The importance of diversity in the workplace

27 / 08 / 19

Diversity in the workplace is all about creating an inclusive environment, accepting of every individual’s differences, enabling all employees to achieve their full potential and as a result, allowing your business to reach its fullest potential. If you value each person’s differences then you are allowing each person to contribute their unique experiences, which can have an extremely positive impact on work, other employees, motivation, productivity and customer experience. Workplace diversity isn’t just an inclusion fad, it’s something most companies are trying to achieve. While it will serve to improve your reputation, there are many more tangible benefits which can impact your business’ bottom line. So what are the main benefits of diversity in the workplace?

Different perspectives and innovation

As employees will have different backgrounds and characteristics, it also means that their skills, experiences and abilities are likely to be different as well which can mean you have a very well-rounded team. This is also great from a learning perspective as they will have access to these different perspectives and so will enable them to widen their experience and learning. This also means that your employees are more likely to come together and combine to come up with more innovative and creative ideas, because your teams won’t be homogenous.

Problem-solving and decision-making

Again, because of the different perspectives of your teams, individuals can come together, utilising their different perspectives to bring diverse solutions to the table. This means decisions can be made quicker, making for an extremely competitive business in today's marketplace. Research from Harvard supports this as it found that diverse teams are able to solve problems quicker than cognitively similar individuals. In addition to this, when employees from different backgrounds come together, they tend to come up with a wider range of solutions as well.

Increased employee engagement

Research has shown that employee engagement is heightened through diversity and inclusion. Of course this is only one element of employee engagement but it seems it’s an important one. And it’s a no-brainer, because when employees feel more included, they are automatically more engaged.

Increased employee retention

If you’re operating a diverse workforce, it means you are open to different perspectives and characteristics. And, when employees feel accepted and valued they are less likely to stray if another opportunity were to arise, and, less likely to hunt for new opportunities because they are unhappy. As a consequence, your employees will be more motivated, will respect you and the business and are far more likely to stay. Therefore, your employee turnover rate will be far less than that of a non-inclusive nature. In addition, as we all know, recruitment is extremely expensive and time-consuming and so if you can hold on to valuable employees you will potentially be in a far stronger position than your competitors.

Better reputation

Your reputation will have direct impact on your sales and your recruitment and those companies dedicated to creating and building diversity are viewed in a far more positive way by investors, potential employees and potential customers. One of our latest blogs talked about the importance of social media from an HR perspective and so if you can demonstrate to these key stakeholders that you are a diverse employer and you use social media and a mix of other channels to promote this, then you are far more likely to engage with individuals of interest. There is more public awareness than ever of diversity in the workplace and so key stakeholders and potential employees are actively searching for it.

Better understanding of your customers

With a diverse workforce in place, your business is a true representation of society. In life we meet all kinds of people, from different countries, with different physical abilities and so on.... Your business is selling to these people and so it makes sense to employ a diverse range of employees, representing society today to enable you to have a better understanding of your customers and essentially marketing and selling to them in a more personalised way.

When you look at the above benefits, you can see that it’s imperative that you think about how diversity is handled within your business. All of the aforementioned will have a considerable impact on your profits and so it makes sense to include this as part of your HR and people strategy. If you’re able to make decisions quickly, innovate, retain employees and attract new employees with the right skills and experience to help drive your business forward, then your figures will reflect this. It can take your business results and company culture to a whole new level and people will aspire to be part of such an entity.

If you would like help with creating a diverse workplace, why not contact me now on: 01453 297557 or email enquiries@peepshr.co.uk.


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