The Benefits of Promoting Diversity in the WorkplaceJanuary 6, 2014 - By: Jason Carney
A diverse workplace means there’s a variety of differences amongst employees. This can mean various backgrounds, ethnicities, gender, education level, personalities and more. When these variances are respected and supported at the office, organization value increases and employee retention improves. In addition, the many benefits of creating a diverse workplace can result in quality production of work and the expansion of ideation.
Variety of viewpoints
Think of a cookie cutter. If everything is made with the same dough and cut the exact same way, the cookies are going to look and taste the same. This may be great for a bakery, but when every employee has the same degree, is from the same school and is ethnically similar, viewpoints and opinions will likely be homogeneous. This can challenge company progress, impact creativity and slow business growth. However, when diversity is present in the workplace, different experiences and cognitive styles can host a variety of viewpoints, beliefs and ideas, spurring creativity and brainstorming for improved processes or new ventures. If these ideas are equally valued within the organization, employee engagement increases, resulting in greater retention and satisfied employees that are both effective and productive.
Broader range of service
When various skills and ideas come together, the company’s service may have opportunities to expand as well. Having diverse skill sets among your employees can provide the chance to offer a variety of solutions for a client problem or inquiry. It also gives the company a competitive edge because more work can be completed in-house. Investing in diversity initiatives should ultimately bring financial growth to the company too, which increases the worth of the organization.
Are some of your employees bilingual? If so, language barriers can be torn down, giving a company greater potential to expand to a larger market, or even global markets. Having culturally dissimilar employees can grow knowledge on how business is conducted in other countries in which you’re looking to do business. Do you know proper etiquette, language or dining decorum? Understanding cultural differences can assist and enhance job-related proposals and broaden your network internationally. When the office is filled with people of different backgrounds and ethnicities, internal relationships can be nurtured as well. When employees’ beliefs are valued, things like holidays, food and philosophies are some ways employees can tighten their bond with one another.
Now that you know why diversity is valuable, how do you make the most of it within your organization? Recognize that people are different, be fair and encourage interaction amongst employees. To appreciate these benefits and more, make sure your company is taking the necessary steps to promote diversity in the workplace. If you don’t have a strategy in place, starting planning a diversity policy today.