Diversity in the workplace isn’t just desirable – it’s essential for businesses that want to succeed. In our second article exploring the many facets of workplace diversity, we’ll examine some of the key benefits of employing people from a wide range of backgrounds. Filling your company with similar perspectives from similar roots only creates an echo chamber. Here, we’ll look at how different voices empower your business to deal with future challenges, plus some of the positive financial implications such as diversity incentives.
Here are the top five reasons why that process is vital for modern businesses that genuinely want to create an inclusive and profitable workplace.
Increases Creativity and Problem Solving
Whether your company creates mobile apps or designs clothes, creativity can only go so far without a variety of different perspectives. An inclusive workplace that encourages hiring from all backgrounds means you’ll have a range of points of view for all situations. Sometimes employees from diverse backgrounds will look at an idea and say, “No,” or, “Maybe it will work better this way,” — and that’s great. People from different cultures respond to things in different ways. Women may notice sexist language that men may have missed. Trans individuals often have a unique perspective missing in workplaces that don’t often have trans employees. Autistic employees can help ensure products are suitable for neurodivergent people, while employees with a range of disabilities can fight ableism and ensure accessibility for all. Hiring more Black, Latin, or Asian employees doesn’t just hit diversity targets; it brings a wealth of experience from potentially vastly different backgrounds and upbringings.
Why is this important? Because without all these different voices telling a business how their product or service will be received, the audience for that product cannot grow at any speed. A varied panel can help tailor products to be more appealing to a much wider demographic and market.
Creates a Great Place to Work
If businesses want their employees to enjoy coming to work (which is key for productivity), they must ensure their workplace is inviting and feels safe. That means addressing issues like sexual harassment and casual, everyday sexism, ensuring racism is dealt with, and creating a welcoming environment for all employees. Inclusive hiring practices promote workplaces that work for everyone. That might mean settings aside space for a prayer room for religious employees or a quiet room for autistic employees. The more preemptive, positive adjustments an employer makes, the more employees will share their stories of how great it is to work there.
Fosters Better Business Decisions
According to research by Deloitte, businesses that actively support creating an inclusive workplace could increase their innovation by 83%. Similar research by Cloverpop backed this up with an apparent direct link between geographically diverse people and decision-making. In other words, hiring people from different neighborhoods across a city or state vastly improved businesses’ decision-making abilities. In fact, companies with employees from a diverse range of age, gender, and backgrounds made better decisions about business matters up to 87% of the time.
Improves Brand Reputation
Having an inclusive workplace doesn’t just keep employees happy. It improves a business’s reputation among its consumers and stakeholders, too. It’s vital for companies to remember that they exist in a global and digital market where everyone has access to news, facts, and figures about any company they want to research. A new report from PRI, the Principles for Responsible Investment, suggests that diversity and inclusion are human rights issues and encourages investors to focus on diversity when choosing a company in which to invest. Embracing inclusion and diversity as core organizational values creates a positive ripple effect into all aspects of business life.
Financial Diversity Incentives
Employers who keep their fingers on the pulse of hiring policies should already know that the American government offers some significant financial diversity incentives. While our other reasons are compelling from the point of view of business longevity and growth, immediate financial rewards could encourage many businesses to review their hiring processes immediately.
Businesses could be eligible for tax credits for hiring veterans who have served in the armed forces or hiring people with disabilities. Each of these types of tax credits comes with various exemptions. For example, a veteran must have been unemployed for over four weeks but less than six months at the time of hiring or in the year preceding that. Disabled access credit applies to businesses that actively provide access to work for people with disabilities. The work opportunity tax credit applies to companies that hire qualified employees from particular groups, such as those who have previously experienced long-term unemployment.
There’s a misconception in some businesses that hiring returning citizens or those with a criminal record is a risky idea. However, many people who have been through the justice system have numerous skills to offer employers, including creativity, problem-solving, or an in-depth knowledge of underserved communities. Likewise, other members of disadvantaged populations such as those with no formal qualifications could bring intuition, instinct, and determination to roles where on-the-job training is more vital than academic accolades.
Now you know the top benefits of diversity in the workplace, but how do you go about ensuring your hiring policy is inclusive and up to the challenge? That’s what we’ll be exploring in our next article, to help your business make the right hiring choices every time. As Dover’s founder, Sanquinetta Dover, says, “Diversity and inclusion in any workplace isn’t a clear-cut destination. It’s an ongoing process that employers have to commit to.” If you want more information on making your own commitment to this process, reach out to Dover Solutions.