Diversity in the workplace is top of mind for many these days. As people grow more concerned with making our society equitable for everyone, workers are using diversity as a litmus test for deciding whether or not a company is right for them. As a result, leadings organizations are developing a diversity strategy that will attract and retain top talent from a variety of backgrounds. With a diversity strategy in place, your organization too can reap long-term benefits, including the five below.
- Creativity. A homogeneous work environment can create stagnancy and stifle creativity on teams. When your organization embraces diversity, an assortment of voices come to the table that spark the creative thought needed for innovation and progress. Employees from different backgrounds bring different ways of thinking to their work, so they are able to better find solutions to problems—often with fewer resources—as well as develop original ideas for products and services.
- Competitiveness. A diverse workforce offers an organization a competitive advantage over those that have not made diversity a priority. Not only does diversity increase your company's favorability with more populations, it also helps you compete effectively in the global marketplace. For example, employees that come from other countries and cultures can help you overcome barriers related to language and customs that would otherwise make doing business overseas challenging. When an important deal is on the line, the last thing any leader wants is to risk offending a potential business partner because of a cultural faux pas—that's why diversity is essential to compete globally.
- Reputation. When your company demonstrates its commitment to diversity and inclusion, positive reputation builds among both job seekers and consumers alike. Diversity is extremely important to consumers and they are willing to put their money where their convictions are. In fact, research from Russell Reynolds Associates found that 42% of consumers are willing to pay more for products sold by companies that have made a commitment to diversity and inclusion, and a research report released by Adobe discovered that 61% of Americans believe it’s important for companies to create advertising that reflects diversity and inclusion.
- Productivity. Working in a diverse environment makes employees happier than when they are in a less inclusive one. In fact, happiness on the job is so important to workers that research shows 58% of people are willing to accept a pay cut to work in an environment that makes them happy. When your workplace makes the effort to become more diverse, it will boost the morale in the organization, which will lead to greater productivity among workers.
- Revenues. In addition to all of the factors above, diversity positively impacts your organization’s bottom line. For example, according to a survey conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, organizations that have highly diverse management teams earn 19% higher revenues than companies with less diversity in their managerial roles. Similarly, research from PricewaterhouseCoopers indicates 85% of CEOs report that implementing a diversity and inclusiveness strategy has benefitted their companies financially. Innovation also grows when a company makes a bold commitment to diversity. Research released by Forbes found that 56% of companies that make over $10 billion in yearly revenue strongly believe that diversity in their organizations has been a driver in their ability to innovate. Also, according to a study conducted by Harvard Business Review, companies that have a higher-than-average level of diversity report 19% higher innovation revenues than their less diverse counterparts.
There is no doubt that diversity is a win-win proposition for your organization: It’s good for your employees, and it’s good for your business goals. Although incorporating diversity into any organizational culture and operations can be a challenging undertaking, the data shows that the endeavor is well worth the effort.
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