Given that the second decade of the 21st century is approaching its end, it should no longer come as a surprise to encounter diversity in the workplace–or anywhere else, for that matter. Yet as recently as December 2016, 41 percent of hiring managers claimed to be “too busy” to focus on implementing initiatives that would promote greater workplace diversity.
After discussing approaches for hiring with diversity in mind last month, I realized that while the benefits may seem obvious to the majority, I wanted to lay out the laundry list of benefits that result from creating a diverse work environment.
Stronger morale equals stronger employee performance
Company culture has become a hot topic recently, and diversity plays a major factor in creating a positive general morale. If workers are made to feel valued, as in an all-inclusive business environment, they are far more likely to thrive and in turn, so will the business. What company wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to stock its payroll with happy, productive workers?
Employees from minority backgrounds can expand the client and employee base
For larger businesses, especially those with global aspirations, a wide client base is a must. It’s therefore helpful to retain company representatives who speak multiple languages, or who have personal experience in a variety of foreign cultures. As Sophie Deering says, “A company who embraces diversity will attract a wider range of candidates to their vacancies, as it will be viewed as more progressive organisation and will appeal to individuals from all walks of life. Naturally, as the number of applicants for each vacancy rises, the chances of finding an exceptional candidate increases too” Limiting the talent pool is no way to attract the most impressive talent. Those who cast the net wider are bound to catch the biggest fish.
Diversity is about more than skin color or gender
People from different backgrounds are bound to have varying experiences, and therefore a broader pool of skills and talents. While workers in the same field are bound to be on roughly the same page when it comes to skills–and rightfully so–the importance of learning and growing as a team should not be underestimated.
Local communities are also becoming more diverse
As this trend swings upward, it’s equally important for businesses to maintain the ability to speak to their entire client base, not just one or two factions. Hiring a multitude of people from different backgrounds will ensure that the company represents the community as a whole, and may encourage more people from all walks of life to do business there. As Haley Smith explains, “Having people on staff who have the background and skills to do so are vital to an organization. Communities and customers also prefer to engage with companies that employ people who are similar to them. For this reason, hiring and managing employees with diverse cultures is an advantage in a competitive market space.” As a company, it’s important to be representative of your clientele.