Building a diverse workplace is essential to creating a welcoming and successful work environment and competing for top talent in your industry. Study after study has shown the incredible benefits of a diverse workplace, specifically how a variety in leadership, work styles and backgrounds can drive innovation and improve the overall employee experience.
Of course, building and cultivating a workplace that nurtures talent across all ages, backgrounds and religions is neither a small task nor is it a quick one. What’s more, it’s important to recognize that committing to improving your company’s diversity touches all levels of your organization, including traditional methods of recruitment, retention and more. This means that simply putting together a new policy plan, while effective, is only the first step.
Read on for an explainer on the benefits of implementing a more diverse workforce and the timely steps your company can take to get there.
Benefits of Workplace Diversity
1. Drives Innovation and New Perspectives
When you hire from a wide talent pool filled with candidates from diverse backgrounds and cultures, your company will benefit from a variety of ideas and perspectives–ideas that would likely never come to light without a team brimming with strategic thinkers. If everyone on the team has the same way of thinking, your performance could be hindered and your ability to creatively solve problems or approach complex issues may be compromised.
2. Attracts New Talent and New Business
It makes sense that a wider array of ideas and perspectives would perform better, right? As a result, you’ll bring in more profits and drive new business opportunities within your company.
In McKinsey’s 2020 report “Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters,” researchers discovered that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the bottom quartile. A similar study from McKinsey found that companies with ethnically and culturally diverse boards are 43% more likely to experience higher profits. These powerful statistics cannot be ignored. Commit to offering your employees experienced and diverse leaders and teammates.
3. Widens Your Talent Pool
Sixty-seven percent of applicants consider workplace diversity a significant factor when taking on new opportunities or roles. As such, managing a diverse workforce is imperative to attracting top talent. Furthermore, a modern workforce needs to see that all values, perspectives and ideas are valued, and that your company has long-term initiatives supporting that core belief.
Not sure how your employees feel about your current diversity plan? It may be time to gather feedback. Check out WorkTango’s DEI survey and make your own for employees to answer. Their results should give you the answers that you need.
How Can You Increase Diversity in the Workplace?
1. Be Aware That Unconscious Biases Exist
Even with the best of intentions, people tend to bring unconscious biases into their everyday interactions. Much as the saying “birds of a feather flock together” goes, the same can be said for ourselves and our natural tendency to gravitate toward those to whom we’re most similar (in attitude, personality, and so on). When we address our biases head-on, however, companies and managers can expect better outcomes such as:
· Stronger decision-making
· Increased diversity
· Increased employee engagement
· More productivity
· Reduced recruitment costs
How can you overcome bias? We recommend:
· Learn more about different cultures and backgrounds and think deeply about how they could benefit your work.
· Create a safe environment where employees feel free to speak up and question certain agendas, priorities or decision-making.
2. Communicate Your Goals and Measure Results
Your company’s efforts to create a more welcoming workplace won’t go anywhere unless you form a plan and add layers of accountability to properly communicate and execute your goals. As a general rule, create a team that can oversee and measure progress.
It’s also important to measure your results and ensure employee satisfaction with a survey. The only way your employees will notice that you truly advocate for diversity is by continually assessing and improving on your company’s policies and best practices.
Stay tuned for part two on how to create a sense of inclusion. Diversity is the first step, but inclusion is the key to leveraging your diverse talent to its fullest extent.
Looking for relatable content? Read our blog on how to retain your company’s top talent here.
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