Supports innovative solutions everyday
“Diversity trumps ability,” according to recent research findings. When people with varied backgrounds come together to form a diverse team of solvers, they often outdo a team possessing ‘superior’ problem-solving skills. Possessing a range of experience equals a range of perspectives, and so a diverse workplace leads to creative approaches and forward-thinking solutions that function best for a broad customer base.
As Rise CRO Julie Bevacqua states in Canadian HR Reporter, an diverse culture which values and encourages innovation allows employees to “feel that it’s safe to propose new ideas, giving them authority to make decisions regardless of what those decisions are.”
Attracts the best talent
Everyone’s looking for superstar employees—which means the competition between employers is fierce. In fact, EY’s ranked the skills and talent shortage as a primary threat for businesses. Companies can mitigate that risk by fostering an inclusive atmosphere and diverse workplace. As the power of selection swings to interviewees, you’ll want to ensure every potential employee feels they are a fit for your company culture. When the office workforce is composed of various ages, cultures, and ethnicities, that’s far more likely to occur.
Keeps the best talent around
If you’re lucky enough to hire a superstar team member, hang onto them. Disgruntled former employees are a risk for your company's reputation, and even peaceful partings can be costly: you will, of course, need to recruit and train a replacement. Simple gestures, such as consulting with staff members on benefits packages or publicly celebrating career accomplishments, can go a long way towards keeping morale up. Similarly, a diverse workplace creates an environment of inclusivity where every staff member, regardless of their background, feels valued. That translates to widespread employee engagement in the long term.
Better customer care
Maybe your client is more comfortable speaking Punjabi, or uses sign language to express themselves. A diverse workplace ensures you can communicate with clients in the mode they prefer. And it goes beyond language skills. Younger employees might show more facility with social media, while older staff members often possess the soft skills necessary to thrive in face-to-face meetings. Either way, building a diverse workplace ensures that you are equipped to provide customers with top notch service—however they prefer to receive it.
After sitting next to a Millennial employee for a few weeks, that new hire in Marketing just might be your new Twitter guide. Employees expand their skill sets when working alongside people with different backgrounds. A diverse workplace gives your team members the opportunity to challenge themselves and keep learning.
Industry leadership potential
In the effort to remain current, fostering a diverse workplace is an effective way for any company to be on the cutting edge. More and more, government regulations are encouraging gender diversity on boards across Canada, and other countries are imposing similar rules. Your company can comply—or it can forge the way, challenging the status quo to open opportunities not only for women, but also for other underrepresented groups.
Increased profits for your business
What’s the bottom line? Well, a diverse workplace will boost yours. Take Subaru’s example. In 1996, they hired an openly gay spokesperson and mandated benefits for all LGBTQ employees. As a result, the company entered an unprecedented period of sales growth. As Brendan Stevens explains, “over 50% of the [LGBTQ] community’s purchasing decisions are influenced by a company’s employment practices and active promotion of gay-friendly policies.”
Mandate diversity in the same way you might design a social media policy or set a dress code. Determining measurable goals—like having at least two women in your senior ranks within the next five years—allows you to track company progress. Revisit your hiring criteria—are you unintentionally barring great candidates from applying? Even consider posting positions in different locales to reach a new audience of applicants. Finally, remember that building a diverse workplace extends past the interview room—you want to create a welcoming work atmosphere where every voice can be heard.
Is your company ready to reap the rewards of a diverse workplace?