What is diversity in the workplace? It can be defined in much broader terms such as social culture, gender, religious and political beliefs, race, educational backgrounds, age or anything socio-economical for that matter. When diversity is present in a workplace there is more to gain and nothing to lose.
With each person’s unique background it allows them to bring different ideas and perspectives to the table while their neighbor might have a completely different idea. By having a melting pot of employees, creative and fresh ideas are created. Employees are able to learn and gain from each other. Retention and growth have been shown to increase on all sides of a company. The various perspectives and fresh ideas these candidates would likely not be possible in a more homogeneous group.
An example from a Harvard Business Review study found that a team with a member who shares a client’s ethnicity is 152% likelier than another team to understand that client. They also saw a drastic change in culture. Members felt more empowered and comfortable speaking up and sharing ideas. That alone can contribute to a higher concentration of more thorough and diverse solutions.
Diversity can also create the opportunity fo many markets to be opened, such as international markets. Different languages can help reach more platforms globally and make a company more relatable. It also gives you more diverse teams who can collectively come up with more innovative solutions that relate to your company's audience and issues at hand.
2. Increased Retention and recruitment
Companies that encourage diversity are more likely to attract and retain better and more diverse talent. It's somewhat of a ripple effect. A diverse group of employees tend to carry a higher retention rate and helps to attract a wider talent pool. A more culturally advanced company shows there is more room for progression and success. Diversity is something that many great candidates look for in a company. In fact, 67 percent of candidates looking for a diverse workplace when looking at job offers and evaluating companies. In a tight job market having that diversity can be crucial in having that star candidate in your company.
Retention rates are higher in a diverse workplace. People want to feel accepted no matter their background and heard. And sometimes if you're a minority in a certain age, race, gender, income level etc, it creates barriers. It makes it hard for one to feel confident enough to speak up in a group setting, which could eliminate those fresh ideas and solutions discussed above. In an environment where people are comfortable and confident, you will also find increased employee performance and a higher morale.
3. Diverse Organizations Outperform Competitors
Diverse companies outperform their competitors. A study found that diverse companies were 35 percent more likely to outperform their competitors. When companies dedicate themselves to more diversity, they open the door to endless opportunities. A more diverse talent pool attracts and retains better candidates. When a company is diverse they are also more likely to attract different skills and talents that a company without diversity may not obtain. The possibilities are endless.
Having a melting pot of different cultures will create a stronger and more successful workplace all around. While there may be challenges with a diverse workplace, there is not much to lose. A close minded employee will never be able to bring the company forward, especially in the workforce we have today. Creating policies that protect differences between others can help curb those challenges that might come up. The benefits of having diversity are plentiful.
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Isabella Ang is a content marketing specialist at ProSky, a company that gives you the ability to innovatively evaluate candidates and develop employees through succession pathways, so you can recruit, hire, and retain the best diverse talent & culture fit. When she's not working on her next or ongoing projects for ProSky; she spends her days rock climbing, practicing yoga, completing her degree in Computer Science, and tutoring writing skills.