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Many organizations are starting to include diversity as part of their corporate strategies seriously. Workplace diversity has become a buzzword in modern business parlance. However, people sometimes wonder if it can provide actual, tangible benefits to their businesses.

Workplace diversity promises to make teams more creative, innovative, productive and flexible. Diversified companies foster higher job satisfaction and financial performance. However, diversity policies also present difficulties that can derail performance. Hence, people should understand how to introduce diversity into workplaces properly.

Most people think of a diversified workplace as a working environment that includes employees of different genders, ethnicities, and racial backgrounds. While this is true, there’s more to it than this.

The meaning of diversity has become more complex. A diversified workforce includes people with variety across a number of different categories, such as:

  • Religion
  • Culture
  • Sexual orientation
  • Language
  • Educational backgrounds
  • Skills and abilities

Embracing the changes related to diversity in the workplace will take your business to great heights.

  • What is Diversity in the Workplace?
  • Does Workplace Diversity Increase Productivity?
  • What are the Benefits of Having Diversity in the Workplace?
  • What are the Challenges of Workplace Diversity?
  • Why Does Diversity Increase Productivity?
  • Are Diverse Teams More Productive?
  • How can Diversity Make an Organization Better and Increase Productivity?
  • How does Cultural Diversity Increase Productivity?
  • 6 Ways to Promote Workforce Diversity

What is Diversity in the Workplace?

Diversity in the workplace refers to the coexistence of workers with different characteristics (e.g., race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, culture, etc.), skills, and attributes. For example, hiring workers from various cultural, academic, and racial backgrounds with a balance of gender and sexuality is a sign of diversity in the workplace.

Read Also: Managing Conflict in a Team

Also, you cannot build a diverse team without paying attention to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. In addition, merely hiring diverse candidates does not make you win because the real work is about workplace equity and inclusion. You must make your employees valued and wanted irrespective of their identity. You can see enhanced productivity when they receive equal opportunities, training, and mentoring.

But this procedure takes time. To build inclusive workplace culture, leaders must provide equal rewards and recognition for every employee and change their hiring practices. And ensure every worker gets the respect they deserve without discrimination in the workplace.

Does Workplace Diversity Increase Productivity?

Diversity results in better decision-making. That’s well-known. Diverse groups consider a broader range of ideas and produce more possible solutions. But additional gains come when diverse employees are located throughout an organization.

Companies benefit most when upper management and lower management are both racially diverse, the researchers found. A 1% increase in racial diversity similarity between upper and lower management increases firm productivity by between $729 and $1590 per employee per year.

The data come from two studies. The researchers first examined all US-based computer companies with more than 100 employees, from 2007 to 2011. They found the $729 per employee benefit. Then they looked at Fortune 500 firms during the same period, finding the even greater benefit.

Diversity in both upper and lower management levels is valuable for several reasons, according to the authors.

First, diversity is a “knowledge-based asset,” with real advantages for strategy and implementation. Diversity leads people to consider multiple perspectives and develop better, more complex approaches. For senior management, this means greater creativity, innovation, and flexibility in formulating strategy.

For lower-level management, this means better problem-solving in implementation and more original ideas that they can share with senior management. Diverse upper and lower management brings another advantage. People identify with others who are like them. Interactions and information exchange become easier.

What are the Benefits of Having Diversity in the Workplace?

Many companies view the introduction of a more inclusive workforce as an act of goodwill. While correct, diversity also promises a multitude of benefits that can improve the bottom line of any company.

1. Higher Morale

No one likes monotony, including employees. People need variety to perform well, as shown by the rise of job programs that let workers try out different roles every few months.

The same principle applies to interpersonal relationships. If people regularly meet with the same types of people, boredom quickly ensues. Many employees appreciate getting to know another person and finding out both what they have in common and how they differ.

By keeping teams filled with people that differ from each other, everyone has the chance to expand their personal and professional networks. Thus, the workplace culture becomes more exciting as people develop higher morale.

2. More Access to Talent

As mentioned before, a lot of people missed out on opportunities in the past due to unfair stereotyping. Companies willing to look past biases will discover more people who have the right skill sets and dispositions. They will be able to invite more people to join their ranks compared to other people who aren’t as open-minded as them. In turn, people will want to work more with companies that put inclusivity as part of their core values. 

