The Value of Diversity in the Workplace: An Unexpected Gift of Change
Many businesses lack diversity – to their detriment.
The issue (among others) may be that diverse groups can be uncomfortable.
You undermine your ability to be innovative when you lean toward what’s comfortable and familiar.
Let’s take a look at some statistics that support diversity.
- Teams that are racially diverse outperform non-diverse teams by 35%.
- 57% of employees think that their employer should be doing more to increase diversity.
- The teams on which men and women feel like they’re equals earn 40% more revenue.
- Bilingual employees earn 10% more than single-language employees.
Diversity breeds innovation
Diversity in all its forms can bring a certain amount of tension.
For some people, the idea of being confronted with diverging ideas is daunting and a little scary.
But, innovation is all about different thoughts and answers all mingling together to form a cohesive idea that solves a problem or meets a need.
To get there, you have to push outside of your preconceived boundaries.
Diversity isn’t just race
When you hear the word diversity, do you automatically think of race or cultural background?
While that kind of diversity is important and should be celebrated, it isn’t the only kind that’s important to have in your workplace.
Diversity also refers to differences in thought, capability and skill – as well as, race, culture, gender, religion, family status and age, among other factors.
Reflecting clients’ diversity
A team that’s filled with people from different nationalities can appeal to clients from all different regions of the world.
It’s a big deal when a client realizes you have someone on your team who can speak their language, for example.
Discovering that a client celebrates the same religious holiday is another example of diversity-fostering relationship.
Any connection that can be forged between client and your team is going to be a step in the right direction.
It’s common for business people to travel the globe in the course of their work.
Technology and social media have made the world smaller and business isn’t done locally anymore.
Ensuring that your team is filled with people who are globally-minded is imperative to the success of your business.
Every voice is heard
When your workplace is diverse, you’re able to consider issues and challenges in a much more comprehensive way.
You’re able to hear the opinions of many angles, as opposed to just one or two.
This ensures that you’re coming up with solutions that will positively affect the largest group of people.
In a diverse team, every member should feel comfortable enough to share their unique viewpoint, understanding that it contributes value to the conversation.
Put theory into practice
You may agree with all these sentiments, yet you’re still resistant to the changes that building a diverse team brings.
It isn’t enough to just think building a diverse team is a good idea.
You have to be intentional about creating an environment that’s full of different kinds of people and varying ideas and viewpoints.
How diverse is your workplace?
Take steps to make sure that your team has a diversity of thought, skill and race.