Before you can consider workforce diversity benefits, you must understand what that phrase entails. Workforce diversity spans race, religion, ages, experience and education levels, disability and gender. It is an intersectional topic versus simply being diverse. A diverse workplace is nothing without inclusion and intersectionality.
When hiring new employees at any part of the hiring process, considering diversity is a key component of developing a thriving business. It will create an environment that will continue to grow and foster advancement in particular businesses goals.
7 Main Reasons to Be Diverse, Inclusive and Intersectional
#1. Innovation and Growth
A Forbes study concluded that diversity and inclusion are necessary for innovation and growth. When you bring in a diverse set of employees, a company can solve more global problems related to the line of work they do. This applies to everything from massive corporations to non-profit organizations.
A workforce in any sector will always have problems to solve, and diversity allows for blind spots to be uncovered because diverse people offer diverse perspectives. This inspires innovation, and it is a catalyst for growth and success. It is not only a piece of a successful organization, but it is a necessary component that must be in place.
#2. More than Strategy
Organizations that have diversity and inclusion at the core of their values and mission are going to go above and beyond simple strategy. Strategy tries to force itself when it comes to diversity, and that can lead to a number of problems in the workforce. If it is a natural part of the organization plan, then it is safe to say that there are going to be fewer problems with that diversity since it began that way.
Problems arise out of organizations that attempt to implement diversity as part of a strategy later on because their current workforce must also adapt to change. This is not to discourage any organization from changing. Change can also foster growth. However, it is necessary whenever possible to make diversity and inclusion part of the framework instead of working backwards.
#3. Meeting More Customer Needs
Diversity meets a broad set of needs for the targeted consumer. Let’s take a look at an example of a catering business with a Caucasian and homogenous workforce. The staff may understand how to prepare Mexican dishes. However, they do not understand cultural specifics or intricacies of preparing and serving Mexican cuisine at a catered event.
Another example involves dietary restrictions due to chronic illness or disability. Dietary limitations are extraordinarily difficult to problem solve in the culinary world. Still, it is possible to make delicious food with restrictions.
A homogenous team of chefs and employees will not fully understand how to solve the problem of a frantic mother ordering a sugar-free cake without gluten for her child’s party. Both of these scenarios would be handled better with a workforce that has knowledge about cultural cuisine and diets that are restricted due to disabling factors.
This is achieved by having workforce diversity. If you hire people who can truly understand a customer’s needs, you will draw in more business naturally.
#4. The Power of Adaptability
A diverse workforce is quick to adapt to problems and situations that arise on a local, regional, national and global level. According to an article on the benefits of workplace diversity, adaptability leads to a more effective planning process as well as quicker development and execution.
Businesses that are opened to both cognitive and cultural diversities will become better at spotting a gap in the market. Broad skills that are brought to the table as a product of diversity and inclusion will result in workforce diversity that can tackle problems a homogenous team would stumble over.
#5. The Ambition & Curiosity of Globally Minded Employees
Curiosity and ambition should be fostered, and workforce diversity encourages both of those attributes. Colleges recognize the importance of global-minded education. They are preparing people entering the workforce with this mindset that strives to connect people across the globe through services, products, and other organizational processes. Workforce diversity attracts these types of applicants, and it is better for the overall health of a workplace.
#6. Maximized Leadership Potential by Inclusion
It is true that some cultures may encourage employees from speaking up when they have an idea or a solution to a problem. This is only a pitfall for workforce diversity if the organization is not inclusive. Inclusion eliminates this problem because the employees can feel safe with what they have to contribute to the organization they work for.
One can maximize leadership potential this way. If everyone feels their contributions are valid and valued, then they can lead each other to success. “Everyone leads” is an excellent motto to think of when considering workforce diversity and inclusion.
#7. Great Rewards with Little Effort
When hiring new employees, workforce diversity truly takes a little effort. If an organization has diversity and inclusion built on their core values, then finding diverse applicants is easy. At that point, you are simply choosing the applicants who meet the requirements of the position. This is a movement that is becoming a natural part of the hiring process for major corporations around the world. This is due to the fact that it works incredibly well for the bottom line.
Drawing to a Close
Diversity and inclusion are only problematic for people who do not wish to grow. For the rest of the world, it has innumerable benefits. It benefits individual and organizational success and growth. Moreover, it pushes a team to solve problems more creatively. Also, it develops leaders who are competent and skilled in areas that offer competitive advantages.
When a hiring manager strives for this kind of workforce, there are immediate positives locally. When it develops into a cultural movement globally, the economy benefits. Researchers are beginning to study the benefits of diversity and quantified them with hard data. Furthermore, the research so far supports the necessity and benefits of workforce diversity and inclusion.