No doubt you’ve heard a lot lately about the importance of cultural diversity in the workplace. Cultural diversity in the workplace is when a company hires — and is open to hiring — employees from any kind of background, regardless of culture, religion, sexuality or race. The idea is to put the focus on people for what they bring to the table: their skills, emotional intelligence, knowledge, talent, ideas, values and other work-related attributes.
If your organization isn’t culturally diverse, your company and your employees are missing out on some serious benefits. Here are 5 reasons why a diverse workforce is better than one that’s not.
1. Diverse employees can better understand your clients.
It’s unlikely all your clients are the same. They come from all sorts of different backgrounds, and each brings with them their own life experiences, customs, and values. When you hire a diverse group of employees, they can better understand and serve your diverse customers and clients. This gives your company a significant competitive advantage.
2. Your brand will improve.
In these days of social media, the fortunes of companies — and their attractiveness to potential employees and customers alike — rise and fall on their reputation. When an organization gains a reputation for hiring a diverse workforce, it attracts more qualified people to apply for open positions. That makes for better products and services — and happier customers. A 2017 report by PwC reveals almost 60% of people considered the diversity of the leadership team when deciding to accept a position with their most recent employer.
3. Creativity levels will increase.
The more diverse a team is, the more skills, backgrounds and experiences your organization can draw from when needing to problem-solve or innovate. In bringing together different and diverse minds, various perspectives can combine in novel ways. This often leads to more creative solutions and ideas.
4. More diversity? More money.
Increased cultural diversity in the workplace can lead to greater profits for your organization. This may be partly due to the benefits of language diversity, for example. If your company is increasing its business in other countries, hiring employees who are fluent in many languages will boost your company’s reputation and business abroad, leading to improved profits.
5. Diversity keeps employees happy.
Cultural diversity not only entices a wider pool of job candidates, it also reduces employee turnover. As job-seekers are drawn to companies with diverse workforces (the diversity signals to applicants that the company doesn’t practice discrimination), those already employed will feel less inclined to leave their positions. A 2017 Women Ahead study shows supporting employee networks for specific demographic groups — gender, sexuality, ethnicity, religion and more — helps enable employee career progress and progression, making them happier and more productive.