As the world becomes more globalized and workplace practices transform, the significance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace is gaining precedence. With diversity and inclusion in the workplace becoming more critical, HR professionals are diverting more attention to this area.
In 2022, workplace diversity can mean different things to different people. The concept has gone beyond race and gender to include people from different cultures, backgrounds, and sexual orientations.
Today, workplace diversity is getting closer to becoming a business need rather than a flag that companies raise to demonstrate their commitment to embracing diversity. In a diverse workplace, employees benefit from tangible and intangible aspects including respect and acceptance from coworkers.
Why is Diversity in the Workplace Important?
Diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace have become significant for many businesses worldwide. According to Glassdoor Economic Research, in 2019, there was a 37% increase in D&I-related job openings in the US, UK, France, and Germany compared to 2018.
In addition to being morally imperative, an inclusive workplace also leads to revenue growth and increased productivity in the workplace. As the world becomes more globalized and competitive, directing attention to diversity and inclusion in the workplace cannot be an afterthought. It is imperative to keep both employers and employees happy.
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Here are the top 10 reasons that signifies the importance of diversity in the workplace:
1. Increases productivity in the organization
How do you gauge how well the employees are doing their jobs? You can do this by measuring their productivity. You can improve teamwork by encouraging cultural diversity in the workplace.
Culturally diverse workplaces also help to improve employee morale and overall sense of confidence. Furthermore, knowing that they will only be assessed based on their performance and no other superficial characteristic motivates them to do better, enhancing their productivity.
2. Improves employee confidence
Companies that create an environment where everyone feels safe enough to express their opinions openly and honestly have a competitive advantage. Employees with confidence in their managers are quick to speak out and offer their views.
Companies that value their employee’s opinions instill confidence in them. These employees also become more patient and accepts one another’s points of view. Seeing peers in vulnerable positions helps one acknowledge one’s vulnerabilities.
To do this, companies can employ employee resource groups (ERGs) to help promote cultural awareness and make everyone feel like they belong in the workplace.
3. Reduces employee turnover
When a company values and respects an employee’s identity, the employees are more loyal and committed to the company. This, in turn, reduces employee turnover. By valuing and respecting your employee’s differences, you can get them to stay with your company for longer.
Making employees feel valued is essential to lower attrition, saving the company money on recruiting, valuable assets, and a negative reputation. Reduced turnover also benefits the organization’s reputation when it comes to hiring, making it a desirable workplace.
4. Enables faster problem-solving & improves creativity
Bringing people from various backgrounds and getting them to work together boosts creativity. Therefore, by exposing your employees to different ideas, workplace diversity can improve the efficiency of your business. Remember that creativity and the ability to view a problem from several perspectives are crucial for problem-solving.
A group of people with similar backgrounds are more likely to share comparable experiences, viewpoints, and ways of thinking. On the other hand, research has shown that diverse teams that bring fresh perspectives outperform teams with some of the best problem solvers.
5. Reduces conflicts
Conflicts at workplace are inevitable. Conflicts frequently arise when there is a lack of acceptance or respect among employees. However, fostering a culture of concern in the workplace drastically lowers the likelihood of a conflict arising.
To do this, you must create an environment that values diversity and inclusion. All employees must be respected and valued. And conflict can be minimized or avoided by engaging in open communication and genuinely accepting and promoting diversity in the workplace.
6. Better customer understanding
If your company has a diverse customer base, having a diverse workforce helps. Including and hiring people from various backgrounds makes it easier for them to interact with people who share their interests and turn them into potential customers for the company.
Additionally, with more information available online and social media serving as a public venue for conversation, almost everyone with a smartphone knows what is happening in your company. You need to understand that your customers care about how inclusive you are and that this influences whether or not they will purchase your product or service.
7. Builds brand reputation
Workplace diversity helps in a company’s reputation-building.
According to research, customers, Gen Z customers, in particular, are interested in an organization’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. Up to 50% of customers prefer to spend their money on companies that value and support diversity.
