Diversity in the workplace is a much-discussed topic today. Everyone has an opinion, and not everyone agrees on why or how the workplace should be diversified. Numerous companies around the world are demonstrating just why diversity matters. These six reasons prove why it should matter to your organization too.
1. Reaching New Markets
When you hire people from a single demographic, you’ll do a very good job of reaching the same demographic with your product or service. Your employees will give you great ideas about where to find customers in this demographic. They know how to talk to these consumers. They’ll design great marketing programs to reach those people.
What happens when you diversify? You gain the ability to reach an expanded number of people in an expanded number of markets. You may have traditionally reached one demographic, but the addition of diverse employees across a number of demographics will give you new insights about how to reach more demographics.
In short, diversifying the workplace can mean expanding the business!
2. New Perspectives and Ideas
Some organizations exhibit “group think.” Everyone agrees with a particular perspective or idea. Since everyone comes from the same class, age group, or ethnic group, they tend to think in a particular way.
A diverse organization incorporates and embraces all sorts of people who have all kinds of backgrounds and experiences. They may have different ways of thinking about issues and solutions.
Including these diverse voices in company decision-making is incredibly important because it brings you needed perspectives and often new ideas as well. If you’ve been wrestling with a problem, a diversified perspective could illuminate the ideal solution.
3. Your Employees Benefit
Some people express concern about how employees will be affected by diversity in the workplace.
While employee clashes are possible, diversity isn’t a recipe for decreased workplace harmony. In fact, your employees will likely benefit from increased diversity.
Employees who work in a diverse organization are exposed to new ideas, different cultures, and different traditions. As a direct result of this, they tend to become more empathetic, which improves relations among co-workers.
It can also change how your employees interact with clients and customers. They’ll often demonstrate more patience and understanding, which translates into better customer service.
4. Foster Innovation
Diversity leads to new perspectives and new ideas, which can also drive innovation in your organization. Maybe someone comes up with a new process, designed to streamline your work and save you both time and money. Maybe they pitch a revolutionary new product you’d never have thought of otherwise.
Employees who come from a different background may be aware of needs in the market your organization has missed. Diversifying can help you identify these needs and develop solutions to address them.
5. Earn a Better Reputation
Diverse groups make up society. When taken together, “minorities” actually outweigh the “majority” group. Diversifying your organization will help you earn a better reputation among these groups.
While bolstering your reputation shouldn’t be your only goal in diversifying, it is a tangible benefit your company can realize. So long as you work to treat your employees well, you can create positive relations with diverse groups of people through the simple act of hiring.
6. Getting the Best of the Best
Hidden bias often obscures the top candidate during the hiring process. As a result, you might not truly be hiring the best candidate to work for you. Diversifying and removing bias can ensure your company truly hires the talent you want and need to succeed in a competitive market.
These are only a few of the reasons diversity is so important to your organization. The bottom line is diversity is a good thing. Consider how you can work with HR processes to improve diversity in your business so you can soar to new heights.