The end effect is that companies that embrace diversity will have a larger talent pool, allowing them to be more selective of whom they hire. They can set higher standards for applicants without fearing that they won’t be able to maintain enough employees. Of course, having more talented people also makes the company perform better as a whole.

3. Increased Creativity

Creativity is one trait that scales up with the number of people. Idea generation is inherently difficult due to its open nature. Any team will be more likely to get good ideas if they have more minds who can help out in brainstorming.

At the same time, diversity also matters in the creative process. Having a workforce with minds that think differently will result in higher-quality ideas than a workforce where everyone processes thoughts the same way. Having different people with varying experiences and skills helps stimulate the idea-generation process. People can also cross-check each others’ ideas, ensuring that only the best ideas survive.

4. Increased Flexibility

Each person has specific strengths and weaknesses. Their skill sets allow people to excel in certain activities while hampering their progress in others. Even the most talented employees can’t be expected to perform every task flawlessly.

When a business has teams composed of people with similar skills, it becomes vulnerable to change. When the unexpected happens and a different skill set is now required, these teams won’t have anyone who can do the job correctly.

In contrast, having people with various skills can solve this problem. Each person’s strengths cover another’s weaknesses.  As long as teams act synergistically, the effects of deficiencies decline while everyone’s abilities become more prevalent. The collective skill set of the group enables them to respond in any situation, resulting in a more consistent performance even as conditions change continuously.

5. Better Critical Thinking

Individuals alone are limited in their capacity to assess their performance. People have biases such as the self-serving bias, which convinces them of their importance relative to other people. Hence, people are less likely to see their own mistakes. They usually require the assessment of other people, such as their peers or superiors.

However, assessments differ based on the perspective taken by the person making the criticism. Critical thinking relies on the ability to spot inconsistencies that someone may have missed. Hence, it’s best to have someone take up a different perspective when they’re assessing someone else’s ideas. This level of checking can only occur in an environment where there are people with different viewpoints.

6. Less Vulnerability to Groupthink

Groupthink is a phenomenon that occurs due to the natural tendency to think and act similarly to others. When people assemble to form a group and are encouraged to brainstorm, each member initially has a different set of opinions.

As the group formation process continues, members start to subconsciously alter their viewpoints to make them more similar to others. In many cases, the group forms a collective opinion, and members might be discouraged to raise their views or to question the prevailing idea.

Developing groupthink might seem like a good idea, but it prevents people from thinking creatively. These groups prevent members from using their lateral thought processes, even if this could lead to more productive and better ideas.

Fortunately, an excellent way to prevent groupthink is to have a group composed of individuals with different personalities and thought processes. Diversity allows each member to continue expressing their ideas. As long as there are people to manage these groups properly, they end up with ideas that are less likely to conform to norms and more likely to be useful.

7. Well-Rounded Skill Sets

Critical business projects share two characteristics. First, they are made up of complex, interconnected tasks that depend on each other. Second, they require different skills which are unlikely to be found in a single person.

For example, imagine a simple marketing campaign on Facebook. Someone has to write the copy and ensure that it presents the pertinent message to the intended audience. Someone has to create, edit, and manage media such as pictures or videos.

Another person would be in charge of operating the corporate social media page, ensuring that the content has the best chance of becoming viral. Finally, someone has to manage the entire operation, ensuring that all subtasks are finished within schedule and that resource allocation is efficient.

Even the most uncomplicated projects would require different levels of skill in various areas. If teams are too homogeneous, they will most likely fail at one or more subtasks where no one can perform well.

People can avoid this problem if a company forms teams with just the right balance of abilities. Proper management of diversity ensures that there is at least one person who can efficiently handle each subtask.

8. Learning Opportunities Through Cross-Training

Training can easily take up a large portion of operating expenses. Hence, businesses should find and exploit unique ways to impart employees with the knowledge and skills they need to perform well.

One of the best ways of training happens on the job since people get to apply their lessons through their work immediately. For this type of training, peers play the most critical roles as they act as mentors and guides to their coworkers. Hence, the process is sometimes called cross-training.

Cross-training is only as effective as the employees themselves. In a workplace where everyone has similar skills, cross-training does not reach its full potential. Missed learning opportunities occur since no one knows anything that other people don’t know already. In contrast, a diverse workplace enables experts to emerge for each pertinent topic and allows people access to skills that they initially didn’t have.

