Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace

Diversity in the workplace is something that all companies should strive for. Workplace diversity refers to the variety of different people in an organization. This includes diversity in race, gender, ethnic group, age, people with disabilities, education and background. Diversity in the workplace is more than just a market growth strategy, it sets a standard in the business world that you employ and are able to adapt with people from many different backgrounds.

There are ways that a company can diversify their office. A good way to start is to identify exactly what their needs are. Does your workforce resemble the communities that you operate in? Do they match the demographic background that you serve or want to serve? If not, develop a hiring strategy to increase workforce diversity. A company’s success and competitiveness depends upon its ability to embrace diversity, realize the benefits and consequences without it. When organizations actively monitor the way they handle diversity issues in the workplace and their ability to develop and implement diversity plans, they are more marketable not only potential employees but potential consumers as well.

1. Diversity in the workplace strengthens economic growth. The U.S. has become so overwhelmingly diverse that the nation’s human capital substantially grows as more women, racial and ethnic minorities enter the workforce. A McKinsey & Company study, for example, found that the increase in women’s overall share of labor in the United States—women went from holding 37 percent of all jobs to 47 percent over the past 40 years—has accounted for about a quarter of current GDP. More women are entering the workforce and claiming their fair share of the economic growth of the country.

2. Having a diverse workplace will broaden the market in your industry. By having a more diverse company that includes individuals from various different backgrounds and walks of life, businesses can more effectively market to consumers from different racial, ethnic backgrounds, and genders. These individuals can suggest ideas that are flexible in adapting to fluctuating markets and customer demands.The change will draw a new consumer base that otherwise would have went to their competitor. Businesses can also widen the market in which they serve if they have a diverse office culture that supports the implementation of diversity. A diverse workforce that is comfortable communicating varying points of view provides a larger pool of ideas and experiences. The organization can use these ideas and implement into their business strategy and better service the needs of their customers more effectively.

3. Hire from a diverse pool of candidates. Hiring from a diverse pool of candidates will ensure that the company is getting well sought after talent with a variety of expertise. Diversity in recruiting will bring the most qualified person to be on your staff, while adding value to your company. Organizations employing a diverse workforce can supply a greater variety of solutions to problems in service, sourcing, and allocation of resources. The candidate may have a specific skill set or knowledge base that was learned throughout their career as well as their life. Bringing this type of talent to an organization will allow for different work styles and healthy work habits that could benefit any organization.

 It is also a good idea to implement an equal opportunity employment policy that follows the Federal EEOC (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) guidelines. The goal is to establish a hiring regimen that is age, race, gender and minority neutral. The company could also go a step further and form a group or panel to assist them in implementing the new policy and develop new strategies as to how they plan to attract and implement more diversity within the company. After the changes have been made, the company should include this new found change into their company culture, as well as their mission statement. Haven’t established a company culture? Find out how in the article Do Your Employees Represent Your Company Culture. 

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