The benefits of embracing workplace diversity

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The benefits of embracing workplace diversity

At some point, we have all alluded to the world being one global village. Though the statement alludes to the “ways of life” being intertwined, it does not however imply that the world has shrunk in its literal sense. Thanks to technology, geographical locations have become less of a worry and has therefore brought people closer together especially in the workplace. Telecommuting traversed communication of people located in different regions to foster constant interaction. So, the increase in interaction among populations has resulted in diversity in both personal and work spaces.

What is diversity?

Diversity is a term not limited to one meaning but one that describes the differences that make people unique in work cultures and personal environments. Diversity is both inherent and acquired. Inherent diversity stems from all the traits and attributes that an individual is born with, while acquired diversity is gained through constant learning and experience. Thus, today we see the workplace being diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, age, education and experience.

 

Below are the benefits of embracing a diverse workforce:

  1. Constant innovation

Workplace diversity probes interaction and communication among employees. An organisation with a team of people comprising of different skills, education and cultural backgrounds makes brainstorming sessions a lot more fruitful. Innovation stems from the ability to find solutions to an issue through the analysis of different perspectives. Therefore, the workplace becomes a constant learning environment that makes employees receptive to change which is key to creativity and innovation at work.

  1. Diversity helps attract and retain top talent

Hard working, quality employees are rare and employers do everything possible to acquire and retain them. Millennials for example, are prone to stay in organisations that value and embrace diversity. According to Deloitte, millennials have grown to the idea that inclusion and diversity are crucial in the workplace as compared to older generations. Therefore, individuals are likely to accept or decline job offers based on an organisation’s openness to diversity. Workplace diversity offers employees the benefit of having a sense of belonging. To retain employees, companies must appreciate hard working and loyal employees.

  1. Diversity promotes employee performance and satisfaction

A diverse workplace boosts employee morale and engagement. Employees who fully engage in workplace activities tend to work harder to deliver results. Daily engagements and communication from managers and colleagues help build employee satisfaction. Inclusivity is another element that promotes diversity in the workplace. An inclusive workplace is one where every person feels accepted, valued and respected. Knowledge on diversity should be shared among managers and employees through diversity and inclusion programs. Employee loyalty and low staff turnover is a guaranteed win.

  1. Diversity increases company adaptability

Change is inevitable and therefore to remain competent, companies must adapt to changes presented by the global environment. A heterogeneous employee base increases an organisation’s adaptability to structural change. So in what ways can a homogeneous workforce tackle change by not challenging the status quo? Therefore, a diverse workforce will be in a better position to understand what consumers want.

  1. Broader competitive market

Since the world has become one global village, it implies that the economies of the world have shrunk into one global market. Having a diverse workforce with a variety of skills and cultural understanding, allows your organisation to provide products and services to customers across the world. With such versatility, businesses gain competitive edge with easier cross border transactions.

 

Workplace diversity is made-up of individuals with various skills, experiences and perspectives. And with many businesses operating internationally, finding and engaging a culturally diverse workforce is an important market differentiator .

References:

Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Melinda Marshall & Laura Sherbin. 2013. How Diversity Can Drive Innovation. Harvard Business Review.

Andra Picincu. 2020.What Are The Advantages Of A Diverse Workforce? Houston Chronicle.

Engaged HR. 2019. Celebrating Diversity Successfully.

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