what is diversity in the workplace?
by Kristina Martic
Diversity in the workplace means that a company employs a wide range of diverse individuals. In other words, a diverse workforce includes people with different characteristics.
Diversity in the workplace means that a company’s workforce includes people of varying gender, age, religion, race, ethnicity, cultural background, sexual orientation, religion, languages, education, abilities, etc.
Workplace diversity - inclusion fad or a competitive advantage?
Diversity in the workplace was always one of the hottest topics in the HR industry, but in recent few years, it has become a major goal for many companies. Actually, workplace diversity was one of the key workplace trends in 2018.
Workplace diversity is now something most companies strive to achieve. Why is that? Is it just about improving a company’s reputation and promoting inclusion at the workplace?
While your company’s reputation and workplace inclusion are definitely important goals worth pursuing, workplace diversity has many other immediate and tangible benefits related directly to your company’s bottom line.
Thus, workplace diversity is not just a politically correct fad - it is a serious competitive advantage. Companies with more diverse workplace outperform its competitors and achieve greater profits!
What are the 10 benefits of diversity in the workplace?
- variety of perspectives
- increased creativity
- higher innovation
- faster problem-solving
- better decision-making
- increased profits
- higher employee engagement
- reduced employee turnover
- better company reputation
- improved hiring results
Variety of perspectives
Since diversity in the workplace means that employees will have different characteristics and backgrounds, they are also more likely to have a variety of different skills and experiences.
Consequently, employees in a company with higher workplace diversity will have access to a variety of different perspectives, which is highly beneficial when it comes to planning and executing a business strategy.
People with different background tend to have different experiences and thus different perspectives. Exposure to a variety of different perspectives and views leads to higher creativity.
When you put together people who see the same thing in different ways, you are more likely to get a melting pot of fresh, new ideas, thus improving the creativity of your workforce.
According to Josh Bersin's research, inclusive companies are 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders in their market.
In a diverse workplace, employees are exposed to multiple perspectives and worldviews. When these various perspectives combine, they often come together in novel ways, opening doors to innovation.
Harvard Business Review found diverse teams are able to solve problems faster than cognitively similar people.
Employees from diverse backgrounds have different experiences and views, which is why they are able to will bring diverse solutions to the table.
Thus, the best solution can be chosen sooner, which leads to faster problem-solving.
Better decision making
A white paper from online decision-making platform Cloverpop has found a direct link between workplace diversity and decision-making. Researchers found that when diverse teams made a business decision, they outperformed individual decision-makers up to 87% of the time.
When employees with different background and perspectives come together, they come up with more solutions, which leads to more informed and improved decision-making process and results.
McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, conducted research which included 180 companies in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. They found out that companies with more diverse top teams were also top financial performers.
Companies with diverse workforce make better decisions faster, which gives them a serious advantage over their competitors. As a result, companies with diversity in the workplace achieve better business results and reap more profit.
Higher employee engagement
Deloitte conducted a research which captured the views and experiences of 1,550 employees in three large Australian businesses operating in manufacturing, retail and healthcare. This research showed that engagement is an outcome of diversity and inclusion.
The link between workplace diversity and employee engagement is pretty straightforward - when employees feel included, they are more engaged.
Reduced employee turnover
Companies with diverse workforce are generally more inclusive of different individual characteristics and perspectives.
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace cause all employees to feel accepted and valued. When employees feel accepted and valued, they are also happier in their workplace and stay longer with a company. As a result, companies with greater diversity in the workplace have lower turnover rates.
Better company reputation
Companies who are dedicated to building and promoting diversity in the workplace are seen as good, more human and socially responsible organizations.
Workplace diversity also makes your company look more interesting. Finally, if you present a diverse workforce, you will make it easier for many different people to relate to your company and your brand, opening doors to new markets, customers and business partners.
Improved hiring results
Diversity in the workplace boosts a company’s employer brand and presents a company as a more desirable place to work. Workplace diversity is an especially beneficial asset for attracting top talent from diverse talent pools.
According to a survey conducted by Glassdoor, 67% of job seekers said a diverse workforce is important when considering job offers.
How can you leverage the advantages of workplace diversity?
Workplace diversity can take your company culture and your business results to a whole new level.
If you want to leverage all the advantages of workplace diversity, first you need to learn how to build and manage workplace diversity in an effective way.