Many companies are making efforts to achieve workforce diversity. Employee diversity is no more a roadblock for businesses today as aims to employ workers from different backgrounds to provide tangible and intangible benefits. Diversity encompasses race, gender, ethnic group, age, personality, cognitive style, tenure, organizational function, education, background and more. Diversity experts believe that heterogeneous groups can contribute more creative ideas to the mix. The statement made by Stephen Covey stating “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities” is a truth noticed through experience.
Diversity is critical for organization’s ability to innovate and adapt in a fast-changing environment. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs and most admired leaders will tell you the same thing.
Below are some of the reasons to hire and retain a diverse workforce:
1) Improved understanding of your customer base
With employees from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences comes a greater understanding of customers points of view. The more diverse your workforce the more likely it is that they’ll be able to empathise with your individual client needs.
2) Increased productivity
Greater diversity offers different ways of thinking. A broad mix of prior experience and expertise in certain processes encourages employees to discuss and learn from each other. If employees are comfortable speaking with their colleagues and expressing their opinion then collaboration and teamwork thrive.
It’s also been shown that more diverse brands have higher levels of morale, which in turn leads to greater productivity and employee satisfaction.
3) Greater innovation and creativity
As with productivity, different backgrounds, experiences and skills leads to greater innovation and creativity. With a broad range of backgrounds comes an increased level of creative talents and ideas.
6) A larger talent pool
Brands that embrace diversity benefit from a larger talent pool than those looking at select groups of potential applicants. This in turn leads to faster and often more cost effective recruitment processes.
7) Positive employer branding
Diverse brands are seen favourably by many and this can only be a positive thing for any business. If your brand is known for the qualities mentioned above then it will be seen as a creative, innovative, productive and progressive organisation that many will want to work with.
Successful companies are not the ones that build a business, they look at diversity as a nice-to-have attribute. Truly successful and innovative companies are those that build diverse teams when they are just starting out. Diversity is a mentality, not just strategic imperative.