It's a touchy subject. Many hiring managers feel uncomfortable with their jobs when presented with the dilemma of workplace diversity. Why should we have a diverse workplace? Why can’t I just focus on the best candidate for the job, rather than the one that fills a quota?
But workplace diversity isn’t just about race – it’s about age, gender, economic background, and other aspects of people’s lives that shape them into individuals. And the benefits of having a diverse workplace outweigh any uncomfortable feelings about the hiring process. No, it doesn’t mean replacing your current staff with all new hires, but simply considering all the options when tasked with hiring a new team member.
Here are some reasons why you should take the plunge into creating a more diverse workplace!
For any business, arguably the most important thing is the ability to connect with customers. You want to build a strong customer base, and you want an excellent reputation to go with it. Well, in order to properly understand its potential customers, a business needs to have a range of employees.
Different demographic groups have different ways of looking at things, and different priorities when it comes to selecting good or services. That is why it’s so important for customers to be represented in the workforce of a given company.
Innovation and Creativity
If you’ve ever worked on a group project, you know how much easier it goes when your teammates do their share of the work, and bounce ideas off each other. Diverse teams are typically going to be able to solve problems and come up with new, innovative solutions faster than teams of like-minded people, and we have the science to back it up.
Of course, having a diverse crew isn’t all you need - you also need a business environment that embraces and encourages diversity. If a business’s employees are too concerned with fitting in and afraid to put their unique thoughts or opinions out in the open, then the business is stifling its own potential. Not good! So make sure your office is not only cognitively diverse...but that decision-making and problem-solving is as inclusive as possible.
The fact of the matter is, a diverse and inclusive environment is conducive to better employee performance. Employees feel happier and more comfortable in positive work environments, and one aspect of a positive work environment is - you guessed it - diversity. Workplace equality encourages all of your employees to perform their very best and promotes confidence in individual abilities.
In today’s business market, a company’s brand can’t grow with an oppressive, exclusive environment. More and more, young professionals entering into the workforce are looking for forward-thinking companies that celebrate, instead of ignoring or tolerating, diversification in their workplace.
It bears repeating: diversity and inclusivity is becoming a critical selling point for businesses. With the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, the fight to close pay gaps, and ongoing hiring discrimination against minorities, many companies cannot afford to ignore workplace diversity.
However, everyone benefits from a diverse place of work, so why not make it a priority? Companies benefit from the positive buzz that comes with having a progressive and diverse workforce. Employees reap the rewards of having a positive work environment and stronger teams more capable of solving problems. Customers benefit from better representation within companies, and from the results of diverse teams’ innovative ideas!
Why does diversity matter in your office? The same reason it matters everywhere else! The world is a melting pot of cultures, races, creeds, thoughts and beliefs. Ignoring or rejecting that simply isn’t the way to move forward - not on a personal level, and certainly not for a successful business. So embrace the diversity, and reap the rewards!
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