Imagine growing your business and turning it into a household name. While you can do this in various ways, you should understand the benefits of diversity in the workplace.
One of those benefits is that it can help your company's reputation. However, other advantages can help your business grow and give your employees a better work environment. Keep reading to learn more.
What Do We Mean by Diversity in the Workplace?
Diversity can refer to many things, including anything that makes a person different from their colleagues. Of course, it covers more obvious factors, such as:
- Race or ethnicity
- Sexual orientation
- Socioeconomic status
However, diversity in the workplace can also refer to one's family structure. Consider what makes you and your employees different from each other. Diversity covers the mix of backgrounds and experiences of everyone in the company.
Having a diverse team can help everyone learn from each person's background and skills. Everyone will be able to learn something new that can help them in their job. That can then help the team and company succeed.
What Are Some Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace?
Some benefits of diversity in the workplace can help employees, while others can help the company. Other benefits help everyone involved.
Here are some benefits of having a diverse team to help your business grow.
1. Multiple Perspectives
When everyone has a unique background, they'll usually have different perspectives. Accessing these new ideas can help a team come up with ideas they wouldn't have had otherwise.
People might mention potential problems that a less diverse team wouldn't consider. For example, a blind employee might mention how a package design could have more physical elements for customers to touch.
Even if you don't go with everyone's ideas, it can still help to hear about them. Then, the company will be able to design a product or launch a service that works for more customers.
If your entire team has similar backgrounds, you may come up with a good idea. However, it can be much more difficult to appeal to people outside of your employees' demographics.
2. More Innovation
Because of the various perspectives and ideas, your company will be able to innovate. You could innovate by improving a current product or by creating something new. Perhaps one of your employees is Hispanic, so they can help translate product manuals into Spanish.
With the above example, you'd be able to sell to customers whose native language isn't English. You could access more of the market without necessarily changing what you sell.
Being able to innovate can help your company adapt to new requirements in the market. You can also keep your business from stagnating. Innovation can even help you set yourself apart from your competitors.
3. Easier Decision-Making
Making decisions can be difficult for businesses and smaller teams. With a diverse team of employees, you'll be able to get more ideas in a more streamlined way.
Then, you can discuss the options, and everyone can explain how they think their idea would work. After reviewing your options, you'll be able to figure out which could be the most successful.
Diverse teams can make better decisions and help discover and reduce risks. Employees might catch potential problems that their colleagues wouldn't think about. All of that can help the team choose the best path to take.
So not only will making decisions become easier, but it can lead to great company-wide success. When everybody has a unique perspective, you won't have to worry about missing out on out-of-the-box solutions.
4. More Creativity
Similar to innovation, one of the benefits of diversity in the workplace is creativity. Employees can work together with people who have different backgrounds.
When everyone can contribute, the team might come up with more creative ideas. Then, those ideas can eventually turn into new products or services. Or you could discover ideas to improve the way the company operates.
Managers can help encourage this creativity by getting employees to work together. While people can work individually, they'll miss out on new ideas.
Plus, working together allows people to bounce ideas off of each other. That can help individuals refine the ideas they came up with alone.
5. Better Problem Solving
When employees have unique experiences and skills, they can bring new things to the table. This benefit can include finding new solutions to existing problems.
Consider an employee who grew up in a lower socioeconomic class. They might have ideas on how to save money without reducing the quality of service or products the company sells. A younger employee might have ideas that incorporate newer technologies.
While it can take time to consider multiple solutions, at least one of the ideas should be a good choice to try. However, if all of your employees have the same background, you might not learn about the best possible solution.
6. More Employee Engagement
Assuming you focus on inclusion as much as on diversity, it can help improve employee engagement. Without inclusion, diversity might not make much of a difference to your company.
Be sure to give everyone a chance to share their ideas. Employee engagement can help workers feel like they belong on the team. That can help encourage them to participate in team projects and other events.
When everyone's able to participate, the team can collaborate better. Engagement can lead to other benefits, such as new perspectives and better decision-making.
If possible, give everyone a chance to share their thoughts and ideas. Take every idea seriously, and work as a team to understand others' perspectives. That way, you'll be able to enjoy the other benefits of diversity in the workplace.
7. Learning and Development Opportunities
Having a diverse team of employees can also help provide everyone with the chance to learn and grow in their jobs. Employees can learn from their colleagues by working together or setting up specific mentorship programs.
As employees share perspectives, they can learn from what others have to say. Then, more employees might start to think about different ideas and solutions.
If you have diversity at the management level, you can also show all employees they have the chance to advance at the company. That can help encourage people to do their best if they want to become a manager one day.
8. Reduce Turnover
Another one of the best benefits of diversity in the workplace is less turnover. When employees can participate and feel valued, they're more likely to stay in their current position.
Of course, this benefits employees because it gives them stability in their careers. However, the company can also save time and money on hiring new talent. Turnover can cost companies thousands of dollars per year.
You can invest more into the current employees to help them get better at their jobs. That could include:
- Offering more benefits
- Giving raises to current team members
- Helping employees grow within the company
Now, you'll probably eventually have to hire new employees. People leave for reasons that have nothing to do with the company, such as retiring or going back to school. But having a diverse team might reduce the chances of people quitting because they don't like working there.
