Diversity in the workplace is an important asset. It acknowledges individual strengths, skills, and perspectives of each employee. Valuing the differences among employees brings great potential for a thriving workplace.
What is diversity in the workplace?
Diversity in the workplace means accepting and including employees of all backgrounds. The workplace offers an inclusive environment with equal rights and opportunities for all employees, regardless of their gender, color, age, ethnicity, physical ability, religion, sexual orientation, etc. A diverse workforce should be made up of a multitude of voices.
Diversity is not just a tactic to hire a specific number of minorities but is a push for corporations to interview or hire people from all walks of life. Interviewing or hiring people of varied backgrounds is not to hit the diversity quota, but to enhance a company’s products and services.
Diversity in the workplace is an asset in enhancing the company’s products, services, message, and goals for various reasons. Firstly, the different experiences and perspectives of diverse employees increase the potential for greater productivity. More diversity allows for more ideas and processes due to the increased range of skills among employees. Secondly, diversity results in greater creativity and innovation. The more cultures and different backgrounds the more perspectives and solutions, resulting in creativity. Thirdly, diversity improves cultural awareness. Diversity helps firms deal with different nuances in the global marketplace. An employee who speaks various languages, for example, is a valuable advantage when dealing with partners from different cultures. Lastly, diversity increases marketing opportunities. With a diverse pool of employees, the company has the potential and insight to connect to more consumers of different backgrounds.
Moreover, companies with diversity also experience reduced employee turnover, increased employee engagement and retention, a greater range of talent, and faster problem solving and decision-making. Making sure employees feel valued, respected, and accepted will result in confidence in their work position and the company, reducing turnover and increasing engagement and retention, which can contribute to productivity. With a greater range of talent, regarding experiences, skills, and perspectives, employees can contribute to faster problem solving and decision-making. Diversity benefits companies but also the employees, it allows for larger cultural understanding, acceptance, inclusion, and open-mindedness overall.
Unfortunately, increasing diversity in the workplace comes with challenges. Some people may have unfair prejudices. This stresses the need for strict policies that work against prejudices and allow for action to be taken.
Nevertheless, diversity in the workplace is proving essential for companies. Glassdoor reports that approximately 70% of job seekers consider diversity as one of the key factors when evaluating companies and employment offers. A reason for this could be that recent research shows that more than 80% of millennials feel more engaged with work when their employer provides a workplace with diversity.
A truly diverse workforce proves to be mutually beneficial for a company itself and its employees. Widen your company’s talent pool to source individuals with different backgrounds and highlight your company’s diversity drive. It is however vital to identify what you as a company are trying to achieve. Diversity initiatives should match your company’s goals and intended targets. Copy and paste is not a good idea. Each diversity initiative and program are unique and must consider its own context.
Most importantly, don’t forget to win hearts and minds. Everyone should see the benefits of a diversity initiative and program for it to succeed. I however think we can agree that the benefits are undoubtedly obvious and should win all hearts and minds.
Text av Sarah Tavakol
Publicerad av Viktor Cederholm