9. Improved Company Reputation

Customers are becoming more willing to factor in ethics and principles into their spending behavior. Companies that behave immorally, such as by ignoring discrimination or resorting to abusive labor, stand to lose thousands of patrons. In this age of morally conscious consumerism, companies will gain direct monetary benefits if they behave ethically.

Many corporate executives treat diversity policies as corporate social responsibility, something that a company does only to look good. They should realize that these thrusts also make their companies more palatable to their markets, potentially attracting more clients. Diversity practices also attract more talent, especially those that belong to minorities that have suffered throughout history. Promoting diversity is not only right, but it also leads to direct benefits.

10. Better Delegation

As mentioned before, diversity tends to increase morale and make teams more well-rounded. With a diverse set of talents, it becomes easier to delegate tasks.

Managers are more confident that their teams can handle anything that they can throw at them. Executives can offload heavy tasks, giving them more time and resources to dedicate to leadership activities. Leadership tasks include making plans, monitoring progress, and adjusting goals.

Better delegation helps the company maximize its employees and its leaders, and it’s all thanks to workplace diversity.

11. More Satisfied Employees

Humans are social beings who derive satisfaction in social relations. Many employees find it satisfying to form bonds with other people. Satisfaction with people at work leads to smoother communication and better cooperation. As people find it easier to work with others in teams, productivity ultimately rises.

However, having people isn’t enough. The composition of the workplace also matters. People will find it more pleasing if they can regularly interact with people coming from different cultures and places in life. Employees will get to learn unique characteristics about each person, making conversations more lively.

12. Higher Earnings

Based on everything we have discussed so far, increased diversity benefits employees at both the individual and the group levels. People become more satisfied in their work and are more motivated to work with others. Groups become more creative and better at coming up with unique, effective, and efficient solutions. These groups also become more adaptable to any situation that their work throws at them.

All of these factors will improve productivity, which in turn leads to higher earnings. Firms that encourage diversity stand to earn 19% more than others. Workplace variety can lead to tangible financial gains.

What are the Challenges of Workplace Diversity?

Given all the benefits we have mentioned above, many companies rush to make diversity a top priority in their plans. However, many of them don’t have concrete proposals that will adequately introduce variety into their workforces. Any changes in corporate culture require careful planning and monitoring, but many executives enforce diversity without much thought.

As a result, many of these plans backfire, causing psychological damage and hurting the bottom line of these companies. Their leaders don’t realize that diversity also comes with disadvantages, especially for a company that traditionally didn’t care about it in the first place.

By learning more about the harmful effects of diversity, executives can make appropriate adjustments to their policies to mitigate them. In the end, diversity should bring out more good than harm.

1. Higher Operating Costs

Perhaps the most apparent effect of diversity initiatives is that they increase expenditure. Even a simple marketing campaign promoting diversity can set companies back by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Other actions, such as hiring change agents to help influence the corporate culture, can cost even more.

Any undertaking to promote diversity will cost a significant amount of money. The costs are even more substantial for large companies that may have thousands of people to manage. For multinational companies, the prices can be even higher as prevailing local cultures may have different ways of viewing diversity.

Companies should be committed and determined if they want to promote diversity. Change is difficult, but its rewards are great.

2. More Contrasting Opinions

One effect of diversity is that teams tend to have more ideas that differ from each other. This effect is good since this gives managers more options to choose from, some of which might be brilliant.

However, contrasting opinions can also hamper decision-making, especially for indecisive leaders. It takes more mental effort to sort through many varying alternatives and to assess their impact on the world. Sometimes, quick action is required to solve a problem, and the time needed to select the best solution is better spent by just implementing the first one that works.

Also, contrasting opinions can give rise to conflict. Parties will try to defend their ideas against detractors, leading to debates that can prolong the planning process. Again, discussions aren’t necessarily bad, but it can introduce dangerous delays, especially for projects where time is critical.

To fix this problem, teams should have a framework that allows employees to assess ideas quickly based on set criteria. Team leaders should also be decisive, and willing to pick out the best option after any crucial arguments promptly.

3. Potential Conflict

When leaders bring together people who are different from each other, the potential for conflict arises. Some personalities are incompatible with each other, and highly disagreeable people may lash out at people they don’t like. This type of conflict, rooted in fundamental differences in people, can be dangerous as it prevents people from working together to form cohesive groups.

