By Isabel Illig
In today’s political and social climate, diversity is more and more important especially in the workplace. This means hiring people with all sorts of different backgrounds in gender, age, religion, race, ethnicity, cultural background, sexual orientation, language, education, abilities, etc.
Forbes1 recommends companies align their diversity practices with their organizational goals. It is important that you clearly define what you want to achieve, keep it unique to your organization, properly implement your strategy and win the hearts and minds of your employees.
To promote diversity you must take an active interest, get to know everyone on your team and recommend the best candidates2.
And while diversity is important, it doesn’t mean much without another equally important component: inclusiveness. Inclusion positively affects the culture in any work environment whether it be in a mom-and-pop shop, a small business or a large global company.
Here are 6 ways diversity can benefit your company:
- Improve productivity levels
Employees from all different backgrounds can learn from each other’s experience and apply what they learn to their work and their team dynamic. Promoting inclusivity and equity will make your employees happier and more comfortable in the workplace allowing them to produce better work. And diversity brings more perspectives to the table, which means more options and solutions making the problem-solving process run more efficiently.
- Increase creativity and innovation
Much like the role perspectives play in improving productivity levels, they can encourage creativity and innovation. Every individual brings a personal way of thinking and solving problems which is formed from personal experiences. Fostering diversity in the workplace creates a place for ideas to grow and flourish based on unique feedback and suggestions from coworkers.
- Increase profits
Companies with more diverse teams make better decisions faster, which increases profits and gives them an advantage over competitors. A survey done by Center for Talent Innovation found that 48 percent of companies in the U.S. that had more diversity at senior management level improved their market share.
- Improve employee engagement
Getting to know the people you work with can build a much better team dynamic through better cooperation, camaraderie and strong bonds between coworkers. When employees feel included they are more engaged3.
- Reduce employee turnover
When employees feel accepted and valued, especially for what makes them unique, they will be happier and want to stay with your company for the long run. Therefore, companies with more diversity and inclusion have higher retention rates4.
- Improve reputation
Employers who hire from a diverse application pool end up with a more qualified workforce. Applicants are driven toward companies with a positive workplace culture and environment and diversity plays a factor in that5.
It is important to remember that diversity is not done in a moment, it is a movement and needs to be refined and adjusted as time goes on. Diversity is not just a checklist.
In Bel’s Words…
As a young professional beginning to look for full-time communications work, diversity is a large factor in choosing companies to apply for. I am not the only young professional with diversity in their list of qualities for a good company fit. It is important that companies realize this and make a change in the right direction.