Importance of Diversity in the Workplace

The Importance of Diversity in the Workplace

December 15, 2019 10:09 pm

With the growing globalization of today’s economy, achieving diversity in the workplace is a smart move to make. If you’re a business owner not yet striving to diversify your workforce, you should definitely keep reading.

In this article, we’ll discuss the advantages of greater workplace diversity, as well as ideas for confronting the challenges that may arise as you work toward this goal. But first, let’s look at what exactly this entails.

What Is a Diversified Workplace?

Most people think of a diversified workplace as a working environment that includes employees of different genders, ethnicities, and racial backgrounds. While this is true, there’s more to it than this.

The meaning of diversity has become more complex. A diversified workforce includes people with variety across a number of different categories, such as:

  • Religion
  • Culture
  • Sexual orientation
  • Language
  • Educational backgrounds
  • Skills and abilities

Embracing the changes related to diversity in the workplace will take your business to great heights.

The Advantages of Having a Diverse Workplace

When you put a variety of individuals together in the same room, you’ll get different perspectives and opinions that can benefit your business. This will allow your business to grow in a number of ways.

Below is a list of 5 advantages that a diversified workforce can bring to your company:

1. Greater Creativity and Innovation

Whenever a group of like-minded people are put together, they will generate similar ideas. This is because their thinking patterns are very much alike. However, if you change things up by mixing diverse individuals together, you’ll have a workforce that’s more prone to creativity and innovation — two important ingredients for success.

A heterogeneous workforce will be able to exchange unique perspectives and spark fresh ideas. A good example here is the Disney brand, which boasts a highly diversified enterprise with more than 200,000 employees worldwide.

2. Increased Productivity

Diversity and productivity go hand in hand. Research has found that diversifying your team can boost productivity by 35%.. A diverse workforce is more likely to understand your customers’ needs and come up with ideas to fulfill them. Diversity in the workplace will also increase employee morale and instill a desire to be more effective and work more efficiently. This will greatly increase the productivity of your business.

3. Reduced Employee Turnover

A workplace that encourages diversity and inclusion will make employees feel valued and accepted. This will ensure happiness among your workforce. Happy workers will stay with your company for longer, meaning you’ll spend less money and time on recruiting. By reducing your employee turnover, you’ll have more time and funds to invest elsewhere in your business.

4. Connect to a Wider Range of Consumers

If you want to target a wide range of consumers, you’ll need a diverse workforce. By hiring individuals of varying backgrounds, languages, etc. you can ensure that your company appeals to a wider target market. Because your employees come from different backgrounds, they’ll be able to connect with consumers from all walks of life.

5. Increased Revenue

Increasing revenue is a priority in any company. By reaping all the benefits of a diverse workforce, you will come closer to your ultimate goal of increasing profits. A recent study by the Boston Consulting Group found that companies with a diverse workforce and increased innovation generated 19% more revenue than companies with lower diversity scores. The proof is in the numbers.

The Challenges of Creating a Diverse Workforce

As with anything in life, creating a diverse workforce doesn’t come easy. Below is a list of 3 challenges you may face along the way:

1. Unfair Prejudices

Unfortunately, there are individuals who cannot tolerate people who are different from them. This can result in acts of racism, sexual harassment, or even religious discrimination.

If these difficulties develop in your company, it can create an uncomfortable (and even dangerous) work environment and damage your company’s reputation.

You will need to implement strict policies against any forms of discrimination in the workplace and take immediate action against those who don’t adhere to the rules.

2. Communication Barriers

Having a diverse team could mean that some of the members speak foreign languages. This could result in a communication gap between employees, which will negatively impact your company’s productivity.

You can avoid this by hiring multilingual individuals to perform translations. There are also various translation apps on the market that you can choose from. You can even consider sending employees to educational courses to learn new languages. As a side bonus, this will aid them in communicating with foreign customers.

Bridging the communication gap between employees will make your company grow and open up more doors to success.

3. Different Interpretations of Professional Etiquette

Different cultures have different traditions. In addition to that, they also have different values and etiquette when it comes to the workplace. This may cause misunderstandings between team members and potentially lead to conflict.

For example, in Japanese culture, it’s customary when visiting someone else’s office to wait until the host asks you to sit down. Therefore, a Japanese employee may find it offensive when a U.S. colleague enters their office and immediately takes a seat.

To overcome this and prevent conflict in the workplace, make sure that your employees understand and respect each other’s traditions.

How to Recruit Diverse Candidates

In order to attract diverse applicants in your hiring process, you’ll need to adjust your recruitment strategy. Below are a few suggestions you can consider:

  • Widen your talent pool to source individuals from various backgrounds.
  • Highlight the fact that your company is diversity-driven.
  • Leverage diverse niche job boards.
  • When selecting your interview panel, be sure to include diverse members.

Though you can recruit diverse employees through various channels on your own, it may be smarter to hire a recruitment agency instead.

At PrincePerelson, we have the necessary resources to assist you in searching for candidates that fit your requirements. We put in extra effort to fully understand your needs.

Our professional job recruiters also specialize in thorough, customized searches to ensure that your hiring requirements are met to the fullest. If you need any assistance in diversifying your workforce,  reach out to our team of experts.