Diversity Can Improve Your Team: Lets show you how

 In Diversity

What is Diversity?

Diversity at work means that there are many people with different skills and perspectives in a company. To be successful, an organisation must embrace diversity and create inclusive environments that allow employees to succeed.

Innovation is driven by the coming together of people from different cultures and with different experiences in cities. This blending of cultures is the basis of what we eat each day. Cultural amalgamation is the key to creating musical genres like jazz, rock’n roll, and hip-hop.

Our diversity (e.g. gender, sexual orientation and age, as well as religion and disability) is what makes us different. Respecting and accepting these (and other!) differences is more important than tolerating or giving lip-service to them.

Diversity and inclusion are key elements of an organisation’s mission and practice to promote diversity and inclusion. They are focused on recruiting and programs that foster understanding and awareness.

A recent study showed that employees identify three top benefits of diversity as improved company culture, leadership and innovation. Also employees feel that there could be barriers to equal access to jobs, pay, and career opportunities due to factors like age, disability, gender, marital status, race and religion.

There are additional benefits to diversity in the workplace

  • Innovation can be facilitated by combining different perspectives.
  • Different teams will do better and have better ideas.
  • Your company can be a global leader by embracing diversity.
  • Diversity can improve your workplace culture and help you to attract more talent.
  • Your company’s customer service is improved when you have diversity.
  • Creativity increases
  • Innovations that are more creative
  • Rapider problem solving
  • Improved decision-making
  • Profits increase
  • Employee turnover is reduced
  • Reputation of a company that is better
  • Better hiring results

Numerous studies have supported the idea that diversity fosters creativity and innovation. This is logical: a diverse team will offer a wider range of solutions.

Diverse perspectives are also a great way to develop products that meet the needs of your customers. Every business must attract, develop and keep a workforce that is representative of the diverse communities they serve. This is vital because it will help businesses engage employees, better understand and serve customers, build employer brand, and generate new ideas.

How to Foster Diversity

Diversity in the workplace

While it is important to educate oneself, it will not be enough if leaders do the next thing: investigate how their culture reproduces oppression systems, undermining some groups’ chances of success and giving support to others. Leaders must also examine the assumptions and stereotypes they hold about employees’ abilities and suitability for work.

However, this is not enough. Leaders must use their personal experiences to inspire collective learning and systemic changes. This is the final critical step in eliminating systems of discrimination, and subordination. Even the most forward-thinking leaders can find it difficult to make a difference. These efforts require a clearly defined, shared organisational mission to motivate, guide and change. This must be accompanied by a collective process that includes continuous reflection, consciousness-raising, experimentation and action, followed by sustained attention and monitoring each change for any impact and making adjustments.

Leaders who have built trust and begun to eliminate discrimination and subordination and embrace a variety of styles make learning from cultural differences easier.

Summary

A variety of industries have found that diverse and inclusive organisations outperform their competitors. This is a valuable finding that employers can use to increase their business performance.

The belief that diversity in an organisation was ethically correct, but not beneficial to the bottom line, was the dominant view until recently. Although your company’s reputation is important and inclusion are worthy goals, workplace diversity can have many tangible and immediate benefits that directly impact your bottom line. A company’s ability to increase diversity is both a predictor of and a catalyst for its success.

Research shows that diversity, defined as having a higher percentage of women, men, and ethnics in leadership positions, is beneficial for everyone. A more diverse organisation allows for greater ideas and innovation flow, which results in better engagement between employees and clients. This results in increased business growth and profitability.

Diversity and Inclusion (D&I), is more than just policies, programs, and headcounts. Equitable employers surpass their competition by being open to the unique perspectives, needs and potential of their employees. Diverse and inclusive workplaces are more likely to win trust and greater commitment from their employees.

Find out more about our Diversity Training Courses here.

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