Why Diversity Is the Missing Piece in Your Business Model
Why we ought to grow a diverse workforce extends far beyond a surface-level need to take image-based or reputational precautions. In fact, in 2019, lacking workplace diversity could be the single factor driving the failure of your business.
We’ll admit, it does sound drastic to link business decline to the mere presence (or lacking) of diversity in your office. The bottom line is, we live in an age where business is becoming (or perhaps even, already become) increasingly globalised.
Due to the advancement of technology and our new-found ability to foster worldwide communications, the benefits of diversity in the workplace have never been quite as important as they are today.
Creating a business environment that firstly, facilitates acceptance, and secondly, encourages diverse opinion is now ideal for more than just the sake of a satisfied employee. It has become integral to cultivating a prosperous business model, and to understanding your client, no matter who they may be. No matter where they live. No matter what origin they may associate.
Although fostering positive company culture and avoiding employee turnover is important, so too is adhering to the make-or-breaks of a successful business operation. As opposed to focusing on work environment, this time, we’re diving into why diversity is valuable for financial returns alone.
When you have team members that together, can only place themselves within one category of society, you limit your ability to relate to, and to predict behaviours of various ethnic backgrounds. When you welcome different backgrounds, diversity of race, cultural ethnicity and religion, suddenly, you diversify your perspective.
Not only does this lend itself to increased awareness of your potential customer, your vision of reality and how the marketplace operates is likely to be more accurate (and/or less biased).
When we have teams that think and act the same way, we limit our ability to think and act any differently. We also make decisions that align with people who think and act like us.
A broadened perspective or vision is further valuable for the purpose of creativity. When we welcome people into the workplace of different cultures and upbringing, we also welcome different perspectives, experiences, ideas and outlooks.
Naturally, cultural diversity facilitates the making of a more creative, innovative, communal and even forward-thinking environment.
It’s safe to say that having a diverse team is a valuable step to becoming a leader in your industry. It stands us in good stead alongside competitors, who might lack diversified input within their internal conversations and development processes. To ignore the significance of this input would be, in 2019, to deny yourself a place on a global stage, as a global brand.
2. It helps to understand your consumer
Most business owners will be aware of a particular type of consumer or client to which they’re targeting their product or service.
With that said, successful businesses will not only manage to harness the attention of this client, they’ll also foster connections with a plethora of consumers, who position themselves outside this demographic group.
Whether or not your target client associates with a foreign ethnicity, religion or cultural background, you deny yourself the ability to convert anyone outside your narrow target market, when you lack diverse backgrounds and worldviews.
We can’t assume that we know how everyone thinks, acts and behaves. Nor that everyone does so the same way. Unless we have someone in our workplace who has direct link to these answers, we’ll simply lose out on the opportunity to connect with a wider consumer group.
3. It helps business grow
As mentioned above, very few businesses that lack diversity in 2019 will have the ability to grow and to evolve to global scale. Again, this doesn’t have to do with presenting (or not presenting) an image of cultural acceptance. It has to do with the functional purpose of a diverse workplace.
An inclusive workplace with ethnic diversity fosters natural and healthy debate, such that simply arises from bringing together a multitude of perspective. It is in this state of challenging one another and our ideas, where we grow the most.
48% of US companies with diversity at senior levels displayed increased market share, in comparison to the previous year. Only 33% of companies who lacked diversity showed the same results.
– Center for Talent Innovation
Diverse companies have no choice but to navigate inconsistencies between the priorities and values of employees. A company is far more inclined to pay attention to all aspects of their product or service, of its market and of its clients’ needs. Why? By mere virtue of the fact that diverse groups bring different eyes for what matters.
4. It increases the pool of skills
What can we say, with diversity comes diversity. When we welcome job seekers of different cultural backgrounds, sexual orientation, religion or race into our workplace, we also tend to welcome a range of different skills, new ideas, and a wider talent pool. Whilst it may be beneficial for skills to overlap for certain projects, often, the secret to success lies in being able to cleverly delegate your tasks to top talent.
The more varying types of workers we have in our business, the more likely their strengths and weaknesses will differ. Diverse talent pools are valuable for the purpose of maximising human resources, for problem-solving and for employee engagement. It ensures time is not wasted, as tasks will be allocated to the best talent for the job.
Whilst it may seem a daunting task to re-haul or even, to reconsider your entire hiring scheme, it’s a competitive advantage that ought not to be looked over in 2019.
An inclusive environment is not powerful, purely for the sake of avoiding unconscious bias, for encouraging acceptance and employee retention. It is powerful for pushing business, and we’d argue, it’s the secret to your best business plan yet.
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