A Diverse Workforce = A More Successful Workforce


HR Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for HR pros

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Determined to drive the best possible results from your workforce? Make sure diversity is a core component of your HR policies and people management strategies.

Article 4 Minutes
A Diverse Workforce = A More Successful Workforce

Businesses can no longer afford to overlook the importance of diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace.

As well as having a moral imperative to ensure every individual with the right skills gets a fair opportunity to succeed in your organization, you could achieve a range of financial and commercial benefits from building a truly diverse company.

A series of reports by McKinsey showed the business case for D&I strengthening over time, with corporations that have fully embraced this commitment financially outperforming their less diverse competitors.

The HR department needs to be the driving force behind your enterprise's efforts on this front. When your workforce is defined by its diversity, you'll see higher levels of performance and better results.

Enhanced talent acquisition and retention

To succeed as a business, it's essential that you have the right skills in your workforce. Finding and keeping people with the capabilities you need to grow has become a serious challenge for all sorts of companies around the world.

In the US, for example, 69% of employers have struggled to fill open positions in recent years, up from 14% in 2010.

You should therefore be thinking about what you can do not only to attract the talented people you need, but to retain them for the long term. This should go beyond basic provisions such as pay and benefits, with a clear commitment to D&I among the top priorities for many jobseekers looking for their next career opportunity.

Research has suggested that some candidates would consider jobs with lower salaries if it meant working for a more diverse company. Millennials and members of Gen Z are reportedly more likely to stay with an employer for more than five years if they're part of a diverse workforce.

Learn more: 5 Steps to Hiring More Diverse Candidates

Broad skill sets and scope for innovation

Taking a truly open and inclusive approach to recruitment, workforce management and retention will give your organization access to a broader range of skills and experience.

This could prove highly valuable when you come up against challenges that can only be overcome through innovation. People from different backgrounds can influence each other in exciting and unpredictable ways, leading to inventive solutions to some of your most complex problems.

Furthermore, when you have an eclectic range of individuals working closely together, they can share their expertise and collectively create richer, more rewarding career experiences for all.

Ultimately, people will learn more and develop quicker when they have co-workers whose backgrounds and life experiences are different from their own.

Stronger customer understanding

Businesses that want to be able to deliver the best possible customer experience should be able to put themselves in their audience's shoes. It's easier to do this if you have a broad representation of people in your workforce who can empathize with your target buyers and the various challenges they face.

If women over the age of 40 make up a key part of your demographic, for example, you'll find it harder to deliver a truly relevant and engaging experience for them if your workforce is predominantly made up of men in their 20s and 30s.

This becomes particularly important in areas of your business that have a lot of direct engagement with your customer base, such as the marketing and customer service departments.

When these teams can relate to your audience and the issues that matter most to them, they can build stronger relationships and generate results that lead to long-term satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Increased employee engagement

Members of your workforce will feel more engaged in their jobs and loyal to the company if they can see clear evidence of your commitment to positive endeavors such as championing D&I.

Your employees will see clear evidence of your dedication to making progress on this front when they come into work every day and find themselves surrounded by colleagues of various ages, genders and ethnic backgrounds.

Learn more: Happier Employees = Engaged Employees

Having a rich mix of individuals in your organization will naturally lead to a more vibrant, exciting and creative work environment.

This will make a big difference to the everyday experiences and overall satisfaction of the people working for you. Since happier people tend to be more productive, you can expect to see the positive impact of workforce engagement on your bottom line before long.

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