Indeed defines workforce diversity as, “… the individual characteristics employees have that make them unique. These characteristics can include gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, physical abilities and ideologies. Workforce diversity also includes a person’s life experiences, how they solve issues and your company’s overall culture.”
Diversity in the workplace has nothing to do with being politically correct or jumping on some kind of inclusion bandwagon. Diversity in the workplace offers real benefits in significantly increased innovation, productivity, and, ultimately, profits. Don’t diversify your team because you feel you must. Do it because it is one of the best ways to improve and grow your business.
Why Is It Essential to Have Diversity in your Workforce?
When you hire globally, you increase the diverse perspectives that lead to improved innovation and more effective problem-solving. A recent Cloverpop study suggests that a diverse workforce will make better decisions 87% of the time. When exposed to differing perspectives, people tend to think outside of the box, generating more original and useful ideas.
For this to happen, however, there needs to be a culture of sharing within your business. All voices must be heard and valued for diversity to lead to greater innovation.
Adds to the Talent Pool
A few decades ago, companies were limited to the talent within their local community. You could always recruit from other areas, but doing so required people to move, sometimes internationally.
Today’s astounding technological advances allow businesses to utilize and manage remote teams. This broadens the talent pool to include the entire population of planet earth. By hiring globally, you have access to the very best talent.
The increase in productivity offered by the best performers in their field is staggering. In 2012, after performing a study, Herman Aguinis and Ernest O’Boyle Jr. found that the most talented people are 400% more productive than those of average ability.
When you diversify your team, you get a broader range of talents and skills. You are also more likely to attract talented millennials. According to a survey done by Deloitte, millennials want to work for companies that value diversity.
Nurtures Productivity and Adaptability
With a global workforce, your company can literally run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With differing time zones, holidays, and off days, your company can innovate, produce, and solve problems around the clock. When a team member in North America clocks out, a worker in Southeast Asia is clocking in and can take over where their coworker left off. Furthermore, workplace diversity allows for greater international adaptability. A diverse team can better address the needs of international customers.
In 2017, the Boston Consulting Group ran a study that indicated a link between greater diversity and increased profits. In the study, companies with above-average diversity saw a 19% increase in innovation revenue when compared with companies that have below-average diversity.
One reason for this is that diversity attracts top talent. On the other side of that coin, you will find better retaining power. Companies that value diversity experience less turnover than those that don’t. Another reason is that different experiences are key to increased innovation. Finally, a diverse team can relate to more people—improving customer satisfaction and increasing your loyal customer base worldwide.
Improves Global Reputation
Diversity is no longer simply something that people value. People have come to expect it. With increased visibility in the corporate world, it is important to make decisions that will win the approval of the general public and absolve you from scrutiny. Your reputation matters, not just locally, but across the globe.
Having a diverse team will also lead to increased interest from investors. By networking internationally, you will have more opportunities to pitch your business to investors you never would have met otherwise.
Finally, having a diverse team gives you a deeper understanding of the customs, cultures, and regulations of other parts of the world. This allows you to make informed decisions as you expand business internationally. It also helps to have people already on the ground to assist you in establishing your presence in those areas.
Breaks Down Barriers
When you introduce diversity to your team, each member benefits. By collaborating with people who come from different backgrounds, social barriers are broken down and prejudices are removed. This creates a more inclusive environment, where employees are more sympathetic, tolerant, and aware of others. With this mindset, everyone wins.
By hiring globally, you can expand your outreach, improve your chances of attracting the best talent, and increase innovation. At the same time, fostering connections amongst a diverse team will help to establish a more cohesive, inclusive, and positive work environment. All of this leads to higher productivity and increased profits.