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The importance of diversity in the workplace: a helpful guide
Go into your office and look around you: how diverse is your team?
Perhaps you take diversity in the workplace seriously and you make sure to hire employees from different backgrounds; maybe you know that diversity is important but that hasn't translated into your hiring process yet; or maybe you've never thought about diversity in the workplace.
In case you're the first one, you'll probably be familiar with all the benefits of having a diverse workforce we're going to mention in today's article.
But if not, our advice is that you keep reading.
We know that "diversity in the workplace" might sound like jargon, especially in today's world, where political correctness seems to have taken over every aspect of your lives.
However, employing workers from a wider range of cultural backgrounds, characteristics, skills and experiences will enrich your company in ways you could never imagine. Ultimately, that means you'll be able to put out more and better products or services and, consequently, that your profits will go up.
"How so?", you may ask.
We'll get there - but first, we should talk about an act that has helped promote equality of opportunity and diversity in the workplace in a major way.
The Equality Act of 2010
On October 1st of 2010, a new Equality Act came into force in the UK, which had the primary objective of protecting individuals from discrimination in the workplace, as well as in society.
The Equality Act of 2010 gathered a series of pre-existing anti-discrimination laws in one single act, making them easier to understand and apply in real-life situations, which forced many businesses to start thinking about diversity in the workplace.
This act protects people legally if they're ever faced with several types of discrimination:
- Gender reassignment
- Sexual orientation
- Marital status
- Pregnancy or maternity leave
In the case of discrimination, the victim can:
- Complain directly to the discriminating individual or organisation
- Use a mediator to help solve the situation
- Make a claim in court
It isn't difficult to understand why an act like this exists: we're all human beings, worthy of the same opportunities. But diversity in the workplace can be about even more than that: it can become a competitive advantage that will allow you to beat your competitors and become a leader in your industry.
Keep reading to learn about the five advantages of diversity in the workplace and you'll understand exactly what we're talking about.
5 benefits of fostering diversity in the workplace
1. Increased creativity
If your team is composed of people from the same background, who've had similar experiences throughout their lives, you can only expect that they look at things from a similar perspective.
Even if they all have different ideas for a certain project, there's only so much creativity that can come from a heterogeneous team.
Guaranteeing diversity in the workplace means you'll always have utterly different points-of-view and richer problem solving skills to compare every time you're facing a challenge or need to make a decision, and that is a foolproof way to create more innovative concepts (83% more innovative, to be specific!).
2. Increased productivity and profits
This benefit is closely related to the previous one.
Diversity in the workplace means different perspectives and opinions, and that means that you'll all have much more to discuss, making your teamwork and brainstorming sessions more interesting and productive.
Furthermore, since you give everyone an equal opportunity, your employees will feel accepted and see you as a fair company and that will make them a lot more comfortable and willing to work hard every day.
Ultimately, a more productive (and creative) team is able to produce high-quality solutions that your audience target will want to invest in. In other words, diversity in the workplace can lead to a boost in your profits and, as proof, research conducted by McKinsey & Company in several different countries found that companies that value diversity in the workplace are also high financial performers.
3. Increased employee engagement
A business that values diversity and inclusion is telling its employees that they're valued just the way they are and it's easy to understand how that can increase their engagement.
They already know that they belong in the company, and feel comfortable so they're not scared to share their thoughts with their colleagues and team leader.
In fact, Deloitte conducted a research project in Australia where it questioned 1550 employees working in manufacturing, retail, and healthcare. In the end, they found that engagement is an outcome of diversity in the workplace.
4. Increased employee retention
Your employee turnover says a lot about your company, your company culture, and how you treat your employees. If it's too high, something needs to change and perhaps what you need to is work towards more diversity in the workplace.
It all goes back to the same logic: when employees feel included and valued, they feel happier about their workplace and they'll want to remain your employee long term.
5. Better hiring results
Lastly, hiring people from different backgrounds, hiring managers can get access to a much bigger talent pool and chances of finding the absolute perfect worker for a certain opening are higher.
Moreover, having a diverse team will boost your employer reputation. Candidates will see you as an excellent place to work at and you'll most likely receive more applications than ever before.
Ready to start thinking about diversity in the workplace?
Now that you know how important is to build diversity and beneficial is, you might be wondering how you can make sure to employ people from all sorts of backgrounds or build - and that's where we come into play.
kiwiHR is a simple and online HR software that puts people first and one of our most useful features for increasing diversity in the workplace is the reporting one. Through our HR analytics reports, you can easily access data about your employees, such as their age and gender, and assess how diverse your team truly is.
This, alongside many other HRIS features, will help you perfect your hiring process and assemble a creative, productive and inclusive environment. creative and productive as possible. Want to see it with your own eyes? Start your free trial today with no obligation or credit card required!
If you have any questions about diversity in the workplace or other HR-related topics, make sure to send us an email.
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