In the modern working environment, there is little surprise in calling people from the other side of the world colleagues. But while diversity in the workplace could be seen as a simple consequence of modern society, the reality is that companies with a diverse workforce enjoy real advantages over those who don’t.
Diversity, of course, has a pretty wide definition. Most of us will correctly point to a range of ethnic backgrounds and differing nationalities as an example, but the definition also includes gender, religion, sexual orientation, abilities and age.
And with each of these types of diversity comes benefits, from having a more global view of strategies to having a wider range of skills and experience to draw upon when making decisions. The result is a stronger business, better equipped to face down challenges and overcome hurdles.
Here are some of the advantages that make diversity something worth bringing into your workplace.
5 Reasons To Embrace Diversity In The Workplace
- Deepens The Experience Pool
Being able to draw from the experiences of different backgrounds is a huge advantage. Each will have gained their own career experience at their previous jobs, and when that includes different countries, the pool of know-how deepens dramatically. From whiz-kids in their 20s to proven professionals in the 40s, the cross-over of skills and knowledge between staff can be highly beneficial.
- Inspires New Thinking
Since the scope of experience is that much wider, and the contributions being made that much more varied, it’s hardly surprising that diversity in the workplace tends to lead to new ways of thinking – and as a result, greater innovation. Research has indicated that the ability to integrate differing points of view enhances the creative process. Ideas can bounce around the office, creating a fertile environment in which to come up with new products, approaches and solutions.
- Greater Productivity
Research has also shown that diversity in the workplace can play a significant role in increasing productivity rates. It comes down to a matter of inclusion, with personnel hailing from different places, or of ages and cultures feeling more positive and more motivated by the positive working environment such tolerance creates. Everyone feels equal, feels confident and the high team morale serves to boost their productivity.
The MSCI, for example, discovered that productivity jumped where businesses had women on their boards. What is more, McKinsey & Company found that having racial, ethnic and gender diversity within a team results in work performance 33% above the national average.
- Boost Your Corporate Reputation
Businesses that recruit individuals from a wider range of backgrounds earn a more positive reputation as an employer. Modern job seekers value diversity, and if your company shares that same value, then you are clearly a modern, open-minded, forward-thinking employers – basically, pretty cool! According to a 2017 PwC survey, some 61% of women and 48% of men said they assessed the diversity of the company’s leadership team when deciding to accept an offer.
As for clients (and potential clients), it underlines the fact that your company has the kind of skills and experiences that they want, and they can feel confident you are better positioned to understand them better.
- Faster Problem-Solving, Better Decisions
This links to the earlier points of new thinking and deeper experience pools, but there is research that clearly indicates the impact diversity in the workplace has on problem-solving and decision-making. A Harvard Business Review study concluded that teams with a diverse range of members were able to complete cognitive challenges faster than teams without diversity.
Meanwhile, Cloverpop showed in their research that when diverse teams made a business decision they outperformed individual decision-makers 87% of the time.
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