Diversity in the workplace arises from employers intentionally seeking candidates with a range of backgrounds, including ethnicity, religion, culture, sexual orientation, and gender. The intention is to establish a work environment where diversity is valued and each employee is given equal treatment and opportunity for development.
It is often known that inclusion has advantages. Enhanced cooperation, heightened worker motivation, decreased attrition, enhanced financial gains, and fortified brand recognition are some of these. According to a McKinsey & Company study from 2018, businesses with very diverse boardrooms had a 43 percent better chance of making more money.
Diversity in the workplace is the deliberate hiring of individuals with different backgrounds. A balanced population with a range of ages, genders, religious backgrounds, ethnicities, lifestyles, and other characteristics is considered diverse. To diversify their personnel, businesses might create policies and procedures that support inclusion and diversity.
Diversity in the workplace is crucial because it fosters collaboration among individuals with various experiences and backgrounds, which helps them solve challenges and improve their careers. Diversity broadens a workplace’s focus and helps a business adopt cutting-edge concepts and procedures.
The following are some advantages of having a varied workplace:
- Creativity: A diverse team of employees can bring new ideas to your company.
- Culture: Increasing the diversity of a workplace can help improve the overall culture by making your company a more desirable place to work.
- Company reputation: Hiring and retaining a diverse team of employees can increase the quality of a company’s reputation by showing that the company is inclusive and welcoming.
- Overcoming challenges: A diverse team is better able to solve problems with different perspectives.
How to Increase Workplace Diversity
Here are the steps to increasing diversity in the workplace:
1. Examine your company’s composition and culture
The first step to increasing workplace diversity is looking at your company’s current makeup and culture. A good way to approach this examination is to compare your company’s racial, ethnic and gender makeup to that of the local community. The community can give you a target for the diverse demographics your company can try to achieve.
Culture is the personality and environment of an organization. Examining company culture is important because it can give you ideas for ways to make your company a more desirable place to work for diverse candidates. Identifying how it feels to work at your company is a good starting point for defining the company culture.
Many businesses that want to increase diversity look for ways to incorporate a sense of inclusion into their company culture. You can start to improve the culture of your company by identifying the ways your company has made accommodations for people with different cultures, lifestyles and traditions. Your company can build upon those efforts by finding new ways to make its employees feel more comfortable.
2. Evaluate executives’ diversity
Another method to determine your company’s current standing with diversity is to look at the diversity of the executives and managers. A powerful way to show that your company values diversity is to demonstrate this diversity at all levels of hiring. Diversity at the highest levels of the company can signify to diverse candidates that your company is serious about its efforts toward inclusion.
3. Set goals to achieve greater diversity
Once you’ve examined your company’s makeup and culture, you can make a plan for improving diversity in the workplace. You can start by finding ways to make the hiring process fair for all candidates and welcoming for diverse candidates.
For example, maybe you noticed that 51% of your local community are people who identify as women, but only 30% of your company’s employees are people who identify as women. You can set a goal to increase that percentage to 40% by the end of the year. To reach the example goal, you can incorporate more inclusion into your workplace policies to make your company an attractive choice.
4. Update workplace policies to be more inclusive
You can examine the policies your company has in place, which are part of what sets your workplace culture, to help you reach your diversity goals. It’s important to incorporate inclusion into your company’s policies because it gives diverse candidates an example of a tangible effort the company is making toward accommodating people with different backgrounds. Inclusive workplace policies typically have the benefit of increasing the satisfaction of not just diverse hires but also the workforce as a whole.
Below is a list of some policies where you can incorporate inclusive practices:
- Dress code: Rules on hairstyles and tattoos, for example, could exclude otherwise qualified candidates from consideration at a workplace. Relaxing a dress code can help make everyone feel more welcome at a company.
- Holidays: Companies can foster inclusion by instituting holiday policies that allow employees to observe religious and cultural holidays.
- Hiring: Implement hiring practices that enable hiring managers to treat every candidate the same during the hiring process. For example, using the same rubric to screen every qualified candidate for a position can help make hiring fairer.
- Parental leave: Offering maternal and paternal leave is a great way to show employees who are parents that your company values their presence.
- Work schedule: Some companies can appeal to diverse employees with families or a long commute by offering a flexible work schedule or opportunities to work from home.
5. Provide diversity training
Another way to make the culture of your company more inclusive and welcoming of diverse hires is to host diversity training for current employees. This can be a simple group presentation from an HR employee or an online training course that teaches employees to value people with a diverse set of identities, cultures and backgrounds.
Diversity training is a great way to get anonymous feedback from employees about ways the company can improve its practices to be more inclusive. You can develop surveys for your team to take after the training is complete and open an anonymous email inbox to address any future behavior that doesn’t align with your company’s inclusive policies.
6. Post to job boards for diverse candidates
Companies can take advantage of job boards for specific segments of diverse candidates. Posting open positions to these sites can increase the likelihood that talented, diverse candidates would take an interest in your company. It’s also a way to reach candidates who may not have known about an opportunity to join your business.
