The demographic makeup of the United States is changing all the time, with communities continuing to welcome new members from around the globe. In addition, technology keeps advancing to increase our connectedness and improve our understanding of what life is like for those in other countries.
The rich experiences that diversity offers through our daily interactions, whether in our neighborhoods or further afield, can have some real benefits in the working world too. The following are nine compelling reasons for having a diverse workplace.
What workplace diversity means
First, let’s examine what we mean by diversity in a work environment. Think about all the jobs you’ve ever had. Have you had coworkers who represented different ethnicities or cultures? Perhaps you’ve worked with a person who had a disability. While both these scenarios suggest a diverse workplace, there’s a little more to it.
Essentially, diversity includes ability, age demographic, ethnicity, culture, gender, and sexual orientation. Employees may express their diversity by having different ideas, perspectives, and values. Certainly, this could be based on culture or varied life experiences. Ability covers a range of diversity, with some individuals having visible disabilities, some having invisible disabilities, and some being neurodiverse.
Benefits of workplace diversity
When you consider what diversity means, some benefits for employers may be evident. Here are the top nine reasons for having a diverse staff.
The relationship a company has with its customer base is key to its success. Clients want to feel connected to wherever they receive service, from grocery stores and garages to medical offices and more. Customer-facing employees must represent the diversity of those they deal with daily. People feel appreciated when they can relate to workers.
A diverse staff contingent drawn from the community they work in will be driven to do their best. The service they provide will be more responsive to the needs of customers. The insight and understanding that your employees bring to their job duties equip them to deliver superior service to clients.
A diverse team encompasses people with a range of talents, skillsets, and viewpoints. This translates into a very nimble group of staff who can see what needs to happen to achieve more efficiency and effectiveness in delivering on the company’s mandate. The outcome is an increase in productivity.
Product development is another area where hiring diverse workers can be extremely helpful. When individuals with a variety of backgrounds and education come together to design and build products, a wide lens will naturally be applied. This means more innovation and creativity.
With more brainpower, there’s a higher chance that a problem can be solved faster and
better. And, when employees with diverse knowledge and expertise collaborate to work through a dilemma, problem-solving strengthens. This is because each individual brings something unique to the table in terms of taking apart the issue and brainstorming solutions.
Hiring employees from a cross-section of backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities allows a company to reach out to new clients. As the marketplace continues to expand globally due to technological, transportation, and communication advances, new business opportunities become continually available. A diverse team will more readily see these opportunities and position the firm to take advantage. For instance, familiarity with another culture and fluency in more than one language goes a long way.
Employee morale is bound to soar when staff members know their employer respects and values their diversity. There’s nothing like walking into a working environment every day where each person’s strengths are recognized and they’re encouraged to contribute their ideas and grow their potential. Workers will be more engaged and will stay longer. Plus, there’ll be fewer human resource issues.
It won’t take long for a company to gain a positive reputation when others notice that they hire for diversity. Recruiting will be that much easier since the firm will be judged as a good employer who accepts staff from all walks of life and treats them well. This stellar reputation will also bring in more potential customers—and perhaps even garner local business awards.
A healthier profit margin is something all businesses focus on. With more loyalty from customers, expanding markets, higher sales numbers, and a solid reputation for diversity, more profitability will follow.
Workplace diversity makes for more growth, higher achievement, and a more satisfied staff and customer base. The richness that diversity brings can’t but help to benefit a business.