The interconnected global economy compels businesses to believe that diverse workforces are essential to their success. And rightfully so. A company’s ability to respond to an increasingly complex world of change depends on its capacity to draw a wide pool of talent, experiences, and perspectives.
There is overwhelming evidence that organizations with diverse workforces perform better than others. According to Gartner, through 2022, 75% of organizations will exceed their performance targets by at least one metric if they prioritize diversity and inclusion.
If you’re wondering why and how to leverage workplace diversity, here’s how you can jumpstart your journey to a more inclusive workplace:
Attracting and Retaining the Best Talent
Firstly, to be competitive, businesses need to attract top talent from various backgrounds. A diverse workforce permits organizations to tap into a larger pool of potential employees and identify the best talent for the job.
There are failproof ways to make your workplace more inclusive and attractive to a wider range of job seekers. For instance, you can offer flexible work arrangements, which are becoming increasingly popular among workers of all ages. Young workers, in particular, value work-life balance and are more likely to gravitate towards organizations that offer it.
Likewise, expanding your C-suite also necessitates fostering inclusion and diversity to ensure business survival in today’s time. If you’re considering the executive search process, you can partner with an organization like Lindauer that specializes in diversity recruitment. It’ll be easier for them to find qualified candidates with various backgrounds and experiences suitable for your company.
Offer Targeted Workshops and Internships
Investing in employee development is a great way to show that you’re committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. You can start by offering targeted workshops and internships to help employees from underrepresented groups succeed in your organization.
These initiatives will not only help you attract and retain top talent, but they’ll also foster a more positive work environment. Some topics you can cover in your workshops include unconscious bias, microaggressions, and cross-cultural communication.
Celebrate Employee Differences
How would you feel if your organization held a special event celebrating the differences that make each employee unique? Pretty great, right?
Well, your employees would feel the same way. Employees who feel valued and appreciated are likelier to be engaged and productive at work.
So, go ahead and celebrate your employees’ unique backgrounds and experiences. You can start by hosting an annual diversity day or holding monthly forums where employees can share their stories.
Work on Your Anti-Discriminatory Policies
Unfortunately, discrimination still exists in the workplace. But you can do your part to combat it by implementing strong anti-discriminatory policies.
Your policies should be designed to protect employees from all forms of discrimination, including race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation. They should also include a clear reporting process so that employees feel comfortable coming forward if they experience or witness discrimination.
Start by thoroughly assessing your organization’s current policies and procedures. From there, you can implement changes to ensure that your workplace is truly inclusive.
How Workplace Diversity Improves Business Performance
Creating a diverse and inclusive workplace is a journey, not a destination. But along the way, you’ll realize that hiring more women or people of color improves your business performance. And that’s something to celebrate. To help you envision ways workplace diversity can benefit your business, we’ve put together a list of five ways it’ll make you perform better:
- Boost Competitiveness
Do you want to attain a competitive edge in your industry? Then start paying attention to the ideas and perspectives that take birth in a diverse environment. After all, a homogenous workforce will only take you so far.
By opening your doors to different kinds of people, you’re opening your business up to new possibilities. For example, one of your new hires may have an innovative solution to a long-standing problem. Or maybe someone on your team will devise a creative marketing campaign targeting a new demographic.
- Enhance Creativity
A lack of diversity can cause groupthink, which stifles creativity and innovation. To avoid this, you must encourage employees from different backgrounds to share their unique perspectives. Since your diverse workforce will have people from different age groups, genders, cultures, and religions, they’ll be able to offer a variety of perspectives on any given issue.
Hold brainstorming sessions and encourage employees to share their latest and greatest ideas. Maybe one (or more) of those innovative ideas will become your company’s next big breakthrough.
- Higher Productivity
When employees achieve a sense of belongingness, their workplace engagement and productivity ultimately increase. But how do inclusion and diversity foster a sense of belonging? Well, it all comes down to feeling respected and valued.
When employees feel like their unique backgrounds and experiences are appreciated, celebrated, and leveraged, they’re more likely to be engaged in their work. You may even find that they go above and beyond to help your business succeed. Plus, healthy competition is always good for productivity.
- Greater Customer Insights
Do you wish you could properly understand your customers? If so, build a workforce that reflects the diversity of your customer base. By hiring employees from different backgrounds, you’ll gain valuable insights into the needs and preferences of your target market.
In addition, it will help you develop products and services that better meet their needs. For instance, a middle-aged Asian American woman is likely to have different needs than a young Hispanic man. And who can better know what those needs are than someone who shares that background?
- Improve Decision-Making
Regardless of how brilliant an entrepreneur or CEO you may be, you’re not immune to making bad decisions. Even the most experienced leaders can fall victim to cognitive biases that lead to suboptimal decision-making. But here’s the good news: diversity can help you avoid those biases.
For example, let’s say you’re considering a new business venture. If every employee shares the same background and experiences, they will likely share the same biases. As a result, they may not challenge your decision or provide an alternative perspective. But, if you have a diverse team, someone might catch any potential blind spots and help you make a more informed decision.
With the evolving dynamics of the business world, having a diverse workforce is more important than ever. It will make you more competitive, creative, and productive and help you better understand your customers and make more informed decisions. What’s more, you’ll also attract the best and brightest talent by building an inclusive environment. So, if you’re not already on board with workplace diversity, now is the time to prioritize it. Your business will thank you for it.