Imagine a workplace where everyone is the same and has the same mindset, perspective, and ideas. Boring right? There won’t be anything challenging, nothing to stand out, no innovation, no creativity, and frankly speaking, no life. How about adding some color to it – literally?
Workplace diversity is the new “it” thing now. It doesn’t just sound cool, but it also brings a lot of benefits to the table. Bringing diversity in a workplace simply means hiring people from different ages, ethnicity, race, backgrounds, religious and political beliefs, gender, and even physical abilities.
Furthermore, according to research conducted by Harvard Business Reviews (HBR), diversity can be divided into two more types: Inherent diversity – where people are born with traits like their age, gender, and ethnicity; and Acquired Diversity – which consists of traits that people acquire with an experience like working for a company abroad can help you gain a first-hand understanding of cultural differences. Having traits from both types is called two-dimensional (2-D) diversity.
Businesses having ethnic and racial diversity have 35% more chance to strive better against their competitors, while businesses having gender diversity have 15% more chance to get a better financial benefit than their competitors, a McKinsey & Company report suggests.
Looking at the statistics above, there must be something that these workplace diversities offer, don’t you think? Let’s find out how small businesses can benefit from having diversity in their workplace.
Better Decisions Making:
Diversity doesn’t just have to be at the lower level of the workplace. It starts from the top-most hierarchy. Boardroom diversity can be extremely beneficial for small businesses. Most of the decisions are made by the top management. Having mindsets from different backgrounds and experiences can tackle any obstacle, provide the best practical solutions, and suggest out-of-box campaign ideas to set a direction for the business. Coca-Cola is a prime example that applies boardroom diversity to its company and has minds from all over the world that make decisions to help the business penetrate worldwide.
Adding Innovation and Creativity:
Not all minds think alike. However, people with the same backgrounds, skills, and experiences tend to think alike. Do brainstorming sessions with the same ideas proposed by the employees sound good? Since they all lived in the same region, they lacked the exposure of having to take measures that might be operational in other regions. Businesses require constant innovations for their growth. Creative ideas come from having experiences and watching how businesses strive in all parts of the world. According to HBR , people with 2-D diversity are 45% more likely to grow their businesses since the previous year. This study also suggests that companies having diversity is 70% more likely to capture new markets. Who wouldn’t want that? Especially for a small business, growth is the ultimate key to its survival.
Understanding the Consumers’ Perspective:
The customer is always right! This is the motto of every customer and the business itself. Unsatisfied customers mean losing a share of the market. Having to cater to clients or consumers is the most important job. Understanding their mentality and meeting their expectations is necessary for any large or small business. The problem will be fixed immediately if you have a mole inside your company that shares the same mindset, ethnicity, race, and perspective. This mole is not a weakness but a strength for your company which can give useful insights into the consumer that can work in your favor since you’ll be able to pinpoint everything that the consumers want from your business. The employee can build a great business rapport with the consumers and clients. It is proved in a study by HBR that an employee who shares the same ethnicity with the client is 152% more likely to understand them better than the company’s competitors.
Healthier Work Environment:
A workplace where everyone is comfortable and content with everyone is heaven for employees. If a workplace has a majority of employees belonging to the same group – be it gender, race, ethnicity, or age – the remnant will feel uncomfortable and might even remain silent. Since the points of the majority will be taken, the minorities will be unnoticed. Consequently, the minorities will personally feel discouraged, and there might be a solution that will be left unheard to the problem your business might be facing. On the contrary, in a diverse workplace, employees will have equal opportunities and be more comfortable presenting their ideas, as every voice will have equal importance. As a result, your business will have a healthy work environment and adhere to striving ideas.
Hiring employees based on their skills and experiences instead of their race, ethnicity, age, and background can benefit the business immensely. The right person for the right job doesn’t cater to appearance but focuses on the skills that help increase the business’s problem-solving and decision-making processes.
Concise, diverse teams work better and faster than larger but normal teams. Employees with different skills, experiences, and mindsets are prone to suggest out-of-the-box ideas and solutions to challenging problems, hence increasing business productivity. According to People Management, teams that are diverse are 87% better at decision-making.
Attracting Job Seekers:
Reading resumes are both-sided when it comes to hiring. A company reads an applicant’s resume while the applicant reads the company’s. The company looks at their skills and experiences while the applicant studies the company’s environment. A diverse work environment can win over any applicant who seeks that job. A talented employee always wants to work in a diverse workplace. It gives them a sense of authenticity that their talent can make a difference in the company’s betterment. This increases their confidence and encourages them to work more, thereby increasing the company’s productivity. A Glassdoor review states that 76% of job seekers look for diverse workplaces as a major factor while evaluating any company.
Businesses are adopting diversity all over the world as it brings a lot of benefits to the workplace. Diversity not just ends discrimination but is also the ultimate solution for major problems faced by small businesses in surviving and penetrating existing and new markets. It has all the benefits small businesses look for to help them achieve their goals.