We’ve all heard it before, and if you ask around you’ll get about a hundred different answers. The common theme here is that workplace diversity refers to the variety of people, opinions, cultures, and ideas within a given community. It is the process of valuing the differences and uniqueness of people from all different backgrounds. In the business world, it’s something that is a necessity. With the right workplace diversity, you can maintain a competitive edge over other companies in your industry.
Workplace diversity is, in its simplest form, the demographic makeup of an office. But in a deeper sense, it’s about creating an environment for men and women of all backgrounds to thrive. It’s about a culture that values individuality and fosters the expression of uniqueness. After all, we’re all different in some way — our ethnicity and race, gender and sexuality, generation, ability level —and rather than putting up bureaucratic walls that segregate, diversity draws everyone together.
“You can’t categorize diversity based on what a person looks like. It’s what that person can do for the organization.”
-Charles K. Poole
We live in an ever-changing global economy. As populations, cultures, languages, and ideas cross borders continuously, we realize more than ever that our workforce needs to be as diverse as the customers we serve. It’s certainly a selling point for many organizations that are trying to improve their ability to approach the globalization of the business world.
Importance of workplace diversity
“We know that diversity can sometimes be more uncomfortable because things are less familiar but it gets the best results.”
- One of the most important factors in whether a workplace will thrive or fail is the culture that’s created. The main reason why workplace diversity is such a hot topic is that it has been proven to positively impact workplace culture. This, in turn, raises profitability and employee satisfaction.
- It typically includes employees’ membership in one or more demographic groups. Diversity can help workers grow by offering them new perspectives on how to approach situations and solve problems.
- Businesses have long recognized the importance of workplace diversity. Recently, however, diversity has become even more important as research has shown that diverse teams perform better than homogeneous teams.
- Every workplace should include a diverse range of people who will collectively bring together different strengths and perspectives. Diversity in the workplace leads to better innovation, more creativity, and more efficiency. Constantly having a consistent environment leads to a decline in all of these factors,
- Diversity in the workplace is important because it creates a rich tapestry of ideas and thinking styles, which ultimately results in more innovative ways of approaching old problems, more ground-breaking solutions to old issues, and just better overall outcomes.
- The benefits of workplace diversity are endless, including the opportunity to reach a more diverse customer base and generate greater advertising awareness. Workplace diversity is an absolute necessity for companies looking to make an impact on their target audiences.
- By creating a diverse and inclusive workplace, you will ensure that all of your employees feel valued and accepted at work. Thereby making your workforce feel happy and motivated, which will reduce employee turnover, increase loyalty to the company, decrease financial expenditure on recruiting, and allow you to invest in other areas of the business.
- If you want to appeal to a wide range of consumers, you need a diverse workforce. By hiring individuals who come from different backgrounds, languages, etc. you’re able to ensure that your company appeals to a wider target market.
- To increase revenue, every company strives for an environment that encourages the development of a diverse workforce. As per research companies with a diverse workforce and increased innovation generate 19% more revenue than do companies with lower diversity scores.
- Diverse teams allow employees to see one another as unique individuals doing their jobs. They can also encourage team members to break down preconceived notions, cultural misunderstandings, and other barriers that separate them.
How to manage diversity in the workplace:-
It is becoming increasingly important to make sure that your workplace is diverse and inclusive of different backgrounds, skillsets, and perspectives. When your workplace is diverse, it can improve the level of innovation, foster better relationships between employees, and contribute to the overall company culture. Thus most businesses are now willing to consider the benefits of having a diverse workforce, such as language skills and cultural backgrounds. Many now have diversity policies in their HR practices, but when it comes down to it, how do you manage diversity in the workplace? It’s more than just bringing different people together.
Here are some of the ways that can help you to manage these aspects of diversity in the workplace:-
- Rather than treating diversity as a buzzword, organizations should strive to improve the makeup of their workforce by cultivating a diverse culture.
- To ensure that diverse groups of employees understand important information in their workplace, workplaces should adopt policies and procedures for communicating with staff beyond language barriers. These strategies may include translating documents into different languages, pictures and symbols to convey important information.
- When working with individuals from different backgrounds, do not make assumptions or generalizations about their personality and performance. Instead, focus on their individual skills and accomplishments.
- Employers should implement and enforce one set of rules for all employees, regardless of race, ethnicity, or sex. Management should ensure that disciplinary actions are even-handed.
- Recognize and encourage employees to recognize the value of bringing together a diversity of perspectives and talents. Seek advice from a variety of sources, including individuals from different backgrounds and cultures.
- To build a diverse workplace, organizations must recruit and hire people from a variety of backgrounds. This requires overcoming bias in hiring practices. When organizations effectively identify the best employees, not only will they be more productive and innovative, but also a healthy work environment would be created.
“There’s a pure and simple business case for diversity: Companies that are more diverse are more successful.”
- It has been proven that diverse workplaces are more productive than homogenous ones. All employees deserve to be treated with respect and professionalism. Workplaces must be empowering, all employees feel safe reporting misconduct by co-workers.
- Diversity in the workplace means that standards of tolerance must be high. All workplaces need to establish policies supporting zero-tolerance for offensive language and behaviour based on religion, gender, region etc.
- Employees must learn to work in harmony with a diverse range of people, as well as be aware of cultural sensitivities, to achieve organizational success in a diverse workplace. Sensitivity training should be designed to increase self-awareness in employees and thus help them understand their own cultural biases and prejudices.
- Establishing common goals and objectives can be a catalyst for the creation of a cohesive team, as group members must work together to achieve those goals. Collaboration and teamwork are essential to the success of any organization, as they highlight the value of the individual contributions that each colleague makes toward the achievement of a common goal.
- Keep up-to-date with the latest laws and trends in your industry, particularly those relating to equal opportunity and harassment. Ensure that your human resources policies are current. Remember that laws vary from state to state, and they can change very quickly, so ensure you are always up-to-date with the most current information.
- When it comes to managing diversity in the workplace, a lot is at stake for designers, but also for their employers. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to understand your coworkers and their various needs, as well as build a culture that allows everyone to flourish.
- Two of the biggest challenges that you will face when managing diversity in the workplace come from unconscious biases related to background and personality. As an organizational leader, you need to find ways to reduce these types of biases in your employees by promoting open communication and egalitarian principles.
- Managing a diverse workforce isn’t the easiest task to undertake, but it’s not impossible. The first and most important thing you can do is to create an environment that encourages an open exchange of ideas. If people feel as if their views are heard, then they will likely be much more likely to help you execute your business strategy in a way that benefits everyone.
- With so many different types of people with different traits, personalities and backgrounds it’s no surprise that diversity is hard to manage. The way you approach diversity will vary depending on your business, but remember that trying to be fair and use common sense is the recipe for a successful diverse workforce.