together in perfect harmony.
But it’s more than that really. It’s not just about diverse hiring, it’s about cultivating a more inclusive and accommodating environment and utilising the best that your employees have to offer. Because you’re more likely to come to a unique conclusion if you have many different ideas, outlooks, experiences and opinions coming together.
The benefits of a diverse workforce
Creativity and innovation – A more diverse workforce is a more well-rounded team with access to different perspectives. These perspectives are far more likely to lead to creative and innovative work than if everyone was coming from the same place, so to speak.
Reputation – Of course, there will be some who accuse you of simply paying lip-service but more often than not, diverse hiring should prove to be a significant boon as far as your PR is concerned. We live in an age where social media can make or break a company from an HR perspective so being known as a decidedly diverse business will give you plenty of ammunition for building a positive campaign.
Problem-solving – Research from Harvard attests that diverse teams are able to solve problems more quickly because they come up with a wider range of solutions and are able to assess these solutions in a practical and considered way.
Selection – There are so many diverse hires to choose from and you could diversify even further by hiring interim management to bulk out your team and guide it into a more diverse future.
Employee engagement and retention – If employees feel as though they are being included in the business at every level then they are more likely to feel engaged and more likely to remain loyal. Let your employees know you respect and value them and you might have employees for life.
A better understanding of your customers – A good businesses in the 21st century should be an accurate reflection of society. These are the people you’ll be trying to court, after all. The more diverse voices represented at your company, the deeper level of understanding you’ll have of a wider variety of customers.