According to studies by McKinsey, Harvard Business School, Forbes, and others, companies with diverse workplaces are significantly more likely than their competition to grow and capture new markets. Why?
They are more innovative, relate better to a broad range of customers, and look for talent in a wider pool. When staff members with different perspectives collaborate for a common goal, greater creativity is possible. In firms where folks from all backgrounds are encouraged to contribute ideas, there is consistently less turnover and more productivity. Teams that think cross-culturally have more coping options to adapt to changing market conditions.
True diversity means having people of different ages, genders, races, ethnicity, and sexual orientation working together, as well as bringing in employees who have different types of work experiences, such as time spent abroad or selling to specific ethnic markets. It is not a “nice to have” aspect of the business but rather something that is built into the company’s leadership and culture.
A meaningful diverse culture cannot be achieved simply by hiring a few “different” workers, who are then expected to assimilate quietly into the status quo of an otherwise stagnant organization. It means that
- Everyone is encouraged to propose new ideas
- Everyone is heard and respected
- Credit is shared
- Feedback is constructive, actionable, and regularly implemented as part of the process
- There is training, especially for supervisors, on how to accept and respect new ways of thinking as well as how to deal with prejudice, internal competition, and the formation of cliques.
How would a more diverse workforce move your company forward?
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