5 Ways a Diverse Workforce Leads to Stronger Business Enterprises
When hiring top talent, businesses need to realize that the “verdict” on diversity was delivered long ago. Hiring individuals with different racial, gender, socioeconomic, religious, and other backgrounds creates a work environment that delivers far better results for the business and its customers. By focusing on diversity in the workplace, business enterprises can enjoy a wide range of valuable benefits.
Though hiring for diversity requires proactive effort, it is well worth the investment.
1. Creating a More Attractive Environment for Top Talent
Attracting and retaining top talent is vital for delivering outstanding results for your company. Companies with diverse workforces have the advantage in both recruiting and retention efforts. An organization where everyone doesn’t fall into a single mold is more welcoming for various candidates, making them more likely to consider working with that company.
The desire for a diverse workforce has become even more prevalent in recent years. A survey from Yello found that 83% of workers felt that an employer’s commitment to diversity played an important role in deciding to accept a job. Perhaps even more noteworthy, 70% reported they would consider changing jobs if their current employer didn’t do enough to promote a diverse workforce.
2. Fostering Innovation
When everyone in a company comes from the same background, it can quickly create an echo chamber. Because everyone thinks alike, they tend to share the same opinions regarding things the company can and should do. This can lead to missed opportunities and other major oversights that hurt the business in the long run.
In an interview with Forbes, Ilit Raz, co-founder, and CEO of Joonko, a diversity recruiting platform, explained, “There’s strong evidence that the companies which intentionally invest in diversity are more innovative, yielding elevated business performance. A more diverse team makes for more diverse viewpoints in product development, sales, marketing processes, management, and other business situations. That’s beneficial for enterprises seeking better solutions for customers, who are part of changing demographics.”
3. Improving the Bottom Line
The link between diversity and profitability has been well documented. A study from Gartner determined that 75% of companies with diverse decision-making teams would exceed their financial goals while outperforming less inclusive competitors by an astounding 50%.
A report from McKinsey & Company further emphasizes the incredible impact racial, ethnic, and gender diversity can have on a business enterprise: “The moral case for workforce diversity was clear, but we found that it makes business sense too: top-quartile companies for racial and ethnic diversity were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians; companies in the top quartile for gender diversity, 15%. […] The unequal performance of companies in the same industry and country suggests that gender, racial, and ethnic diversity are competitive differentiators.”
This research makes it abundantly clear that businesses that diversify their teams at all levels will find themselves much better off financially. Bringing in diverse perspectives and backgrounds can fuel innovation and initiatives that drive productivity.
4. Diversifying Skill Sets
One of the chief advantages of hiring a diverse workforce is that business enterprises also gain access to their employees’ more diverse range of skills and abilities.
Different experiences and mindsets mean that each demographic has something unique that they can offer to the team. For example, individuals from other age groups may have varying levels of emotional intelligence, idea generation capabilities, or comfort with new technology. Their personal experiences can also bring unique insights regarding different age groups in the market.
Many businesses find that hiring individuals with a diverse educational or work background can bring desirable soft and hard skills into the office. Companies can train new hires on the necessary skills needed to succeed in their specific role while simultaneously tapping into the knowledge and skills gained from the new hire’s prior experiences.
5. Aligning With Public Sentiment
Today’s customers are increasingly mindful of the standards and practices of the companies they do business with — and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives have received some of the most attention from the public. Aligning with the social mood isn’t just good PR – it is the right thing to do.
When customers see companies taking tangible actions, such as increasing the percentage of leadership staff from diverse backgrounds and paying equitable salaries, they notice. A report from Business Wire reveals that 46% of customers “pay close attention to a brand’s social responsibility efforts when they buy a product.”
As the country grows more diverse, people want to see themselves represented in the places they do business with. Diversity needs to be more than something that appears in an occasional ad.
When customers see that company leadership reflects their community, they develop a stronger affinity with the brand. A diverse team can help build loyalty among a wide range of groups, significantly broadening the appeal of a company’s products or services.
Making Diversity a Priority
Businesses must be mindful of the broad range of candidates who can provide value to their organization in today’s recruiting environment. By going outside the bubble of hiring individuals who look and think as they do, business leaders can open themselves up to new perspectives and experiences that ultimately generate stronger results and build an actual winning team.
By emphasizing diversity — particularly among leadership — business enterprises will find it easier to gain top talent and benefit from their unique insights. They will become more innovative and relatable to customers and ultimately become more successful.
Lucas Miller is a freelance blogger, direct response copywriter, and content marketer at Echelon Copy.
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