Another type of conflict involves ideas. Increased diversity means that people may use different thought processes and principles when coming up with solutions. Many different ideas usually come out of these brainstorming sessions. People may spend hours defending their ideas without reaching a unified stand. The consensus is harder to achieve, delaying the idea-generation process.

Leaders manage these types of conflict by selecting more agreeable people who can handle differences in opinion or personality without losing their tempers. Having a formal system that deals with conflict, such as anonymous complaint channels, is also useful.

4. Forced interactions

A lot of people enjoy interacting with people different from themselves. That said, there will always be some people who prefer to socialize with others from similar backgrounds. In fact, some people might shun people based on stereotypes.

When a company implements a diversity initiative, these people might be forced to interact with people they don’t necessarily appreciate. Results vary, but they might resort to cold behavior or even downright abuse. Sometimes, forcing people to interact can fracture groups further, creating pockets of exclusivity that filter out minorities.

Nearly everyone has biases and uses stereotypes, so merely removing anyone who has unfair preferences is not enough. That said, people who express racist and discriminatory behavior should be disciplined and possibly removed.

5. Miscommunication

Diversity can also lead to conflict in another way. People use words and phrases differently based on their personalities. Interpretation of words can also vary from person to person. A harmless remark from someone might already mean an insult to another. People might misconstrue constructive criticism as hostility.

Problems can further increase in multilingual environments. Meanings can degrade in translation. Even for a business that only uses a single language, non-native employees might still have trouble interpreting nuances in meaning. Jargon and other specialized terms might mean different things to people with different native languages.

As the workforce becomes more diverse, proper communication can become more difficult. Policies that set clear guidelines for discussion should be present, so that much of disagreements don’t occur.

6. Entrenchment

Entrenchment is perhaps one of the most severe responses to diversity practices. Some people, regardless of how the company handles diversity, will stick to their core beliefs. For example, some managers might insist that women are inferior to men. These people may not support female-friendly policies or prevent women from accessing high-impact, high-reward roles.

This scenario is an example of entrenchment, and it is a dangerous phenomenon that can actively hurt relationships and decrease productivity. Many forms of entrenchment are covert, so companies must be vigilant in detecting early warning signs. Once entrenchment is detected, leaders must act quickly to rectify the problem and prevent further damage.

7. Stereotyping

As people interact with more diverse individuals, cases of stereotyping may increase at first. People who hold discriminatory views will initially have the opportunity to act out their beliefs due to the closer proximity of the people they target. For minorities, they might receive attacks from people despite an active diversity policy.

Eventually, cases of stereotyping will decrease as people learn to be more accepting of diversity. Until that happens, the company should actively protect victims of discrimination.

8. Perceived Insincerity

Diversity is a buzzword in modern times. Many corporations claim to support inclusive practices. However, some of them aren’t able to back up their words with actions. As a result, many people start to believe that pursuing diversity is only a marketing strategy to gain more shareholders.

If a company presents itself as a diverse organization but doesn’t do enough to protect diversity, its employees might think that the company is insincere. They will lose trust in the company, potentially leading to higher attrition rates and lower productivity. Hence, firms must make sure that they can walk the talk.

Why Does Diversity Increase Productivity?

More and more workplaces are showing a high inclination toward having a fair system that treats people equally. We expect employers to manage workplace diversity without committing injustice to a particular community.

According to a recent study by Druthers Research, the employment rate for ethnic minorities is only 62.8% as compared to the 75.6% employment rate for white workers. Furthermore, 78% of large UK companies pay men more than women.

Here are ten reasons why equity and diversity boost productivity in an organization:

1. Well-Rounded Team

When hiring a team made up of a variety of people coming from different cultures, your organization is able to capitalize on a diverse set of skills that each member of your team has to offer. This is because a diversified workforce includes people from various backgrounds, and this allows them to bring in new talents which they have acquired over the years.

All members of your diversified team have gained knowledge according to their own personal experiences. All these additional skills help your team in their time of need.

2. Allows you to Acquire Talent Based on Merit

When companies prioritize merit over favoritism and biases, they can to acquire better talent.

When the hiring and recruitment process is influenced by bias, it can dampen an organization’s productivity. Companies suffer from a pool of less talented people who are unable to manage challenges.

At the same time, a diversified group of people with unique skills would make the company better equipped to handle and manage work-related troubles. The more capable and talented your workforce, the more adaptable your company becomes.

