Benefits of diversity in the workplace

Diversity in the workplace

What can diversity bring to my workplace?

One of the biggest challenges for recruiters in the 21st century is, arguably, diversity and inclusivity. And with skills shortages impacting many key markets, it’s more important than ever to ensure your recruitment techniques draw on all sectors of society.

Of course, you want to attract the top talent who will portray a positive image for your organisation. And in theory, most companies want to be as inclusive as possible. These are pretty important principals for most organisations. So why, then, are there still so many aspects of the recruitment process that are barriers to these goals? And why should you make determined efforts to overcome them and embrace a workforce representative of all backgrounds and cultures?

Diversity in a workforce brings many benefits.

When you bring different types of people together, working towards a common objective but using a diverse set of skills, it can improve productivity.  When a team comprises people of mixed backgrounds and cultures, each employee can learn from others’ experiences and perspectives.  

Diversity is crucial to creativity. It’s proven that diverse teams produce more creative results than teams in which all members are from a similar background. It makes sense. If we define creativity as the process where different bits of information come together to create exciting and new ideas, then bring together a group of people with dissimilar experiences and thinking, and the creative spark will flare.

When diversity is introduced, and creativity increases, research shows that profit growth follows. Boston Consulting Group researched 1700 organisations across eight countries and found that companies with more diverse management teams deliver 19% higher revenues, thanks mainly to innovation. So if you are in an industry where innovation is key to growth, this is key.

A further benefit is more stability in your workforce. When you encourage your employees to share their unique backgrounds, it supports trust and understanding, improving employee engagement. The link is pretty simple; when people feel included, they are more engaged. And embracing diversity immediately attracts talent from a wider pool, and promotes your organisation as fair and forward-thinking. The result can be higher-quality applicants and reduced turnover. A survey by Glassdoor suggested 67% of job seekers said a diverse workforce is important when considering job offers.

The Harvard Business Review has conducted studies that show that problem-solving increases in cognitively diverse teams. A range of experiences and views brings new ways of addressing challenges, resulting in the best solution being identified sooner. There’s also a proven link between diversity and better decision making. A study of over 600 business decisions suggested that diverse teams are shown to outperform individual decision-makers up to 87% of the time.

Employ a mix of cultural backgrounds, and it can help your company growth. And it’s not just those seeking global expansion that benefit. Our UK population is increasingly diverse. Reflect that in your workforce, with  

employees who are fluent in different languages and understand aspects of culture than might impact on buying decisions, and you can better address different marketplaces. It’s not just the organisation that benefits, but the individuals within it too. A culturally diverse environment is shown to reduce racism and homophobia. If team members are spending time with people from backgrounds they may not be familiar with, they are exposed to new insights, and this reduces negative emotions.

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