How strong is the business case for Diversity in the workforce?

Diversity at Workplace

When I just started out as a business consultant, many thwarted me by saying that being a woman I might not have as much of a business sense as a man has. Although I had not paid attention to what people around me had to say but the lack of diversity had become evident when I was refused a valuable designation in a company irrespective of having the required qualities only because of my gender.

In the year 2016, a survey found out that only a paltry number of 4.2% of women held the position of a CEO and all of this existed due to the lack of a diverse workforce.

So what is the present day scenario of Diversity in a Workplace?

Have you ever been rejected a job offer due to your gender, race or creed or do you know anyone who has been through a similar situation? If yes, then you would be happy to know that the picture today is very different and is changing towards a better tomorrow. The once unfair scourge of employment is now being replaced by workforce diversity.

According to a study conducted by the engineers of MIT, it has been observed that diversified teams outperform the non-diversified teams by 36%. Business experts are therefore talking about the profitability of emphasizing on diversity in the workforce.

As a result, several multinational corporations have already started to build a strong business case on the benefits of workforce diversity towards the economic as well as the cultural ecology of a company.

Social Science experts are all praises about the positive impacts that a heterogeneous team has on the productivity of a company. Not only does a diversified workforce foster better cooperation among people, but it also ushers in more innovative thoughts which in turn contribute to the goals of the company as a whole. Diversity helps create solidarity, co-dependency, and co-creation among the employees of the company, making it a platform for life-long learning and socializing where they learn new things from each other.

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The stalwarts who have embraced Workforce Diversity and have set inspiring examples:

The most famous companies are incorporating Workforce Diversity and setting a strong example of a business case for all the companies who are yet to realize what benefits a diversified team can offer.

  • With the motto of building a better working world, Ernst & Young has welcomed in diversity as they feel that teams that use the power of different opinions, cultures, and perspectives have a higher success rate in the global marketplace. The organization was the first of the Big Four companies to start diversity recruitment. They have placed their female staff in the higher executive management positions and are also welcoming college graduates, and transfer students within their framework.
  • Johnson & Johnson too adopted a diversified employee’s base to maximize the power of diversity and inclusion to bring in better business results for the organization. Be it through employee resource groups or by mentoring programmes, they are training their employees to work in collaboration with people all over the world.
  • With a global employee base as strong as that of 123,000+, Coca-Cola has always been a brand that has set great examples. The company is the first in its league to have introduced diversity education programmes that also include diversity training. Headed by a group of young employees, a survey called the Coca-Cola Millennial’s Voice was conducted to make sure there is a healthy percentage of millennial working within the employees and staff members.

Some other companies that have adopted diversity are Sodexo, MasterCard, Accenture, Disney, etc. The reports of these companies have revealed that with an inclusive work system that is a combination of traditional and diversified employees, the companies have been led to real benefits – for both the employer as well as the employees.

So why should companies embrace a Diversified Workforce?

In this era of globalization, many companies are making efforts to achieve workforce diversity, which aims to employ workers from different backgrounds to use it towards the benefit of the company. Before you make your company a diversified one, you need to understand the advantages that a diversified workforce has in store for you. With workers from different cultural backgrounds having a varied linguistic base, your company will have a greater reach for your business through the following ways.

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1. Increase in Productivity

The first benefit that a heterogeneous team can bring into your company is that of higher productivity. With employees from all demographics, it can help your company to be able to offer better and faster solutions to customers using their more innovative ideas and newer processes.

When you hire a diversified team, it helps your employees to feel motivated, which makes them work more effectively and efficiently. With higher productivity levels, you are sure to achieve better business results. Diversity will also help your managers bring in new skills and methods for achieving team goals.

2. Increase in Creativity

A heterogeneous team is more likely to bring in a variety of solutions on how to achieve an objective. With people from several cultural backgrounds, each member can come up with different ideas that can be pooled in and selected from. As each one has a diverse idea to offer, the chances of finding a solution from the lot have significantly improved. If one idea does not seem to work, there are other minds to rattle their brains and come up with another workable solution. This also helps during brainstorming phases.

For example, the Indian employees working in American company Mac Donald’s were the ones to suggest that they come up with a range of vegetarian and “Indianized” version of their products in their India-based franchises to attract the vegetarian crowd in India. The idea worked and helped Mac D considerably to earn better revenue.

3. Language Skills

If you are planning to venture into global markets, then a heterogeneous team can be of great benefit for you. For example, if you are an American company and are planning on expanding your business in Europe, your employees who have French or Italian background can be of immense help as they can help you in communicating your business ideas and can pitch on your behalf to the European investors.

Even if you are not in the mind to expand, employees who know other languages can be your representatives in case you have a global presence. You need to remember that with a proliferated presence, your margin of profit is likely to rise due to an increase in sales.

4. Positive Reputation

According to Glassdoor, 67% job seekers check whether the company they are applying for has a diverse workforce or not. It is important for job seekers to be sure that the company they choose does not discriminate between their employees. Thus, when you adopt diversity within your company’s framework, you will be able to attract better talent who can help your company reach new zeniths through their creativity.

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So, what can you do to bring in diversity within your company?

By adopting diversity, your company will reflect how open and liberal it is to gain a positive reputation among the employees. Below are the ways to bring in diversity within your company:

  • Make it a team effort and get feedback from the members of the senior management of your company. The people on the recruiting board of your company can help in paving a smoother way to hire employees from varied cultural backgrounds.
  • The best way to deal with this change is to create a committee that consists of managers and team leaders who can join hands to establish ways to usher in more diversity within the workforce of your company. While creating the committee, make sure it is a diverse one. The group should have a young and an old member and should also consist of a member from each gender so that it can bring about the best approach on how to usher in diversity.
  • Many organizations have embraced diversity and have set examples for companies that are yet to follow the footprints. You can look into how they have brought in diversity and can take inspiration from their ideas for your own company to build a more diverse workforce.

Understanding and implementing diversity in the workforce of your company is something that cannot be achieved overnight. So, take time to understand its approach and then move forward with the process. Diversity is sure to bring in many positive changes in your business. We hope that you can make a great example for other entrepreneurs who can follow your lead and join in on improving the problem. All the best!

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