You need a dynamic team that can facilitate agile changes and adapts to technological progress.

3. Encouraging Better Decision Making

There often comes a time when management has to make a difficult choice. The stakes may be high. A diversified workforce can bring in a variety of ideas, notions, and perspectives that can contribute to good decision-making.

4. Encourages Teammates to Build Positive Relationships

Relationship building is important for both internal and external clients. Your external clients represent your customers and stakeholders, whereas your internal clients are your staff and workforce. It’s important to manage both of these groups well to ensure long-term profitability and sustainability.

Relationship building thus becomes the key to organizational success. It empowers your teams and departments to overcome conflicts and deal with confrontations in a positive and constructive manner.

5. Fostering Greater Workplace Harmony

Workplace harmony refers to an environment where each employee is focused provide their best while complying with workplace policies and procedures. Instead of competing with others, employees compete with themselves and try to keep on improving their performances. There is little unhealthy conflict and office politics.

Working with people coming from a variety of backgrounds allows the workforce to be more accepting of new ideas. Furthermore, they are able to understand how each member of the team contributes to achieving the desired goals and objectives.

6. Enjoy Better Brand Repution

A brand needs to reflect the people it serves. A diversified workforce gives a company the ability to serve a greater and wider client base.

Potential customers may also have a more positive and favorable view of your organization. This can also eventually help to earn new followers and advocates.

7. Nurturing Employee Performance

There should be no discrimination of employees or prejudice based on any race, culture, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. Therefore, managers evaluate employees based on their performances rather than on any other factor.

Leaders encourage people to deliver to the best of their abilities. Employees would be equally rewarded for the level of effort they put into their daily tasks and achieving goals. Workers need to understand that rewards for hard work are always there and the system that judges them is fair and just.

8. Opportunities to Open up to New Markets Increase

Market exploration is all about searching for a new product market that is outside the company’s current offerings. Market expansion refers to the identification of easy-to-reach markets where they can extend their offerings.

A diversified workforce can help organizations open themselves up to new markets and even try to expand their market size. With a variety of staff members, different approaches become more comfortable.

In order to capture a new market, you need someone on your team who is able to comprehend and fully understand what your new audience cares about. A diverse workforce can offer you such insights.

9. Fostering Innovation

One of the greatest advantages of diversity at the workplace is creativity. If we all think the same, it will limit our sense of perception and thus halt our progress. However, a diverse workforce can offer divergent thinking which at times is required to achieve a breakthrough.

If a company experiences a bottleneck, a team comprising of unique and different team members can pitch in their ideas to resolve it. This knowledge sharing can help companies open new doors and be more innovative.

According to a study by Harvard Business Review, companies nowadays are on the lookout for hiring people that offer 2-D Diversity. The concept talks about inherent diversity (the one we are born with) and acquired diversity (the one that is shaped through our own actions and decision during our lifetime).

10. Easier to Retain the Best of the Best

With the focus of keeping the system fair and implementing the concept of equality for all, people who are loyal to the organization are given a chance to excel without being discriminated against. Likewise, management also appraises those who keep their performance up to the mark, and as such, it boosts overall employee productivity.

All of this allows organizations to retain their best workers and keep them satisfied as their efforts are timely rewarded. This also encourages others to follow the example of seniors around them and commit themselves fully to their responsibilities and duties.

As such, many employees are able to extend their tenure at the company by keeping their performances in check. There is also less room for office politics to disrupt operations or cause unnecessary delays or conflicts.

11. Expanding Employees’ Minds and Experiences

Working with a diverse group of people allows our minds to become more mature, and as a person, you become less judgmental about differences. This enables you to appreciate others, and with it comes the possibility to cater to the needs and requirements of a wider range of audiences through your business as well.

Our perspectives can, at times, limit us to see the bigger picture. Whereas diversity allows us to look beyond the obvious and find out about common grounds as well as focus on things that really matter. With a more practical approach towards things, we are finally able to shun baseless criticism of others.

As such, the cognitive prowess of the company’s leading staff also grows, and this can allow them to incorporate strategies in their marketing mix that accommodate a bigger customer base.

Are Diverse Teams More Productive?

Diverse teams are more productive and perform better. The range of experience, expertise, and working methods that a diverse workplace offers can boost problem-solving capacity and lead to greater productivity. In fact, studies have shown organizations with a culture of diversity and inclusion are both happier and more productive.

