Inclusivity and a fair working environment is a goal many employers strive for today. However, diversity in the workplace shouldn’t be a quota to fill or a checklist to check off. Having a diverse workforce has tangible and measurable benefits to your organisation, and to your staff. Don’t believe it? In this article, the MIA’s Business Support Helpline Partner, Croner, explain why companies that have a more progressive approach tend to outperform their competitors – multiple studies have shown this time and time again!
What is diversity in the workplace?
The term ‘diversity’ in a work context means having employees from a variety of backgrounds. The differences could be:
- National origin.
- Physical appearance.
- Sexual orientation.
Just to name a few.
More than just hiring people from different backgrounds however, you need to value each employee as an individual. Don’t just tolerate differences. Accept and embrace them.
The importance of diversity in the workplace
You can see the benefits of equality and diversity in the workplace and on your workforce.
There are, of course, advantages to your business from a performance standpoint, but before we go into too much detail on that, it’s important to address the human element first.
Having a diverse workforce, and inclusive company atmosphere can help you attract new talent. But, it also helps retain your current talent.
Why? As accepting peoples’ differences makes them feel more comfortable in their own skin and allows them to feel valued based on merit, rather than a box you can tick off your diversity quota.
That’s the moral argument, now here’s the business one.
The benefits of diversity in the workplace
It offers a serious competitive advantage. It can improve your reputation, as well as your performance.
Here are the top benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace:
- Better hiring: Diversity helps promote your brand and presents your company as a desirable place to work. This allows you to attract the top talent from a wide range of pools.
- Differing perspectives: A diverse workforce means a diverse array of perspectives. This is vital to developing (and executing) business strategies.
- Increased creativity: Those with a diverse workforce often describe working in such an environment as a ‘melting pot of fresh ideas’, due to the variety of views staff provide.
- Reduced employee turnover: As previously mentioned, retention improves when you value and accept employees. The happier they are, the longer they are likely to stay with the company.
- Varied problem-solving skills: A diverse team offers different perspectives from various cultures, bringing creative ideas to day-to-day activities.
- Improved employee engagement: Research, this time by Deloitte, shows that inclusion leads to employees engaging more with their roles.
Of course, these aren’t the only advantages of a diverse workforce.
You might stumble upon a boost in morale when improving your workplace diversity, or find certain teams in your business are working more effectively than they ever have done before.
Every organisation, like every individual, is different. Each one has certain requirements and there’s no one answer to every diversity problem in the country.
But, striving to improve inclusivity and equality for all is something we should all be trying to do.
Not only for the benefits to our businesses but for the good of our employees and those who are seeking employment in a fair and diverse workplace.
Have questions about diversity in the workplace? Speak to a Croner expert for any HR or employment law issue today.
As part of your membership with the MIA you can speak to a Croner expert for help with any of the above issues and get free in-depth, tailored advice. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01403 800500 for the exclusive Business Support Helpline scheme number.