Thursday, September 20, 2018

Why Workforce Diversity Matters (and How to Achieve It)

Diversity in the workplace is increasingly common. In some of the most progressive and successful companies, you will find an excellent mix of individuals that represent different cultures, ethnicities, sexual orientations and ages.

You may think that companies that hire a diverse range of people may be mostly interested in presenting a progressive image to the public. While fostering a positive image may be one critical benefit, this is not usually the primary reason why companies are increasingly choosing to create more diversity in their workforce.

Regardless of whether you are preparing to launch a new business or you are actively hiring for open positions in an established company, it may make sense to avoid choosing a stereotypical candidate to fill your positions and to take a more open-minded approach. A closer look will reveal the many benefits of having a diverse workforce.

The Importance of Workforce Diversity

When you hire new individuals to join your team, the first priority is to hire the most well-qualified individuals for the job. While you are reading resumes and conducting interviews to determine who may be qualified for the position, consider how diversity can benefit your company.

Creativity and Innovation

Individuals from the same background have typically had common experiences. In many instances, they have the same way of thinking, and this can lead to stale or diminished innovation. 

On the other hand, when you bring people from very different backgrounds together, their mix of cultures, skills and more may inspire creativity. Their ideas may bounce back and forth to spur true innovation that benefits your company.

Improved Customer Service

In many cases, a diverse workforce may be comprised of individuals who speak many languages and are fluent in various dialects. This is important if your business regularly works with international vendors and service providers. 

It also can help you to better serve a more diverse range of customers and clients and to encourage these customers to continue to do business with your company.

A Different Approach

Another important benefit of workforce diversity is the approach that each individual takes to solving problems. Their previous experiences and overall way of thinking may help them to look at scenarios differently and to find better solutions to serious problems in the organization.

In addition, diversity at the management level can help you and your team to find new and better ways to lead your team into the future.

How to Make Your Workplace More Diverse

You can see that there are numerous advantages associated with workplace diversity, but how you can you work toward more diversity in your own business? There are a few important steps to take that can help you to achieve your desired goal.

Improve Your Hiring Efforts

The wording in your job listings can play a major role in encouraging applicants from different backgrounds to apply. Some listings are worded so that they seem intimidating to some individuals. You cannot create a diverse workforce if individuals from different backgrounds are not comfortable applying.

Place Job Postings in Different Locations

While many job applicants will search for job openings through the more well-known job posting websites, these are not the only places to consider. There are a few recruiting and job listing sites that are not well-known in general, but they are well-known in niche groups. Explore the many listing options available so that you can recruit from a more diverse base.

Improve Your Company’s Public Image

If your company has a reputation or image for lacking diversity or for being too conservative, you may have trouble getting many different types of people to apply for a position. Take a closer look at the image that your company portrays, and determine if you need to update that image to improve recruiting efforts.

Create a More Accepting Workplace

Your management efforts and overall work environment can make your business seem more or less accepting of individuals from different backgrounds. For example, do you allow employees to take non-traditional holidays off for their own religions? Find ways to make your workplace more appealing to different groups of people.

Consider Hiring a Remote Team

You may have access to a much more diverse group of applicants if you hire remotely. This is because you can hire from different locations across the country or even internationally. You will have a much larger pool of applicants to choose from as well.

Diversity in the workforce is almost essential for modern companies that strive for success. You need to take advantage of the benefits of a diverse workforce if you want to compete in your industry. Put these tips into action to achieve the goal that you have established.

Jasmine Williams covers the good and the bad of today's business and marketing. When she’s not being all serious and busy, she’s usually hunched over a book or dancing in the kitchen, trying hard to maintain rhythm, and delivering some fine cooking (her family says so). Tweet her @JazzyWilliams88

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