9. Improve Company Reputation
Diversity can also help improve how customers and the general public see your company. You can announce that you do your best to hire diverse employees. If your competitors don't have diverse teams, the public might choose to support you.
So you could get more customers without having to do a ton of work. Diversity has become a common marketing tactic, and the public loves seeing more of it.
However, you might also be able to get more diverse applicants to further the diversity in the workplace. If people know that you'll hire people of different backgrounds, you could get more applications when you have a job open up.
New applicants might be more excited to work for you if they know they won't be the only person from a minority group on their team. Then, you can hire someone who will offer even more ideas and solutions.
10. More Profitable
According to McKinsey and Company, businesses with diverse teams tend to be more profitable. In the US, the top 25% of companies for diversity almost doubled their return on equity (ROE) over the bottom 25%.
The top companies also had about 58% greater earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT). These results probably come from other benefits, such as innovation and faster problem-solving.
When employees can choose the best ideas, it can help the business significantly. Then, you'll be able to focus more on profits.
Why Is It Important To Have Diversity in the Workplace?
Having diversity in your company is important for a few reasons. Aside from the benefits of diversity in the workplace, consider the following.
A diverse team can learn to respect each other, even if they have different views. If people are used to working with others who share their views, it can lead to an echo chamber.
However, when you bring in employees with other perspectives, everyone can adjust and grow. As long as employees are able to listen to each other, they will respect their colleagues.
Having that respect is essential when you need to solve a problem quickly. Everyone will be able to give their ideas to help choose the best steps to take.
When people respect each other, they can learn to understand where others are coming from. If a conflict arises, employees will be able to listen and talk it out.
Diversity might even help reduce the number of conflicts in a team. Then, everyone can spend more time on other tasks rather than focusing on office conflict.
Empower Marginalized Workers
Hiring a diverse team allows those employees to access better economic opportunities. Some groups haven't had the best chance and financial stability or freedom.
You can hire people from marginalized groups, such as racial minorities in unfortunate circumstances. Then, give them a fair salary and benefits, and you can help them get out of poverty and make a good life for themselves.
Exposure to New Ideas
Employees from diverse backgrounds may have unique thoughts and attitudes on work. If you can offer those perspectives to your team, everyone can learn something.
People can get stuck in their ways, especially if they've been in their job for years. If you bring in new employees, you can help reinvigorate the workers who have been there for a while.
Of course, those new ideas might also lead to more profits.
How Can Diversity in the Workplace Help Businesses Succeed?
Diversity in the workplace can help businesses succeed in some obvious and not-so-obvious ways. Here are a few things to consider.
Encourage New Ideas
When you have a diverse team, you can help encourage people to share their ideas. That can make it easier to find new processes or solutions.
You can keep from doing the same things over and over. While existing solutions may sometimes work, the world is changing, and new ideas are essential.
Some of the ideas your employees have might help the company launch a new product or outpace its competitors. Then, you can see your business succeed.
Every time someone quits and you have to hire someone, you can waste a lot of money. It also takes time to hire and train someone.
When you're able to keep employees, they can spend more time on their current projects. The team will be able to complete tasks, and you don't have to take time out of your day to recruit or hire a new employee.
Spending more time on projects can help your business reach its goals sooner. While hiring is sometimes necessary, too much turnover could hold back the business. Of course, all of those benefits can then help increase the company's profit margins.
What Are Some Ways To Encourage Diversity in the Workplace?
To increase diversity in the workplace, you might need to hire new people. However, diversity can appear in various ways. Here are some things you can do to encourage and recognize diversity.
First, you should recognize and celebrate the differences between everyone on your team. You can note significant differences, such as race, gender, or age.
However, you might also talk about smaller differences. For example, maybe one employee grew up in the suburbs while someone else grew up in the city.
Talking about what makes everyone different can help you better understand each other. Then, you might realize your team is more diverse than you expected.
You can also encourage employees to evaluate their networks and who they spend time with at work. People might look at their desk setup and who's around them.
However, you can also suggest that people review their LinkedIn connections, for example. Then, you can help people diversify their networks at work and in their careers.
Provide Implicit Bias Training
Another excellent thing to do is to offer implicit bias training to everyone. This type of training helps employees recognize biases that they might not think about.
Then, everyone can work to overcome their biases. As that happens, everyone might start to work together more easily.
Why Is It Important To Create a Workplace That Is Welcoming to All Employees?
Creating a welcoming workplace can help everyone feel at ease when they're working. Your employees may feel better about sharing their ideas and experiences.
Then, your team might have an easier time working together to solve problems. You can come up with the best strategies to help the business flourish.
On the other hand, a business that isn't welcoming can be detrimental. Employees from minority groups might not feel like they can speak up. So you could end up with a few employers who take control of most discussions.
This factor can hinder the decision-making process. You might not get to hear as many ideas, and some of those ideas could have been better than the ones you did hear.
Now, you might not be able to develop a welcoming workplace overnight. However, ensure you offer employees the chance to speak up when they have questions or ideas. You can also ask people to think about their biases.
Take Advantage of the Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace
There are a variety of benefits of diversity in the workplace. Some are more beneficial for the company, such as higher profit margins. However, other benefits focus mostly on the employees, such as being able to share their perspectives and learn from others.
It's crucial to work on diversity in your organization. Encourage people to share their experiences and ideas, and make sure everyone has a chance to speak. Then, you can help foster a welcoming environment for all team members.