Diversity is more than a recent trend among businesses. It’s more than a tool for companies to appear progressive. Diversity is the new reality of the world, whether personal or professional. It’s a necessity to allow our societies to keep moving forward. A heterogeneous workforce is crucial to help include and welcome underrepresented communities. It also provides opportunities for new ideas and growth. Let’s dive into the topic of diversity and its benefits to your business.
What is diversity?
Simply put, diversity is the way of the world. In business or elsewhere, the world is a melting pot of different cultures. Diversity is realizing and embracing that fact.
1: the condition of having or being composed of differing elements : VARIETY
Especially: the inclusion of different types of people (such as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization” – Merriam Webster dictionary.
In essence, diversity is defined by the inclusion of people with a wide variety of traits. In the context of a company, a diverse workplace would be comprised of employees with different characteristics. This includes, but isn’t limited to: race and ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, level of education and other facets that make up a person’s culture.
While traits like race and gender are inherent, diversity is also made up of acquired characteristics. Those characteristics ultimately provide one of the most valuable benefits of diversity in the workplace: new ideas. A culturally-mixed group paves the path for new ideas and innovative solutions.
Benefits of diversity
First and foremost, diversity benefits your employees. When every person in your team is valued, accepted and properly represented, they feel at home. Your workforce will then become more like a family, creating a positive place for people’s best potential to blossom!
As mentioned before, diversity enables new ideas. It also promotes freedom of thought and expression, which relates to increased creativity and a wider range of aptitudes. Hiring people from all walks of life equips your company with a valuable set of assorted skills.
These factors directly impact productivity in the most positive ways. When employees feel good, they work well. They are more engaged in the organization and its best interests, because the organization “returns the favor”. As a result, productivity leads to higher profits, while your dedication to diversity establishes a good reputation for your business.
How to achieve diversity
To reap the benefits of diversity in the workplace, you must establish and promote it. Of course, it’s not without challenges. Avoid approaching diversity as rules to be enforced. Instead, work it into the core of your company culture. Present it as an integral part of your environment.
Naturally, you will achieve diversity if you focus on hiring people based on their merit and qualification. If you seek out employees with the best qualities for your company, you will inevitably hire culturally diverse people.
As you build your multicultural team, make sure everyone is treated equally. After all, fairness is at the heart of diversity. It should be common sense to treat each person justly, at work or outside, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat it. From the very first questions of the interview to the highest level of promotions, make sure your organization has established procedures to ensure equality. Check out more tips on achieving a diverse workplace in our article here.