Workplace diversity is a topic that often comes up between employers and hiring managers. Diversity and inclusion is more than just a hiring fad; it has become essential to hire a wide range of employees to add value to businesses.
The meaning of diversity has come to include much more than just different genders, age groups and races. A diversified workplace includes people who come from various educational backgrounds, skills and abilities, languages and cultures.
In recent years, diversity has extended to ensuring that companies that hire a diverse range of individuals increase their employees’ range of participation, performance and compensation of minorities instead of hiring to only fill the quota.
Diversity is an important part of workplace culture, as it benefits the business and the employees’ well-being. Therefore, maintaining a diverse workplace is vital to organisational and business success.
With a diverse range of individuals in the workplace, more extensive opinions and perspectives can be generate. Having people of various backgrounds and cultures will often result in a broader spectrum of ideas, which benefits all teams.
Problem solving also becomes more efficient, as a wider range of objections and alternatives are able to be explored. Solutions then emerge faster and can be adopted with greater confidence.
Like-minded individuals will often produce similar ideas and are less likely to challenge each other. By adding more diverse individuals into the workplace, having the ability to draw on different experiences can result in more innovation and creativity.
Diversity and productivity also have a positive correlation. A study by McKinsey found that diversifying the workplace can boost productivity by up to 35%. By widening the hiring pool, companies are able to recruit better talents which allows them to perform better.
Companies that commit to a diverse workplace are often able to target a wider customer base and increase their profits. Diversity helps companies react more effectively to shifts in the market and customer needs.
Having a team that accurately represents the demographics in the market will enable the company to have a better understanding of their target market’s decision behaviour and how to effectively impact them. It’s crucial for a company’s employees to reflect the customers they serve.
From the employees’ perspective, diversity increases their satisfaction and fosters positive attitudes and behaviours in the workplace.
For some, the presence of sufficient numbers of minority groups can boost their confidence and self-esteem, whilst breaking down the prejudice among their fellow colleagues.
The more accepted and valued they feel at work and the more satisfied they are with their jobs, the less likely employees are to leave their present employment. This in turn enables companies to better retain their employees.
Companies need to work on increasing their levels of diversity, but not just symbolically. Ensuring better participation from minority group employees can help achieve better performance and profits.