Diversity in employees refers to the differences among the employees based on age, gender, sexual orientation, cultural background, race, religion, etc. For a company to be successful, it needs to have a diverse workforce. The business will grow only if it possesses diverse employees who provide a variety of ideas. An organization that values diversity will have the manpower filled with people from varying ethnicities. Everyone is treated equally despite their differences. A diverse workforce leads to better decision-making and has a wide range of talent compared to a homogenous workforce.
Benefits Of Teams With Diverse Employees
- Public Rapport
When the community sees the organization accepting employees belonging to different races, genders, sexual orientations, religions, etc., they would naturally support the organization in all its endeavors. This leads to a better image of the company in the society and increases their support towards them.
- More Ideas
When the employees are diverse, they can pitch in their ideas for the performance of organizational activities. These ideas will be very different from employees who have different views and perspectives. Diverse employees offer varied and better ideas than homogenous employees. This is very beneficial for a company working in different business areas, which require different backgrounds and expertise of the employees.
- Employee Development
The employees can develop their skills and talents when working with diverse colleagues with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. The younger workers can gain knowledge from the older employees who have more experience and expertise. The older employees can gain technological skills from the younger employees too.
- Globalization Benefits
There are great opportunities for business growth and development now. However, companies without employees who understand and can overcome cultural and language barriers for doing business with other countries will struggle and cannot survive in the market. Therefore, having a culturally diverse workforce will increase the chances of expanding the organization’s business, and those familiar with such market situations can offer their expertise and help.
- Increased Profits
A diverse workforce increases creativity, productivity, and profits. Creativity leads to productivity. Therefore, the more diverse the workforce is, the more diverse the solutions, and the more diverse is the productivity. As per Mckinsey research, public businesses with diverse corporate committees in the United States enjoy 95 percent greater investment returns than those with homogenized panels. 85% of the CEOs who have diverse cultures noticed increased profits. Companies with equal men and women earn 41% more revenue.
Challenges To Diverse Employee Teams
- Unfair Prejudices
Some people cannot tolerate people who are different from them. This leads to acts of racism, religious discrimination, etc. When such inconveniences are developed in the workplace, it can create an uncomfortable and unsafe environment that may damage the company’s image in society. The management must make sure that their coworkers discriminate against no one on any grounds, handle any such issue with major seriousness, and take the necessary measures to ensure no one feels that way.
- Communication Barriers
When the company has diverse employees, some of them speak foreign languages. This will lead to a communication gap between the employees, which may affect the company’s productivity. The company can address this issue by hiring multilingual people to translate this. They can even send the employees to learn new languages. There is a side benefit from this as it will help them communicate to foreign clients in the future. By taking care of the communication gap, the company will grow and expand its business across various countries, leading to its success.
- Different Interpretations Of Professional Etiquettes
Many people will have different cultures and traditions. They will also have different values and etiquettes professionally. This might cause misunderstandings and disagreements between the employees and lead to conflicts.
For example, in Japanese culture, one has to wait in the office until the host asks him to sit down. Therefore, a Japanese employee would find it offensive if an American employee simply enters the office and takes a seat. The employees must know how to learn and understand other cultures and values and must learn to respect them.
Ways To Promote Workforce Diversity
- Implement Diversity Policies
Every organization must have a company policy to protect its employees due to diversity. They can update their existing policies or draw up new ones relating to recruitment, promotions, hiring, etc. They must develop a non-discrimination policy to ensure no discrimination of employees based on their backgrounds.
- Promote Open Communication
The company can hold special meetings to explain the company policies. They can guide them on how to reach out to the management for reporting any complaints and communicate to them in an inclusive language. They can set up a suggestion box so that the people who do not want to give any suggestions for improvements in person can do it this way.
- Educate The Hiring Team
Employers can assess how diverse their employees are and then recruit more diverse employees. They can set up sensitivity training for the hiring team and employees to be aware of diversity and respect other employees. They can conduct a company-wide evaluation to identify areas that require improvement. Once the feedback is received, they can decide to the extent to which the hiring process must be improved.
- Create Opportunities For People To Connect
By learning employee preferences and hobbies, the management can set up team-building activities that do not exclude certain groups, say, people with physical disabilities. If the organization has branches in other locations, they can go for outings to visit them. This will give valuable insights into other team structures and diverse workplaces. They will understand how to solve issues and generate new ideas.
- Invest In Your Employees
The management can conduct mentorship programs or help the employees continue their education to develop various skills. This is a chance for everyone to advance within the company if they want to, and it is not based on gender, age, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. It is purely based on merit and skills.
- Promote Benefits That Attract Diverse Candidates
Companies with greater work flexibility and provide benefits can appeal to a wide range of applicants. If they provide the facility to work from home, they will receive applications from a wide range of applicants.
It is very hard for an enterprise to survive in the current situation without diversifying its workforce. Achieving diversity in the workforce is the best move for the survival of any organization. It helps increase the market opportunities for being inclusive and diverse in their workforce. It will lead to a positive employer brand and help to understand the customers better. Most of the companies that claim to support diversity have failed to meet the needs of their diverse employees. The companies can support their diverse employees by granting parental leave, appropriate healthcare coverage, flexible work programs, bias-free day-to-day experience, etc.