You can build a stellar reputation for diversity and inclusion in the workplace by:
- Employing talent with a variety of backgrounds.
- Focusing your marketing efforts on equity, inclusion, and diversity.
- Openly discussing diversity concerns and creating a brand tone that emphasizes diversity.
- Donating to organizations that encourage diversity.
- Adapting your products and services for diverse customers.
8. Improves employee engagement
Diversity in the workplace also boosts employee engagement. Including all employees, regardless of differences, will help enhance employee engagement. A diverse workforce will put forth more ideas from different perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds. Through this, employee engagement improves and leads to employees making more creative contributions and driving the company’s growth.
9. Makes recruitment easier
Simply put, hiring people from a particular demographic group restricts your company’s options, limits talent absorption, and hinders recruitment.
For instance, engineering is one of the most male-dominated fields. However, if you look to hire only men as engineers, you could limit the growth of your business. This is so because studies show that gender-diverse teams generally outperform homogeneous groups in terms of sales, profitability, time and budget management.
Additionally, promoting workplace diversity can help you lure top talent, as over 70% of job seekers say diversity is crucial when evaluating a company.
10. Increases profitability for the organization
Diversity in the workplace allows businesses to increase their revenue by helping them to hire top talent, understand their customers, establish a solid reputation, and boost employee productivity and creativity.
According to research, businesses with the highest levels of ethnic, gender, and racial diversity are 35% more likely to generate revenue above the national industry median.
As a result, diversity at work boosts your company’s revenue generation and drives business growth.
5 ways of Improving Workforce Diversity
According to a McKinsey & Company study from 2018, businesses with diverse boardrooms had a 43% higher chance of generating higher profits.
The first step toward diversity is to recruit and retain diverse talent. Here are five ways that your company can improve workplace diversity.
1. Change the way you screen and search for candidates
Say you are a company that hires new employees through referrals and recommendations. If you have a homogenous workforce, then chances are their recommendations and referrals would also be homogenous, defeating the purpose of diversity.
To help reduce bias and adjust how you screen your candidates, you can employ specific software to help you in the hiring process. Some of them are as below:
- Unbiasify Chrome Extension:To lessen unintentional bias, users can use this free Google Chrome extension to hide names and images from sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
- Textio:This enhanced writing tool enables businesses to produce more inclusive job descriptions.
2. Provide diversity training
Another strategy to make your company’s culture more inclusive and receptive to diverse hiring is to provide diversity training for the existing workforce. This can be a simple group presentation by an HR employee or an online training course that educates employees to respect people with varied identities, cultures, and backgrounds.
Diversity training is also an excellent technique to gather anonymous input from employees on how the company can alter its processes to be more inclusive.
3. Promote a multilingual workforce
You must address language barriers and preferences if you genuinely want everyone to feel included.
International corporations understand the need to provide translation services so that everyone can comprehend what is being said and feel included. However, it is also essential in small businesses to ensure that everyday employees feel confident and comfortable interacting in whatever language they find most suitable for them, particularly in shared spaces or during company-sponsored activities.
4. Set goals to achieve greater diversity
After evaluating the demography and culture of your company, you can develop a strategy for enhancing diversity at work. You can start by determining how to make the hiring process equitable for all applicants.
For instance, suppose you found that only 30% of the people working for your company identify as women, despite 51% of your local population being women. By the end of the year, you can aim to raise that number to 40%.
5. Post jobs on job portals for diverse candidates
Businesses can use job boards to find specific groups of diverse candidates. By advertising open positions on these websites, you can attract more competent and various individuals to your organization.
This is a unique opportunity for companies to demonstrate their dedication to promoting inclusion and diversity. You can also mention any inclusive policies that can attract diverse employees to your company.
Considering the reasons listed above, it is clear that you must analyze how diversity is handled inside your organization. A diverse workplace is happy because it welcomes people from different cultures and backgrounds and ensures they are valued and respected.
Companies should try to get a more diverse and inclusive workforce to drive organizational growth and success.