Diversity is an important functional aspect of the business world. In fact, there proven benefits of having both a diverse workforce and a leadership team that embraces diversity.
According to the Harvard Business Review, diversity is a primary driver of innovation. To illustrate, Harvard researchers coined the term “two-dimensional diversity” to describe companies where the leaders had both inherent and acquired diversity traits. In fact, diversity traits can be acquired through experiencing a different culture, learning another language and even working with female coworkers. Companies with leaders who embrace diversity consistently outperform and even out-innovate their competitors.
When a business demonstrates their appreciation of local and global diversity, consumers and the community will appreciate it. This may come as a shock to traditional business people who still believe that reputation is entirely based on financial performance and product or service quality. The digital age forces companies to consider every possible core competency through the lenses of marketing and public relations. Hiring a diverse pool of job applicants will not only increase talent, but also customer satisfaction.
Increased Customer Satisfaction
Workplace diversity can directly affect an organization’s appeal to customers. In other words, a diverse workplace will be able to better serve the needs of a broad customer base. As immigration and globalization change society and the business world, companies that diversify their workforce will attract diverse customers. In fact, a diverse workforce can help a company reach globalization goals. For example, having a team of business professionals, who originate from a target developing country, will open the door for doing business in that same country.
Being able to understand and respect differences will increase maturity and productivity. Of course, overcoming prejudices and misunderstandings is difficult for anyone. However, diversity sensitivity is a lifelong journey that will help employers better develop and maintain relationships with new or different people. Collaboration results in creativity and synergy, which results in increased productivity and revenue.
Product or Service Creativity
As diverse teams collaborate and communicate with each other, their creativity will naturally increase. Innovation is driven by ingenuity, imagination and unique experiences. Thus, as diversity increases, so does creativity. A company that is experiencing a baffling problem may be surprised to learn how diversity can help. For example, a popular personal products company is perplexed why their deodorant wasn’t selling very well to men. However, female employees will naturally point out that wives and girlfriends usually buy these products for their partners. As a result, the marketing department can focus on female friendly ads.
To wrap up, diversity is essential to both business and employee growth. Diversity will result in a better reputation, increased customer satisfaction and product innovation.