Most businesses look for ways to boost their company’s culture and improve overall productivity. This is one reason why you can often hear hiring managers or HR teams preaching the importance of workplace diversity. While it may seem like a hiring fad, it is more about hiring a wide range of people in terms of gender, age, and race to add value to the business.
As per statistical insights, organizations that are identified as diverse and inclusive are 35% more likely to have better financial returns above their national industry medians.
Diverse organizations tend to be more adaptable, benefit from consistent revenue growth, and are deemed industry leaders. If you want your organization to be like them, it is important to first understand what workplace diversity is and why it is important. Let us help you understand the importance of diversity in the workplace.
What is Diversity in the Workplace?
Workplace diversity refers to a workforce that comprises individuals from different races, cultures, ages, genders, religions, socioeconomic statuses, and other demographics. An organization having workplace diversity is one having employees with a broad range of characteristics. It also includes their life experiences, how they solve problems, and the overall culture at your workplace.
Besides this, diversity in the workplace is not just about hiring diverse individuals, but also ensuring equal participation for all.
Different Characteristics That Define a Diverse Workspace Culture
Workplace diversity is further expanded to cover several different characteristics, including:
- Sexual orientation
- Physical ability or disability
- Political beliefs
- Geographical orientation
- Social background
A diverse and inclusive work culture makes employees feel welcomed and valued, which ultimately boosts their morale.
Need for Having a Diverse Culture in the Workplace
If you want to know why diversity is important in the workplace, you need to understand its overall impact. In the global, interconnected markets, businesses want to expand their reach beyond the region of their origin. They want to sell their products and services all over the world to reach different groups of people and understand their specific needs.
To create and sell products and services globally, organizations need a diversified workforce. These days, workplace diversity is not just an insignia they can wave to show their commitment to accepting differences, but a necessity.
5 Benefits of Maintaining Diversity at Your Workplace
There are five key benefits of diversity in the workplace:
It boosts creativity
A group of like-minded individuals – say of a certain age or gender only – may produce similar suggestions and results, thus limiting the collective output. Conversely, by having a wider variety of people in your organization, you can collect fresh perspectives about problems to be solved for consumers.
In other words, you can expect better creative solutions and bottom-line results by unifying people from different backgrounds.
Diversity in leadership promotes team unity
One of the primary benefits of diversity in the workplace, particularly at the top level of management, is that it allows managers to bring forward new skills and methods to achieve team unity. With different types of people coming together to embrace the “differences,” it becomes easier to set the tone for improved collaboration between teams.
This is generally done by incorporating a prayer room for people of all religions, an inviting open-door HR policy, and organizing culturally diverse celebrations.
It improves employee engagement
Is your organization having plans to expand the business but facing productivity issues at work? Do you feel your employees are not motivated enough to grow the business? This is where the importance of diversity in the workplace is highly felt.
By hiring people from different cultures and backgrounds, you can create room for healthier business-related discussions. It can give your employees a sense of direction towards growth and hence, improve productivity.
It reduces employee turnover
A common problem faced by employers during the Great Resignation trend is high employee turnover. An unhealthy, unprogressive culture that does not value the skills and perspectives of different employees can be one reason behind the sudden surge of resignations.
However, you can make employees feel valued by embracing their differences and ensuring workplace diversity.
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It personifies equal opportunities
Many skilled individuals are drawn toward companies with workplace diversity as they can trust they will not face employment discrimination. Such an environment provides equal opportunities for all employees and attracts more talent as they know that workplace diversity implies high employee morale.
How is Workplace Diversity Different From Equality?
Equality in the workplace is correlated to a diverse culture, but it has its own importance. With equality, an organization aims to ensure that all the employees will have equal opportunities to succeed. It prevents them from facing discrimination due to certain personality characteristics or backgrounds.
Workplace diversity, on the other hand, is about appreciating the differences amongst employees and ensuring that their distinct attributes are valued.
Challenges Associated with a Diverse Workspace
While companies across a range of industries want to embrace a diverse workforce, they face various obstacles/challenges in doing so. Some of them are:
- Communication barriers within the team that exists after hiring employees from different backgrounds
- Gender equality issues in terms of pay and other perks can cause staff turnover
- Generational differences between younger and senior employees in organizations
- Conflicting views that may come up because of religious, cultural, and political beliefs
- Discrimination based on physical or mental disabilities as many employers feel that such individuals will take more time off than others
- Isolation faced by employees when groups are formed based on social cliques or different characteristics in an organization
5 Ways to Achieve Workplace Diversity
While there are several challenges related to managing workplace diversity, they are not impossible to overcome. You can follow the ways given below to understand how to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace:
Identify what’s not working and then make it work
One of the simplest ways to overcome challenges related to workplace diversity is to make them an open topic of conversation. Ask for feedback from your employees, let the senior management decide on leveraging the benefits of diversity in the workplace, and reach a consensus. You can also create stringent policies around maintaining a diverse workplace culture to be followed by all the employees.
Get inputs from the whole team
If you are new to building a diverse culture, it is advisable to get input from all the stakeholders related to your business. You can ask the employees, suppliers, or clients about their thoughts and ideas about building a diverse and inclusive culture at the workplace. Similarly, you can also create a diversity & inclusion team that takes care of all the related cases and activities.
Develop a clear strategy
If you want to steer clear of the challenges related to embracing diversity in your workplace, it is important to develop a Diversity & Inclusion (D&I Strategy). The right strategy will guide you towards ensuring that no one faces discrimination at the workplace because of their background, age, or ethnicity.
Offer relevant training programs
You can benefit both the employees and your organization by offering professional training programs. For example, there can be a language training program to help non-native employees learn the local or vernacular language. Similarly, you can also offer diversity training to team members to ensure that people show compassion to their colleagues in distress when at work.
Implement initiatives to promote gender equality
As an employer, you do have the responsibility to demonstrate equality in the workplace and prevent any gender discrimination. This can include maintaining a certain percentage of hiring men and women, paying equal salaries, and offering the same opportunities to both men and women.
Workplace diversity, inclusion, and equality are some common concerns among leaders and recruitment professionals. To tackle them, it is important that you are aware of the fundamentals, challenges, and ways to ensure a diverse workplace culture.
Given below are three actionable tips you can implement to make your organization more diverse:
- Hire a diversified recruiting team that can be more attentive to diversity issues
- Provide training to the interviewers to make them aware of the workplace diversity issues
- Recruit the best talent from diverse talent pools and via staffing agencies that can give you access to a wider range of talent.
Build a Diversified Work Culture with Connect Tech & Talent
Maintaining workplace diversity is all about hiring the best talent with a wide variety of backgrounds and characteristics. Connect Tech & Talent experienced team can make the hiring process easier for you by helping you define the right hiring strategy for your business. Talk to a Connect Tech & Talent hiring consultant today.