As we transition into a new decade, all businesses must embrace that diversity in the workplace not only develops a great company culture but also aids employee retention and engagement. Surely, no brainer for all business leaders!
Businesses will struggle to thrive and grow if everyone in them thinks and behaves the same way. It has been proven that having a diverse workforce with people of different ages, gender, race, physical ability, sexual orientation, educational, societal, and technological backgrounds opens up a wealth of possibilities and helps to encourage creativity and fosters innovation. The Boston Consulting Group Diversity and Innovation Survey further supported this notion reporting that companies with an above-average diversity score report a higher innovation revenue compared to companies with a below-average diversity score.
To achieve the real benefits of having a diverse workforce, leaders and managers must design and implement strategies to increase diversity within specific business units, rather than creating a blanket policy which is unlikely to achieve business and financial growth. Fundamentally, diversity quotas must be supported by inclusive practices. Without a sense of inclusion, businesses cannot truly benefit from the value a diverse workforce offers.
The 5 Key Benefits of Workforce Diversity:
The more diverse and inclusive a workplace is, the easier it will be to attract and retain your employees. Statistics show that people are more likely to work for brands that actively support and promote their policies on diversity and inclusion. People want to work somewhere where they feel they can fit in, surrounded by people they can relate to. Employees will in turn become proactive to initiatives that encourage the company to be the best it can be.
With a workforce made up of employers from diverse backgrounds will allow businesses to draw on their varying, broad, and diverse perspectives and opinions. Variety in insight can only benefit companies especially when understanding the ever-changing demands of customers.
If a business wants to increase engagement and retention from any diverse group, the greatest return may be in increasing engagement in the largest such group first – women.
There is no better way to gain insight and exposure to new markets than to have employees that reflect these markets and demographics. No business survives without knowing its audience. There is no better way to understand your audience, how to reach them, and increase your market share, than having employees that represent your customer base.
By capitalising on all the opportunities presented by the breadth of experience, talent, vision, and culture that a diverse workforce brings, a business can get ahead of competitors restricted to a narrower spectrum.
In other words, by supporting growth and increasing market share, a diverse workforce can only be good for business.
Not only that, but there is an indisputable moral case that building a fairer and more inclusive workforce where people are valued and embraced for the similarities and differences is important. All employees should be allowed to develop their skills and talents, gain support and training, as well as be recognised and rewarded for their meaningful contribution.
Businesses should aim to have strategies in place that go way beyond their legal obligations to diversity and inclusion. We all must work towards humanising the conversation around D&I, it shouldn't be about meeting targets and quotas. Investing in diversity and inclusion benefits both the employer and employee.