10 Advantages of Developing Diversity in the Workplace

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 10 October 2022 | Published 25 October 2021

Updated 10 October 2022

Published 25 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Part of having an accepting and welcoming work environment involves valuing the importance of a more diverse workplace. More diversity in the workplace can come from thoughtful company policies and engaged leadership that values people with a wide range of experiences and backgrounds. If you work in an HR or management role, understanding the advantages of a diverse workplace can help you create a positive and productive environment. In this article, we provide an overview of workplace diversity and then explain the main benefits of prioritising a diverse workplace.

What is diversity in the workplace?

Diversity in the workplace refers to an organisation having staff with a variety of different characteristics and demographics, including age, ethnicity, religion, educational status and gender. Workplace diversity involves providing equal opportunities to people regardless of their affiliation with different groups and backgrounds. Employers who value diversity also strive to understand the external dynamics that influence workplace diversity and work to counteract societal limitations for people in marginalised groups. Diverse workplaces encourage people to share ideas and unique perspectives to add value to the company.

Related: Learning About Diversity And Inclusion: 10 Free Virtual Courses

10 benefits of workplace diversity

Here are some of the primary benefits of having diversity in the workplace:

1. Developing cultural sensitivity

When you have a diverse team at work, you can develop a mindset of cultural sensitivity in the workplace. This is important for creating successful internal company operations and a healthy team culture. By hiring a diverse array of individuals in the workplace, you can learn about acceptable language and behaviours for people of different cultures and backgrounds. Having this knowledge can help you develop appropriate boundaries in the workplace to help foster a safe and respectful workplace environment.

The cultural sensitivity you create through team diversity is also useful for interactions with customers and business partners. A diverse team can provide insights on how to more respectfully engage with customers and stakeholders of diverse backgrounds. For example, someone from a particular culture can help review the language and phrasing on marketing materials aimed at that same group.

2. Inspiring creativity

When people of different backgrounds come together to collaborate, they often generate more creative ideas. This is because people's life experiences and perspectives influence the ideas they share in the workplace. Depending on each individual's identity, culture, generation and values, they may use a different creative thought process to approach a project or assignment.

By having a diverse team of people from different demographics, you can gather wider perspectives and encourage people to brainstorm topics from several unique angles. Discussions between individuals on a diverse team can inspire innovative processes and create new best practices for their industry. Exposing one another to new ideas and ways of thinking is beneficial for the creative process.

3. Attracting more talented candidates

If you want the best talent for your team, committing to diversity can help you attract better candidates. By showing potential candidates that you value, respect and uplift those with diverse backgrounds, you may entice people from a wider variety of backgrounds to apply to your team. Many people value diversity in the workplace and want to apply for jobs where they know employers appreciate and respect their perspective, contributions and qualifications as much as their peers.

Seeking diverse candidates can also give you access to a wider talent pool. Considering a diverse range of individuals for leadership positions can lead to you building a better team and developing more thoughtful diversity, equity and inclusion policies. When assessing your hiring practices, it's important to consider your goals for the company and what perspectives the company currently lacks.

Related: Job Search Guide: Finding Companies That Value Diversity & Inclusion

4. Enhancing reputation and brand image

Diversity and inclusion is a key part of an organisation's social values. When you commit to ethical policies about diversity and make long-term efforts to treat team members of all backgrounds with respect and inclusiveness, you can foster a positive reputation. Members of the public often consider a company's policies regarding diversity because they want to support businesses that share their values and have a diverse workforce. Socially conscious individuals may review the reputation of a business before recommending it to friends or making future purchases.

It's important for workplace diversity to be authentic for it to be an effective brand image tool. Professionals often provide accounts of their workplace experiences to friends or the general public, so organisations that genuinely value diversity also implements policies and initiatives to support their team members. This can include mentorship programmes where team members can gain feedback and guidance from more senior colleagues who share similar backgrounds.

5. Appealing to larger audiences

When you have a diverse workplace, it can also be easier to appeal to a more diverse audience. People from certain backgrounds and identity groups may be able to better relate to consumers who have similar experiences. This enables them to create products, services and advertising that relates to the interests of those individuals. As part of market research on what different customers want, you can get inside perspectives from colleagues with similar backgrounds. By having a diverse staff that represents all different kinds of consumers, you can generate ideas that appeal to several target audience groups.

This has the potential to increase profits for the company and increase the popularity of the business. As you grow the diversity of the team, you can also increase your ability to expand the business into new markets. A diverse team may also better handle the potential challenges of marketing to a new demographic.

6. Cultivating accepting mindsets

As people in the workplace spend more time with coworkers from different backgrounds, they may grow more accepting of one another. By socialising more with different coworkers, you may discover commonalities and find more ways to relate to your team members. Regularly interacting with people from different backgrounds can lead to a better understanding of and insight into people from cultures and backgrounds besides your own.

When everyone has a safe environment to celebrate who they are, they can learn from each other and grow to become more accepting. This can improve teamwork within the workplace, enhance communication and strengthen morale within the organisation. As individuals learn to appreciate and value the differences amongst the staff, they can become more cooperative when completing their work and discussing ideas.

7. Expanding team skill sets

As the workplace becomes more diverse, your team can have a more diverse variety of skills to apply to projects and assignments. People from different generations, educational backgrounds and cultures may have more unique skills and approaches to generating ideas and solutions. A wider range of skills can help a company build better products and services. When professionals have many different skills, they can collaborate and share them with one another. Team members can also help each other expand their skills set by teaching and sharing their abilities, which can help you create a more talented workforce.

8. Improving problem-solving

Bringing people of diverse backgrounds together is helpful for your team's problem-solving process. Each person can contribute their unique skills and experiences to the group, which can help your team find better solutions to issues. Each person understands a problem in different ways, which can also lead to more innovative thinking. When most people on the same team have similar backgrounds, they may have similar problem-solving processes. Having a diverse group can allow you to gather several unique perspectives, accelerating your team's ability to identify and address challenges.

Related: Problem-Solving Skills: Definition, How To Learn and Example

9. Reducing team turnover

Having progressive policies in the workplace can help reduce your team's turnover rate. Showing that the company values diversity helps everyone feel welcome and accepted at work. Making diversity a priority for your staff demonstrates you care about respecting everyone's identity, carefully consider everyone's professional contributions and uphold a high standard for interpersonal interactions among colleagues.

When professionals of all backgrounds feel comfortable every day they come into the office, they usually feel more satisfied in their position and want to remain in their role. People often want to stay in roles where they feel that their team values and accepts their background and perspective. By having diversity initiatives, you can keep team members happy, which may encourage them seek career growth within the company instead of pursuing jobs at other companies.

Related: What Is Staff Turnover? (Plus How To Improve Turnover Rates)

10. Increasing team productivity

Letting people of different backgrounds have their chance to make an impact can improve team morale, which can translate into better productivity. By making everyone feel like their work matters, individuals may feel more loyal to the company and try to work harder. Likewise, having more creative thinking from a diverse team can produce better solutions to production issues. When you have a lot of ideas to work with, you may find better, more efficient ways of doing work.

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