Diversity in the workplace means employing people of different ages, genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations, cultural backgrounds, and education levels. Not only is diversity crucial for creativity and social justice, but also research shows that a diverse workplace is good for the bottom line. In fact, companies with a diverse workforce are 35% more likely to experience greater financial returns than their respective non-diverse counterparts.
A team that has a variety of worldview perspectives can educate employees and clients, and reach untapped customer demographics. This opens the conversation to new, unexplored, and different ideas. In fact, companies with greater diversity are 70% more likely to capture more markets. And with more markets comes a bigger audience which equals more profit. This can be a game-changer in the professional world.
And yet, employers still do not embrace diversity.
Roughly 57% of employees feel their company can be doing more. And 41% of managers admit to being “too busy” to implement diversity inclusion programs.
Here are 3 benefits to embracing diversity in the workplace.
Diverse Teams Boost Creativity and Innovation
Diversity has been shown to boost creativity, and it’s no secret that companies are always looking for the next big thing. In my experience, that dynamite idea usually comes from thinking outside-the-box. When people come from different backgrounds, have a variety of life experiences, and see the world in unique ways, multiple perspectives are brought to the table.
The great part about that is, creativity comes naturally when you have diversity.
In fact, the majority of CEOs, when asked, “What is the skill you value most in your people?” answered “Creativity.” That’s because CEOs see the positive correlation between creativity and innovation.
People from a variety of backgrounds offer a handful of solutions, rather than one uninspired solution which is based on the same cultural voice. Diverse teams naturally eliminate the standard approach to problem solving.
An increase in creativity within the workplace also helps to inspire unique marketing strategies. Research shows that companies that embrace diversity are 1.7 times more innovative. Customers feel more connected to and are more apt to buy from companies that use advertising that depicts culturally and ethnically diverse people. Diversity in advertising creates a positive reputation, increases marketplace awareness, and leads to a more diverse, and consequently, larger client-base.
Workplace Diversity Creates Greater Opportunities for Professional Growth
According to Gallup’s report, “How Millennials Want To Work and Live,” 87% of participants said career and professional growth opportunities were important to them.
Companies that embrace ideas and practices from different perspectives create an inclusive culture where the employees become ambassadors for the company. Internal company advocacy attracts talented, ambitious, and diverse professionals. Roughly 64% of candidates research a company online before applying for an opening. An integral part of this research is what makes the company an attractive place to work.. And 1 in 3 will not apply for a position at a company that lacks diversity.
Diverse teams can be professionally enriching as teammates are exposed to new skills and approaches to work. Additionally, colleagues have the opportunity to develop international networks.
Naturally, teammates will learn about each other’s cultures. This leads to a broader understanding of the world on a much deeper level, which in turn, filters different perspectives into their own thinking, creating new thoughts and ideas. Unique ways of thinking and ideologies aid in decision-making, brainstorming, and boost workplace etiquette.
Research showed that diverse teams are better at making decisions 87% of the time over non-diverse teams. Diverse teams offer broader perspectives and bring more information to the table.
Teams outperform individuals when making decisions and that improves as diversity increases. Our hardwired biases are mitigated by voices from diverse teams. Diversity in decision-making equates to profitability in the global economy as evidenced by a 70% likelihood of capturing new markets by companies with a diverse workforce. Companies with diverse teams are better able to meet the needs of a diverse customer base.
Understanding the difference between which decisions are the big ones that may need a more creative approach and the ones that we can decide on auto-pilot, can set a team apart from its competitors.
Though it may seem overwhelming when the voices of different cultures are contradictory, it’s essential to hear them all in order to decide what your next move as a team will be.
A team made up of diverse individuals makes it easier to break down cultural walls and take an inside look at what’s actually relevant and true to a specific demographic. Through diversity businesses can create a better understanding of other cultures and become “insiders” rather than “outsiders.”
In my experience, culturally diverse voices working together on a team are overall more efficient and successful. It creates a safe place for employees and it positively highlights a company’s reputation.
Source: Ashley Stahl via Forbes.com