Workplace diversity is not just another buzzword or topic frequently discussed in HR and Corporate Communication spaces, but it is a complex subject that has been linked to a wealth of benefits for your business and bottom line.
Diversity not only encompasses distinguishing markers such as age, gender and race, but also includes, and is not limited to, work experience, cultural differences, political beliefs, socio-economic status and physical ability. The key aspect of diversity is that, with each individual, the unique biological and genetic predispositions, experiences and education alter who they are as a person. These distinctions colour our interactions personally within our communities, professionally within our workplaces and are influencing factors in how well we do business.
Despite its importance, a diverse workplace doesn’t just happen, it takes concerted attention, effort and an organisational framework that fosters an inclusive culture that welcomes diverse viewpoints. If you are still on the fence, here are just a few ways a diverse workplace can impact your organisation.
- Better problem solving
Diversity — whether of thought, ethnicity or experience — is of the utmost importance to organisations in the energy sector. With diverse backgrounds in the workplace, there is a greater depth of expertise and information that you get to pull from when troubleshooting an approach. A homogenous group of people will give you less creative emergence of new ideas if everyone is speaking from the same set of experiences.
By hiring a more diverse group of people and ensuring a workplace environment where space is created for those voices to be heard, divergent ideas come to light and allow for a more robust way to approach a problem. Employees from diverse backgrounds have different experiences and views, which is why they are able to will bring diverse solutions to the table. Thus, the best solution can be chosen sooner, which leads to faster problem-solving.
- Enhanced company reputation
Socially responsible organisations are dedicated to building and promoting diversity in the workplace. A diverse workforce makes for an organisation that is interesting and relatable, opening the doors to new markets, customers and business partners.
A company that recruits and encourages individuals from a wide range of backgrounds generally gains a reputation for being a fair employer.
A diverse collection of skills and experiences allows a company to be able to relate and understand their clients better and provide a service to customers that is unparalleled. Potential clients often feel more valued and thus give more business to these organisations.
- Increased profits
A company with a diverse workforce is able to factor in an array of differing opinions and input in decision making, which gives a serious advantage over its competitors. As a result, companies with diversity in the workplace achieve better business results and reap more profit. Diversity means broader perspectives, deeper debate, and so better decisions. That leads to better business practices, more innovation, and improved risk-taking.
- Greater innovations
Diversity in the workplace ensures a variety of different perspectives. Since diversity in the workplace means that employees will have different characteristics and backgrounds, they are also more likely to have a variety of different skills and experiences.
Consequently, employees in a company with higher workplace diversity will have access to a variety of different expertise, which is highly beneficial when it comes to planning and executing a business strategy.
Exposure to a variety of different expertise and perspectives leads to higher creativity. When you put together people who see the same thing in different ways, you are more likely to get a melting pot of fresh, new ideas, thus improving the creativity of your workforce and opening doors to innovation.
- Improved cultural insight
By enjoying a more culturally diverse workforce, it is often found that employees spend more time in their daily lives with people from cultural backgrounds that they are often never exposed to. The end result of this is that employees learn new cultural insights and this, in turn, reduces negative perceptions such as racism, homophobia, sexism and the like.