No two persons are alike; although people shared many things in common but they are also different in all sorts of ways. Personality differences are both visible and non-visible factors. With the ever-changing business trends, business owners are using diversity policies and strategies that appeal to their clients, employees, suppliers and traders. They consider diversity in the workplace an asset to bring on potential benefits.
What is workplace diversity?
According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), diversity is valuing everyone as an individual â€“ valuing people as employees, customers and clients. You are probably aware that some personal characteristics are covered by discrimination law protecting people against being treated unfairly.
Diverse workplaces are composed of employees with varying characteristics including, aside from others, education, ethnicity, gender, geographic location, religious and political beliefs, sexual orientation and socioeconomic background.
Groups and work teams bring to their tables unique experiences and perceptions from their diverse cultural backgrounds. When this diversity is pooled, various knowledge and multiskills from culturally distinct workers add strength to the companies, as well responsiveness to changing conditions.
An employee of a company brings into his workplace, unique strengths and weaknesses influenced by his culture and individuality. When these variations are set up in their proper perspective, they strengthen and complement the weaknesses of each worker to make greater impact on the workforce for the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts.
How employees benefit from workplace diversity:
1. Personal growth
Workers grow as persons when exposed to new ideas, cultures and perspectives. They are able to learn new ways and gain a clearer view of their surroundings, their neighbor and their place in the world. The time spent with culturally diverse co-workers destroys the subconscious wall of ethnocentrism and xenophobia, encouraging employees to be more respectful and accept other members of society.
2. Improves communication
Diversity affects positively workplace communication. After spending time working hours amidst co-workers talking different tongues, the communication barriers are broken down and they may even learn to understand each other’s language. The result is building better relationship as they will go out of their way in trying to understand each other.
3. Squeezes out all those creativity juices.
Teams composed of workers from varied backgrounds and diverse experiences can easily create better ideas and methods of solving problems. Research led by Professor Roy Y.J. Chua of the Harvard Business School showed that the more the network includes individuals from different cultural backgrounds, the more creativity as they are stimulated by different ideas and perspectives.
4. Good workers prefer diversity in workplace:
Research prove that workplace diversity can help recruit top talent. The recent Glassdoor survey also proved that 2/3 of the people polled said that for them diversity was an important factor in evaluating companies and job offers. Talent is vital so you’ll do your company a favor by selecting employees from the largest and most diverse set of candidates. And with a diverse workforce, good candidates will be more likely accept your job offers. It’s a beneficial cycle.
5. Lesser turnover.
The Labor Department reported that there are more people quitting their jobs today, A survey conducted by Glassdoor revealed that 57% of the subject think that their company should increase diversity in its workforce. When an employee quits his job, the company spends money and time in finding and hiring a new recruit. Poor diversity creates unintentionally hostile environment that workers would decide to leave. Successful companies are adding benefits for workers working toward a tighter, more invested community among the workforce.
6. Workers are more effective in marketing goods and services to all consumers’ group.
When diverse group of employees work together in a company, they contribute their individuality and effectively market to all groups of consumers. From pooling their knowledge of an extensive range of ethnic & racial backgrounds, difference in age, education, gender and other factors, the company can provide the best goods and services to all consumer groups.
Diversity in your work force can be a blessing. More companies are now providing diversity training as a starting point for achieving workplace diversity. In addition they realize that formal training, leadership modeling behavior is an effective way to understand diversity. On the part of employees, they are given the opportunity to work in collaboration with others that can result in a more productive workplace, which in turn, translates to greater organizational success and friendlier & happier work comfort zone.