5 Surprising Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace
Workplace diversity can make tangible, direct benefits to your company by increasing team productivity, employee engagement, as well as your bottom line.
Many recent global events have brought the issue of workplace diversity back into the wider conversation. Diversity in the workplace is all about fostering a company culture that openly welcomes employees of different genders, ethnicity, sexual orientation, education, and other attributes. This isn’t about ticking boxes or tokenism. Encouraging diversity in the workplace is proving to have many direct benefits for companies the world over.
Let’s take a closer look at how increasing diversity in your candidate search can benefit your organisation.
1. Wider talent pool
Does it ever seem as if you’re interviewing the same candidate again and again? That no matter how hard you search for someone to shake things up, you end up with a shortlist of sameness? Perhaps you’re not casting your recruitment net wide enough.
Humans are biased, often unconsciously so. In recruitment, this can result in dismissing candidates based on traits that have no consequence on their ability to do the job. Becoming more conscious of these common biases can help us stop repeating the same patterns.
Make an effort to reach diverse candidates by placing job ads on websites or forums visited by candidates from different backgrounds or nationalities. Embracing diversity in the recruitment process is key to finding those out-of-the-box hires that will bring something new to the table.
2. A variety of perspectives
An obvious benefit to hiring people from diverse backgrounds, nationalities, and cultures is that you’re automatically adding a diverse variety of perspectives to the team. It’s easy for any company to get stuck in its ways. This is especially likely with teams of people hailing from similar circumstances.
Employing a diverse workforce is a sure-fire way to spark innovation. Your team can draw from their different experiences and bounce contrasting ideas off each other. This improves problem solving and productivity, and will help your team find creative ways to drive your business forward.
Workplace diversity also gives customer-facing businesses an extra, hidden advantage—insight into more of your customer base demographics. Use your employees’ knowledge and opinions to your advantage. Learn how customers from similar backgrounds will potentially think and feel about your products, services, and messaging.
3. Boosted company reputation
There’s a huge correlation between your employer brand and the talent you are able to draw to your organisation. Job candidates are increasingly looking to work for companies that align with their values of inclusivity and equality. In fact, Glassdoor reported that 67% of job seekers said that a diverse workforce was an important factor for them when evaluating companies and job offers. By fostering a diverse workplace, you are improving your company’s reputation and ensuring more job seekers will want to be associated with your brand.
It’s also true that people are holding more and more businesses accountable for issues of diversity. This takes more effort than a social media post during a widespread movement or commemorative day. It’s about putting those principles into practice. Recruiting for diversity shows that you’re taking strides to being a more socially conscious workplace. The kudos is a happy by-product that can do wonders for your brand’s overall reputation in the long run.
4. Better employee engagement
Workplace diversity also helps individual employees feel more comfortable with expressing their thoughts and ideas. In homogenous offices, most feel pressure to conform. Sharing an idea that goes against the grain is a lot easier when you’re already among a diverse crowd open to new ideas.
Your employees want to feel that they are accepted, no matter who they are or where they’re from. Naturally, the more included employees feel, the happier and more engaged they’ll be. And an engaged workforce leads to more productivity and reduced turnover. By investing time and energy in building a diverse workforce now, you’ll be setting a virtuous cycle in motion with years of holistic, positive results to look forward to.
5. Workplace diversity = Increased profits
It may seem cynical to link an ethical issue of diversity with financial gain. However, there are increasingly more studies indicating that diverse teams bring in more profits. This goes to show that investing in diversity will not set you back. Far from it.
A 2015 McKinsey report found that US companies with more diverse workforces were performing better financially. Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity were found to be 35% more likely to have financial returns above the national mean. While gender diverse companies were 15% more likely to have financial returns above the industry mean. Similar results have been shown by the Boston Consulting Group and the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Whichever way you slice it, a diverse workplace pays dividends.
Exacta Solutions’ multinational team is no stranger to diversity in the workplace. We can help you build a strong diversity recruitment strategy that improves your company’s performance, reputation, and values. Contact us today to discuss further.