Where working in homogeneous teams can seem easier, it can cause a business to settle for the status quo. Diversity, on the other hand, can breed healthy competition, stretching a team in a positive way to achieve their best. This atmosphere of healthy competition can lead to the optimization of company processes for greater efficiency.

As a recent article in the Harvard Business Review argues, the challenges of working in a diverse team are one of the reasons why diverse teams perform better: “working on diverse teams produces better outcomes precisely because it’s harder.”

How can Diversity Make an Organization Better and Increase Productivity?

Building a diverse workforce can be a challenge for some businesses, but there are solutions to create a sense of harmony and unity among different people and teams.

Organizations should aim for inherent and acquired diversity. Inherent diversity is biological traits such as race, gender, and sexual orientation, while acquired diversity is things you gain from experiences like religion, cultural experiences, and situations that make an impact on your thought process.

The benefits of workplace diversity greatly outweigh the barriers you may have to cross to get there.

There are many benefits to workplace diversity, and many studies that prove the positive impact that diversity will have on your office.

Increased innovation.

It’s been proven that diversity in your workplace will lead to increased innovation among your team. More diversity in leadership roles creates an environment where more diverse ideas are heard and welcomed.

When you have diversity in your organization, people bring their own backgrounds and experiences to brainstorming. Others can then use their background and experiences to build on new ideas. People are likely to have different ideas based on their backgrounds, and thus more options come forth. This all leads to more innovation and better performance on a team.

Enhanced productivity.

The wider variety of skills and abilities associated with workplace diversity directly contributes to productivity. Organizations that have more diversity in their office boast higher productivity, as different workers have different skills, abilities, and areas of work that they enjoy.

With a more diverse organization, recruitment becomes easier, due to potential employees feeling that they have a place and great future at your organization. When managers have an easier time recruiting employees, productivity for the whole organization goes up. And with better recruitment, the best and the brightest are more likely to join your team, increasing productivity for your organization.

Additionally, organizations that boast a more diverse leadership team find that employees are more forthcoming with suggestions, more creative, and have added insight to offer, which leads to more productive work sessions and better results overall.

To put it plainly; the greater the variety of employees you have, the greater number of ideas and perspectives they will bring, which is better for your business.

Improved company culture.

Employees that see diversity in the workplace around them have an overall more positive opinion of their company. Two-thirds of job seekers say that diversity in an organization is an important factor for them. When organizations work to meet those expectations, employees are more satisfied.

A lack of diversity in a job can unintentionally create a hostile environment and contribute to higher turnover. When employees feel like they don’t fit in, they’re not likely to stick around. The current employment rates give a lot of opportunities to workers; by creating a diverse and inclusive company culture, employees will be drawn to your company and want to stay, which will only serve to continue the cycle of positive culture.

Workplaces that encourage women and other minorities to take leadership roles create a more positive environment for future employees. When employees have managers that they relate to and trust, everyone benefits.

Companies that have successful workplace diversity create programs and groups for supporting diversity. A tighter, more invested community in your workplace makes everyone feel more excited about their place in the office.

How does Cultural Diversity Increase Productivity?

Studies looking at why cultural diversity is important to give us solid stats to work from when thinking about its benefits. For instance, economically, research shows that the 43 most diverse public corporations were 24% more profitable than the S&P 500. Other studies show that almost 95% of directors agree that diversity brings unique perspectives.

Ultimately, workplace diversity and inclusion allow businesses to build teams that bring different viewpoints and talents to the mix, increasing innovation and driving higher revenues.

The benefits of diversity are long and varied. But here are our headline three benefits to fostering a culturally diverse policy in your organization.

1. Cultural diversity helps develop and maximize skillsets  

A culturally diverse workplace empowers people to develop their talents and skills. A range of ideas and expertise enables those to learn from a more diverse collection of colleagues.

It can also boost problem-solving capabilities and increase happiness and productivity. In an environment where all voices are heard, this spirit of innovation and encouragement to contribute can drive business success.

2. Cultural diversity improves the recruitment process

Surveys show that two-thirds of candidates cite diversity as an important consideration during a job hunt.
By developing a strategy for cultural diversity, you can broaden your appeal to prospective employees, and reach out to more high-level candidates across the globe.

