Often, when people talk about the benefits of diversity in the workplace, the conversation turns to its impact on team and company performance—two strong barometers of company success. One research study found that diverse teams make better business decisions up to 87 percent of the time, and that decisions made and executed by diverse teams deliver 60 percent better results. Other studies have found that diverse companies outperform their peers in areas such as cash flow, revenue, and overall performance.
There are other, sometimes not as conspicuous, benefits of diversity in the workplace as well. Here are four of the hidden ways of diversity that can make a strong, positive impact in the workplace:
A Multitude of Perspectives
It makes sense to consider all the individual traits that contribute to workplace diversity. Gender, ethnicity, and nationality, for example, are important characteristics that make each person unique and make a workforce diverse, but there are other aspects of diversity that can benefit your organization. For example, diversity also brings varied perspectives into the workplace. When employees bring the fullness of their perspectives, ideas, and views about what can help the organization, they don’t see the company and their roles from just one point of view, but from many. Diversity helps people broaden their horizons to see their work from different perspectives.
Breadth of Skills and Experiences
When people bring a range of skills and experiences to the workplace, they not only learn from one another but also help one another succeed. One of the key takeaways from a research study on diversity was that teams comprised of individuals with complementary skill sets can be more productive than individuals alone. Individuals who bring a variety of experiences to the workplace can contribute ideas and lessons that will help advance projects and important initiatives in ways that might not have been possible otherwise. The impact of diverse skill sets and experiences can be seen when someone new joins a work team. Often, the new team member is credited for bringing experience-based insights to the team that didn’t exist before.
More Dynamic Communication
Among the benefits of diversity in the workplace is a breadth of communication styles. Having employees with diverse communication styles can make for a more interesting and fun place to work. Sure, when people have different ways of describing the same feeling or work process, it can take some time to get everyone on the same page. But having a collection of people who express ideas and feedback in different ways helps employees develop strong listening skills. Diversity in the workplace can also help employees expand their communication skill set to include different ways of conveying thoughts and ideas. Lastly, diverse communication styles (and even languages) can also help the company communicate better with diverse customers and other key company stakeholders.
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Better Recruiting Results
Company diversity matters to job seekers, particularly the younger generations. One study found that 47 percent of millennials consider the diversity and inclusion of a workplace an important criterion in their job search. In addition, the newest generation entering the workforce, Generation Z, is the most diverse one yet, and its members expect the workplace to be as diverse as their lives outside of work. A Door of Clubs survey found that equality is the number one cause Gen Zers want their employer to support. By hiring a diverse workforce, you can improve your overall employer brand and reputation as an inclusive workplace. And a strong reputation for diversity and inclusion can help you attract both candidates who value diversity and candidates from diverse talent pools.
Diversity in the workplace can result in a productive, flexible, and inclusive workforce. Diversity can take many forms and is not limited to ethnic or gender diversity. When you make diversity a priority and demonstrate your commitment to it, you can also attract a broader pool of candidates who value a diverse workplace.