This is a distinct way for businesses to show that they’re committed to increasing diversity and fostering inclusion. Be sure to mention the inclusive policies that can make your position attractive to diverse employees.
7. Emphasize diversity on company websites and social channels
Another way you can improve your diversity and inclusion practices is to feature diversity on the company website and social media pages. You can feature photos and quotes from your team to show the public you’re proud of the diversity you’ve achieved. This is a way to make inclusion part of a company’s brand. It’s also another way that diverse candidates can see that your company values differences between employees.
8. Focus on retention
The power of hiring diverse employees comes when companies can retain those employees over time. This can show other diverse candidates that your company has taken steps to be more inclusive through policy and culture.
Part of the challenge of improving workplace diversity is keeping diverse employees. Some companies offer development programs for employees from underrepresented backgrounds. This is a way to show diverse employees that you value their presence at your company. It’s also a method of helping diverse employees gain the skills they need for a promotion, which can help diversify management and executives.
A mentoring program is another way to promote retention. Pairing junior employees with more experienced employees can help diverse employees gain new skills while developing relationships with other employees.
9. Pledge continued improvement
Companies can continue to identify ways to improve diversity even after successfully hiring and keeping diverse employees. For example, you can revisit your policies once a year to determine whether they continue to align with your diversity goals. You can also survey employees to find new ways to increase overall job satisfaction.
What is an Advantage of Diversity For a Business Organization?
Diversity in the workplace refers to the vast range of distinct persons with various qualities that an organization employs.
Your business will become a more welcoming place for individuals of all genders, ages, religions, races, ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations, languages, levels of education, abilities, etc. by adopting that mentality. As a result, fostering a more welcoming culture benefits people greatly and strengthens bonds among coworkers.
Here is the list of the top 10 benefits of diversity in the workplace:
1. Variety of different perspectives
Diversity in the workplace ensures a variety of different perspectives. Since it means that employees will have different characteristics and backgrounds, they are also more likely to have a variety of different skills and experiences.
Consequently, employees in a company with higher workplace diversity will have access to a variety of different perspectives, which is highly beneficial when it comes to planning and executing a business strategy.
2. Increased creativity
In addition to having a variety of different perspectives from people with different backgrounds, exposure to a such variety leads to increased creativity. When you put together people who see the same thing in different ways, you are more likely to get a melting pot of fresh, new ideas, thus improving the creativity of your workforce.
3. Higher innovation
Diversity in the workplace leads to a higher innovation rate. According to Josh Bersin’s research, inclusive companies are 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders in their market.
In a diverse workplace, employees are exposed to multiple perspectives and worldviews. When these various perspectives combine, they often come together in novel ways, opening doors to innovation.
4. Faster problem-solving
Companies with higher workplace diversity solve problems faster. Harvard Business Review found diverse teams are able to solve problems faster than cognitively similar people.
Employees from diverse backgrounds have different experiences and views, which is why they are able to bring diverse solutions to the table. Thus, the best solution can be chosen sooner, which leads to faster problem-solving.
5. Better decision making
Workplace diversity leads to better decision-making results. A white paper from the online decision-making platform Cloverpop has found a direct link between workplace diversity and decision-making. Researchers found that when diverse teams made a business decision, they outperformed individual decision-makers up to 87% of the time.
When employees with different backgrounds and perspectives come together, they come up with more solutions, which leads to more informed and improved decision-making processes and results.
6. Increased profits
Companies with greater workplace diversity achieve greater profits. McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, conducted research that included 180 companies in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. They found out that companies with more diverse top teams were also top financial performers.
Companies with a diverse workforce make better decisions faster, which gives them a serious advantage over their competitors. As a result, companies with diversity in the workplace achieve better business results and reap more profit.
7. Higher employee engagement
Workplace diversity leads to higher employee engagement. Deloitte conducted research that captured the views and experiences of 1,550 employees in three large Australian businesses operating in manufacturing, retail and healthcare. This research showed that engagement is an outcome of diversity and inclusion.
The link between workplace diversity and employee engagement is pretty straightforward – when employees feel included, they are more engaged.
8. Reduced employee turnover
Workplace diversity is beneficial for employee retention. Companies with a diverse workforce are generally more inclusive of different individual characteristics and perspectives.
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace cause all employees to feel accepted and valued. When employees feel accepted and valued, they are also happier in their workplace and stay longer with a company. As a result, companies with greater diversity in the workplace have lower turnover rates. By creating a commitment to diversity and employees create a sense of belonging to the company and are less likely to leave.
9. Better company reputation
Companies that are dedicated to building and promoting diversity in the workplace are seen as good, more human and socially responsible organizations which ultimately creates a better reputation for the brand.
Workplace diversity also makes your company look more interesting. Finally, if you present a diverse workforce, you will make it easier for many different people to relate to your company and your brand, opening doors to new markets, customers and business partners.
10. Improved hiring results
Diversity in the workplace boosts a company’s employer brand and presents a company as a more desirable place to work. Workplace diversity is an especially beneficial asset for attracting top talent from diverse talent pools. According to a survey conducted by Glassdoor, 67% of job seekers said a diverse workforce is important when considering job offers.