Benefits of Cultural Diversity in the Workplace
In the United Kingdom, ethnic minorities make up 14% of the working-age population. However, members of this group only make up 10% of the workforce, and they only hold 6% of the UK’s top management positions.
Are you looking to improve cultural diversity at your company? If so, read on to learn more about the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. You’ll also find some suggestions on how you can create a more inclusive work environment.
What Is Cultural Diversity?
Cultural diversity is all about making sure a wide range of cultural and ethnic groups are represented in society.
When most people think about running an inclusive business, they think about hiring employees of different races and ethnicities. That’s a big part of the puzzle, of course. However, a truly culturally diverse workplace also takes other factors into account, including the following diversity groups:
- Gender: Men and women, as well as nonbinary and gender non-conforming individuals, should all be represented.
- LGBT+ community: Members of the LGBT+ community should be included and not face discrimination in the workplace.
- Age: Both younger and older employees can be discriminated against and should have a place in the company.
- Disability: People with disabilities deserve equal work opportunities, as well as accommodations so they can do their jobs without difficulty.
- Neurodiversity: Employers should recognise and provide a supportive environment for people who have neurological differences (dyslexia, autism, Tourette’s syndrome, Attention-Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, etc.).
Benefits of Cultural Diversity
Making diversity a priority in your hiring strategy offers a lot of benefits to your business and company culture. The following are some of the top reasons why it matters:
When all of your employees look the same, are around the same age, come from the same place, and are neurotypical, you don’t have a lot of opportunities to hear unique perspectives. A diverse workplace allows for all kinds of voices to be heard and gives you a chance to see things in a way you probably wouldn’t otherwise.
More Creativity and Innovation
Opening up your company to a more diverse group of people also opens you and your team up to new skill sets and more creativity.
People who see and experience the world differently than you will also present new ideas and provide new and innovative solutions to the problems your team, as well as your clients/customers, are facing. In fact, research shows that inclusive companies are 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders in their fields.
Increased Employee Engagement
Diverse and inclusive teams tend to have higher rates of engagement and productivity than non-inclusive teams.
Think about it: when employees feel that they are included and that their unique perspectives genuinely matter to the company’s higher-ups, they’re naturally going to be more engaged and invested in their work.
Less Employee Turnover
High rates of employee turnover are expensive, they hinder productivity, and they reflect poorly on your company as a whole.
When teams are more diverse and inclusive (and your team members feel represented and respected), your company is less likely to be affected by employee attrition and less likely to have to go through the costly process of replacing them.
Diversity and inclusion don’t just introduce a higher level of skill and new perspectives to your team. They also help you to establish a high-performance team culture that encourages everyone to think outside the box, be creative problem-solvers, and get more done.
All of these benefits, in turn, lead to higher profits for your company. One study even showed that the least diverse companies (from ethnic and gender standpoints) are 29% more likely to have lower profits than their more diverse counterparts.
Better Company Reputation
When you make diversity and inclusion your priority, your company’s reputation improves. People are more likely to think positively of your business if they know that you make an effort to hire employees from a variety of cultural and ethnic groups.
A good reputation also makes your company more enticing to job seekers. This is particularly true of Gen-Z job seekers and early talent, who tend to value diversity and inclusion in the workplace more than their older peers.
When your company has a good reputation, recruiting talent becomes much easier.
Lots of people want to work for a company that makes diversity and inclusion a priority. It’s important to note, though, that these same people want to see action, not just nice-sounding words on your company’s mission statement.
They’ll be looking for examples of how your company has increased its diversity and inclusion efforts over time, and the strength of those examples will play into their decision to work for you or one of your competitors.
How to Manage and Promote Diversity and Inclusivity
Do you want to enjoy the benefits of diversity and inclusivity in the workplace? Do you want to start hiring talent from multiple ethnic and cultural groups, but are unsure of how to start making positive changes at your company?
Don’t let uncertainty stop you from taking action. Here are some steps you can take:
- Learn about and address unconscious bias (unconscious beliefs that everyone holds about other social and ethnic groups).
- Address company policies on discrimination.
- Invest in diversity and inclusion training.
- Ask for identifying information (names, birthdates, etc.) to be removed from resumes and applications before they’re reviewed.
- Acknowledge a variety of cultural holidays and events (Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan, LGBT+ Pride Month, etc.).
- Regularly seek feedback (and honour the complaints and suggestions received from minority employees).
When you’re looking to make improvements to your company from a diversity and inclusion standpoint, be transparent with your team along the way – especially when you’re communicating with members of Gen Z at work.
Transparency prevents employees from being taken by surprise. It also shows employees who are members of a minority group that you’re actively working to make the workplace better and safer for them.
Final Thoughts on Diversity in the Workplace
Diversity and equality in the workplace benefits everyone, from the new people who join your team to your seasoned employees who get to learn and be challenged by someone from a different walk of life.
Follow the strategies outlined above so you can start creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace today. Check out Udrafter today to connect with qualified students and graduates from a wide range of backgrounds.