3. Cultural diversity can help you to retain talent  

Aside from attracting a broader talent pool in the first place, cultural diversity is the key to building the ideologies of respect between company and employee, and cooperation. In turn, this makes you a more attractive proposition to valuable candidates making you stand out in the marketplace.

4. Cultural diversity improves your teams creativity

Studies have shown the positive impact a culturally diverse workforce can have on a team and a company’s creativity. By bringing together people from different backgrounds you will see a more diverse series of solutions to issues and approaches to projects you might have.

A more diverse workforce allows you to bring new ways of thinking into the business that can be applied in many different ways. By listening to each employee’s voice and way of thinking, a company will no longer be pigeon-holed in one direction.

A company that actively encourages diversity in the workplace will see more perspectives being discussed and more solutions being thought of than ever before. This can inspire employees to perform to the highest of their abilities.

5. Cultural diversity can help increase employee engagement

The best way to learn about other cultures and ethnicities is by talking to someone with that background. Research can only get you so far and has a far less personal touch. By communicating with someone with a different culture or background you not only gain first-hand knowledge, you connect with someone directly.

Employees who engage with others about their background during lunches or out-of-hours drinks will feel better connected to a company, feel truly listened to and in turn engage further with their colleagues and the business.

Employee engagement helps build trust, starting from the very top and moving all the way down throughout the company. Engagement is always positive for the company, it can lead to greater motivation, collaboration and loyalty.

6. Cultural diversity will improve your company’s reputation

A company that employs people from all different types of cultures and backgrounds will be considered a good employer. This reputation amongst employees will elevate a company’s standing and attract more people to come and work there.

Your company’s reputation amongst its customers is one of the most important things. Customer service and reputation can be greatly improved through a diverse workforce, with different employees being able to assist customers in a more personal way thanks to shared experiences and understanding.

6 Ways to Promote Workforce Diversity

Promoting workforce diversity and inclusion can help your business attract talent from different backgrounds. Here are six tips on how to promote workforce diversity within your company:

1. Educate your hiring team

If you want to recruit a diverse group of people, it’s important to let your company’s managers understand your hiring goals. Start by assessing how diverse your current workforce is. One way to do this is through employee surveys.

After measuring diversity at your company, set up cultural and sensitivity training, then perform a company-wide evaluation to identify areas that need improvement. Once you receive this feedback, you can better understand how to improve your current hiring processes.

2. Implement diversity policies

Every business should have a company policy regarding diversity to help protect its employees and owners. Consider updating your current policies or creating new ones that pertain to recruitment, promotions, performance evaluations and hiring.

Read Also: Strategies for Team Building

Make sure your company is an approved equal opportunity employer (EEO). Contact the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) if you’re unsure of your status or need help getting approval, then consider including your diversity policy in your job descriptions.

3. Promote open communication

If the topic hasn’t come up before, hold a special meeting about workforce diversity to explain your company’s stance on policies and communication. Let your employees know how to report issues related to diversity and use inclusive language to help them feel comfortable at work. Think about implementing an anonymous and confidential suggestion box for people who may be more honest if they don’t have to speak with someone in person.

4. Create opportunities for people to connect

Send a poll to your employees to learn more about their preferences and how they like to spend their free time. Based on their answers, think about ways to improve their relationships through inclusive team-building activities.

Make sure to schedule activities that aren’t exclusionary of any group of employees, e.g. due to age or physical abilities. For example, kayaking or playing paintball may not be an accessible activity for everyone on your team, while activities like egg-drop challenges and trivia games are.

If your company has branches in other cities, plan outings to visit these locations. This may provide valuable insight into other team structures and diverse work environments, including how others solve issues and generate new ideas.

5. Invest in your employees

Many companies sponsor mentorship programs or continuing education for employees who want to develop their work skills. This can provide everyone with opportunities to advance within the company, if they desire, regardless of their race, age, gender or other factors. Provide information about other employee resources for diverse groups to show that you value their unique characteristics and the contributions they make to your company.

6. Promote benefits that attract diverse candidates

Companies that offer more benefits and greater work flexibility often appeal to a wider range of applicants. For instance, many working parents or traveling students prefer to work remotely or have flexible schedules. If your company offers this option, you’ll likely receive applications from a more diverse group of people because you’ve accommodated their needs.

Floating holidays, where employees can substitute a public holiday with another day off, may also attract more diverse candidates. Allowing employees to observe holidays according to their culture or religion can help them feel more welcome in the workplace.

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