A diverse workplace is a workplace in which diverse employees are hired. They all come from different backgrounds in terms of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, disabilities, etc. Merely hiring such diverse employees is not enough; the company must make sure there is equal participation of the employees. It is important for the company’s image and reputation as well as the well-being of the individuals. It helps to understand the customers of the organization better. This is because as the customers are diverse, it is advisable to have a diverse workplace to understand the needs and requirements of the customers in a better manner.
Benefits of Having a Diverse Workplace
Having a diverse workplace gives a competitive advantage for the company over other companies based on innovation, creativity, and brand value. Here are a few benefits of a diverse workplace.
- Conflict Reduction
By working in a diverse workplace, the employees understand their differences in a better manner. This will result in decreased levels of conflict between even the most different employees in the organization. It unites them with a common purpose, bringing them closer rather than dividing them. They try to understand different people’s views and think from their perspectives. When it is a workplace, everyone works in the same way, providing similar ideas and having similar views and perspectives on how the work must be carried forward. They would not accept a different idea in this situation. Whereas, in a diverse workplace, it is expected that everyone has different views on business matters, and they become more open-minded.
- Increased Confidence
As the differences between employees are recognized and embraced, they will eventually become confident in their abilities. By encouraging diversity in the workplace, employees’ confidence is boosted and their performance improves a lot compared to a non-diverse workplace. They become closer with their coworkers and encourage their talents and views too, which leads to the overall development of the employees’ morale and satisfaction to work in the organization. The employees need to feel that they belong in the workplace, and hence, being close to other coworkers who motivate them at all times would help them believe in themselves and provide their best for the good of the organization.
- Boosts Employee Engagement
When employees feel included and are surrounded by the people who support them, they tend to be more engaged in the organizational activities and are motivated to contribute all their efforts for performing the job they are assigned to do. When more and more employees are engaged genuinely, they provide better and higher yield for the organization.
- Boosts Company’s Reputation
Diversity in the workplace creates a very good reputation for the company as it shows that they recruit people based on their merits, talents, and experiences, rather than focusing on gender, sexual orientation, and people’s religion. It shows that they are impartial, and hence, the company’s overall reputation is improved without much effort. It sends out a good message to the public, and public support is gained due to this.
- Improves Creativity And Innovation
Since the workplace consists of employees of different backgrounds, they would have different views, opinions, and perspectives for every organizational activity. Recruiting such people would create a wide range of talent pools for the management. The organization gets varied ideas from them, and they can understand the logic behind each perspective and adopt any idea from them that they find suitable. This improves the creativity of the workplace, as this would not have been the case if the workplace was not diverse. There would be no scope for new ideas if everyone belonged to the same background. This leads to the company’s development as a whole and gives them a competitive advantage over other companies as they choose to think outside the box each time.
- Increased Profits
A study conducted by Mckinsey showed that 95% of the US companies who have diverse executive boards have a higher return on equity than those with homogenous boards. Increasing diversity in management leads to the improved financial performance of the company. They perform better and bring in more profits. A Mckinsey report in 2015 showed that 366 public companies having ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35% more likely to have financial returns more than the industry mean.
Challenges Of A Diverse Workplace
1. Isolated Individuals
The individuals may feel left out when they find themselves in an environment where no one is of their same background. This issue would not be present if there were no diversity in the workplace as it indicates that employees all belong to the same background, which unites them that way, and they are more comfortable to mingle with them.
However, in a diverse workplace, there is a high chance that the individuals feel that they have no one to mingle with, which makes them emotionally hurt. Therefore, the management must make sure there is the inclusion of every employee in their organization so that they feel valued.
2. Conflict In Beliefs
Since most of the employees belong to different religions and cultures, they will have different beliefs. Religion is a very sensitive issue. One would say his belief is right, and another would claim it is wrong. They will get into verbal disagreements, which may worsen, depending on the seriousness of the conflict. This will lead to more problems in the future if partiality is shown towards a certain religion. The management must be fair and just when dealing with such delicate matters. If it is not dealt with properly, the employees will lose trust in the employers. The management must ensure there is no risk of conflicts among the employees due to differences in beliefs and maintain peace in the organization.
3. Disability Discrimination
A recent study shows that 12% of employers are concerned if the disabled employees would take more leave than the other employees. 19% of them believe that hiring disabled employees would only lead to an increase in costs in the form of installation of facilities for the disabled.
Many disabled individuals face discrimination as enough facilities are not provided for them in the workplace, such as ramps for wheelchairs. The management must not see disabled people as a burden but as individuals possessing great talent. It is only a benefit to the organization if they hire such people for the organization’s good.
4. Time-Consuming Implementation Process
Implementation of a diversity policy is a lengthy process. It involves research, time, effort, and resources. It will lead to an additional expenditure of money if training to the employees is provided. This is difficult for companies that are small in size and startups.
The only way to improve workplace diversity is to hire more diverse employees. The hiring committee must also be diversified and invite eligible people of different backgrounds to work for their company. The management must have a non-discrimination policy on any grounds and make the employees aware of the effects of any employee discriminating against another employee. Diversity in the workplace increases employee morale and satisfaction. It leads to better decision-making and problem-solving. There will be mutual respect among the employees.