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The Benefits of Having a Diverse Workforce

The Benefits of Having a Diverse Workforce

Workplace diversity may be a term that you have heard more recently– and for good reason. Diversity can bring a company a variety of benefits both internally and externally. If you find yourself curious as to how diversifying your employee base can benefit you, keep reading to learn more!

Variety of Perspectives

Have you ever been collaborating with your co-workers and hit a roadblock? Or maybe you have been stumped on a problem and needed a creative solution, but found that due to similar learning or communication styles between your peers, you were missing a unique perspective? Or maybe you’ve simply experienced groupthink? An individual’s background, gender, or even the color of their skin, contributes to unique experiences that, when different from the rest of the group, can ultimately diversify your workforce and prevent these situations from occurring.

A company with higher workforce diversity immediately has access to each employee’s differing perspective. Whether it be their personal or professional experiences, the shift in thinking can allow employees to recognize and push through their own biases and towards a new way of thinking. While your peers may feel hesitant about introducing unpopular or new opinions to the workforce, it is important to know that diversity ultimately drives better decisions.

Higher Employee Engagement

In some instances, you may link employee engagement and employee satisfaction together as the same concept. However, they are two separate ideas that are equally important to the success of a business. Employee satisfaction is directly related to how happy your employees are working for your company, while employee engagement is the level of motivation, involvement, or emotional commitment your employees feel towards your company.

It is important to recognize that there is a link between diversity and employee engagement. When employees feel more included (whether based on gender, race, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, or education) they are more likely to be engaged with the company as a whole. Additionally, a study completed by Deloitte shows that within inclusion, there is also a need for a proper work-life balance. This connection is important because if even just 10% more employees feel included, the company can see an increase in work attendance by almost one day per year per employee.

By recognizing this connection early on, your employees will not only feel a sense of inclusion, but their satisfaction and engagement will increase. They’ll feel like a valuable member of the team. As stated by entrepreneur Robert F. Smith, “You have to create a workforce process and a workforce environment that makes people feel not just invited to the party, but also asked to dance. It’s a matter of necessity more than anything else.” Encouraging diversity can provide a comfortable environment for your employees to grow both professionally and personally, and can even result in a reduced employee turnover rate.

More Innovation

Innovation within a company is thought to be a cornerstone of both growth and prosperity. When partnered with a diverse group of individuals, innovation can occur more often. This is because sameness does not lead to creative solutions and problem-solving, making diverse experience and thought a crucial aspect of a workforce. In fact, inclusive and diverse companies are 1.7 times more likely to be innovative leaders within their field.

Along with overall company and product improvements, you can expect to see improved decision-making, creativity, and faster problem-solving with your employees. Diversity of thought can stretch a team in ways in which a team of like-minded individuals could not. While this may make for uncomfortable situations, it can also result in more effective decisions that can be game-changing for employees and the company overall.

Boosted Company Reputation

No matter if you are part of a well-established company or just getting your feet off the ground, there are many ways to boost the reputation of your company. Aside from providing solid services, your company should also be trustworthy, as well as diverse to showcase a commitment to better services and thoughtful employment practices.

By taking the time to hire and highlight a diverse staff, as well as participate in various initiatives that focus on inclusivity, you are more likely to be seen as an employer of choice from outside individuals. An already-established and diverse company can help boost employee retention and help future recruitment efforts.

Ultimately, diversity can bring a lot of benefits to you as an individual, as well as to your company. The success of your business may not solely depend on a diverse workforce, however, having one truly can make all of the difference.

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by Dirk DeBie // Contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.