Workplace diversity has become an increasingly important issue over the last several decades, not only because of laws regarding affirmative action, but because of a growing awareness of the benefits associated with hiring a diverse workforce. While a company should always strive to hire the best candidates for a given job, it’s not a bad idea to recruit qualified team members of distinctive ethnic, cultural, gender, age, economic, and religious status (just for example) to flesh out the overall head count. Creating a diverse workplace will take some time and effort on the part of those in charge of hiring, but it’s well worth the effort for the advantages that you stand to gain in the process. Here are just a few reasons you might want to consider diversifying your workforce.
- Think outside the box. When your staff is homogeneous, you can reasonably expect that they’ve all been trained to think in more or less the same way. With similar backgrounds, experience, and schooling, it’s only natural that they will express similar ideas and points of view. This might sound ideal since everyone will be on the same page, but the truth is that this type of one-dimensional thinking will only lead to stagnation. If you want a workforce that is creative, innovative, and capable of solving problems in a variety of ways, having differing points of view is a great way to make it happen. And the ability to think outside the box is essential to moving your company forward.
- Boost productivity. One of the best ways to ensure productivity is to have your workers attacking problems from a variety of angles. When people work together, bringing a multitude of ideas to the table, solutions can be reached and implemented more quickly. And creating an atmosphere of cooperation and appreciation for differences will only enhance this aesthetic. As a bonus, everyone can learn new ways of thinking in the process, expanding their own skillsets.
- Attract talent. When you make it a point to hire a diverse workforce you are likely to gain the attention of skilled and experienced workers that might have a hard time getting hired by your competitors, despite their clear qualifications. Not every company is interested in promoting diversity in the workplace, and your willingness to do so could land you some truly talented individuals that your competitors have overlooked.
- Appeal to a variety of consumer groups. In an increasingly global economy, it pays to branch out, and having a staff comprised of various social and cultural backgrounds can only help you to understand the many demographics you’re interested in targeting.
- Build a brand image. You may not initially assemble a diverse workforce with the intent of making it a platform on which to build your brand image. But if you’re looking to gain all potential advantages when you diversify your workforce, there’s no reason not to tout your attitude of acceptance by, say, including employee bios on your website and making your workers the human face of your company. As the pros at DiversityInc. Best Practices can probably tell you, there’s nothing wrong with being proud of the fact that you operate a diverse workplace. And sharing it with the public can only be to the advantage of your brand.