Diversity means the inclusion and acceptance of employees from all backgrounds in a company.
A diverse workplace is a strong asset for a business as it allows employees to unfold their full strengths and potential. This impacts productivity and the business’s overall success.
That’s why it plays a key role in workplace culture. This being said, there are a number of other reasons why workplace diversity is an essential part of human resources strategies.
In this article, we take a closer look at what workplace diversity is and why it is so beneficial for organizations.
What Is Workplace Diversity?
Workplace diversity is a term used to describe the inclusion and acceptance of differences and skills each employee brings into the workplace.
A diverse work environment is fully inclusive which means that it provides equal opportunities and rights for all staff members, regardless of religious beliefs, color, gender, ethnicity, age and physical ability.
Many countries around the world have specific laws that set out workplace guidelines with equal rights and opportunities for employees in mind.
A diverse workplace is free from sexual and racial harassment, bullying and discrimination.
The workplace should also have measures in place to overcome any discrimination or disadvantages.
Types Of Workplace Diversity
There is a great variety of workplace diversity factors. Some of these characteristics are basic HR elements while others go beyond that standard Human Resources forms (see also “What Is The Workplace Maturity Model ©?“).
In fact, there is almost an endless amount of diversity characteristics that companies could set as metrics in order to make their work culture more diverse.
While women make up a larger percentage of the workforce in recent years, there is still a significant gap in fair pay and available leadership roles for women.
Both older workers and younger employees may find themselves victims of discrimination.
It’s important for companies to be opened minded about the strengths that different age groups can bring into the workplace.
Ethnicity And Race
Racial discrimination is widely spread, inside and outside of the workplace.
However, company leaders should open the conversation with their employees and potential candidates on ethnicity and race.
Employees With Disabilities
Disabilities could take any shape, from physical disabilities to the ability to form social connections. It’s important for businesses to create an inclusive workplace.
With the LGBT community including a great variety of people and backgrounds, it is essential for businesses to pay attention to any particular experiences that their LGBT employees can offer.
Mental health is a key characteristic of workplace diversity. A business can provide wellness support and greater awareness of mental health issues.
This can tackle any behavioral problems as well as reduce the number of people absent from the workplace.
Plus, greater mental health awareness also contributes to a better work-life balance for employees. They feel more motivated and healthier.
Employers can provide a supportive environment for people with neurological differences, including Tourette’s, autism and dyslexia.
Differences can be celebrated and neurodiverse people often flourish in well-matched jobs.
As long as diverse workplaces encourage a neurodiverse environment, they can benefit from the different approaches people with different backgrounds can contribute.
The Benefits Of Diversity In The Workplace
Diversity plays an essential role in workplace culture and business success. Here are the key benefits for companies that foster a culturally diverse policy.
Workplace Diversity Can Develop And Maximize Skills
A workplace that is culturally diverse encourages people to develop their skills and talents according to their strengths.
Employees can learn from each other and use skill sharing as an opportunity to grow their expertise.
This does not just improve productivity and performance across teams but it also increases happiness and team relationships.
Cultural Diversity Streamlines Recruitment
A diverse culture within the workplace is a key factor for staff members to strike a good balance between work and personal life (see also “Useful Workplace Culture Metrics To Track“).
A good work-life balance becomes more important for prospective employees, which means that offering a more culturally diverse environment allows recruiters to bring in well-matched talent.
Cultural Diversity Can Improve Retention Rates
Culturally diverse workplaces allow their employees to work to their strengths and build their skills. This creates a respectful environment in which employees enjoy working in.
The more staff members enjoy the work they do, the more likely they are to stay with a business for a longer period of time.
Workplace Diversity Can Increase Employee Engagement
Talking about other ethnicities and cultures is a fantastic way to learn from others and with others.
While research can provide some information, it’s also important to speak to someone in order to get a different perspective.
Employees of a business with a culturally diverse workforce can talk about their background during lunches.
They can exchange ideas and engage with colleagues and teams across the company. This increased engagement allows them to build trust and shape a positive company culture.
In turn, this improves motivation, loyalty and collaboration throughout the entire business.
Cultural Diversity Allows Teams To Be More Creative
Culturally diverse teams collaborate more freely and they are also more creative.
When you bring people from different backgrounds together, then they all have a variety of approaches and solutions for a project. This allows teams to resolve issues more effectively.
In addition, cultural diversity also offers greater possibilities for various thought processes. New ways of thinking can emerge that wouldn’t be possible without diversity.
These different perspectives and ideas can be discussed. They can also provide the basis for future projects.
Cultural Diversity Can Improve A Company’s Reputation
More and more companies strive to attract excellent talent which allows them to offer a high-quality service.
Customers see a company’s reputation as a vital factor that influences their buying decisions.
With a diverse workforce, businesses can improve their performance and assist customers on a more individual level.
Diversity plays a central role in workplace culture. A study found that employees who are part of an inclusive, diverse team are 35% more productive.