Diversity in the workplace

In today’s world, it’s increasingly important for companies to champion diversity in order to succeed. Far from being a passing phenomenon, diversity is something that businesses must learn to embed within their culture to sustain success in the future. In addition to the unequivocal social and cultural benefits, there are also plenty of financial incentives for businesses to hire a diverse workforce.

What is meant by diversity in the workplace?

Diversity covers aspects such as gender, disability, ethnicity, age, sexuality and economic background, and is generally used to refer to characteristics that differentiate certain groups of people. Representing these groups amongst the workforce can bring numerous benefits to a business.

1. Brings a wealth of unique expertise

One of the best ways to build a competitive workforce is by hiring from a diverse talent pool. Employees from differing social, ethnic and cultural backgrounds have varying perspectives to offer, each with their own take on how to solve problems and tackle challenges.

These differences are what can help a team to further develop existing concepts and generate new, innovative ideas. Encouraging employee collaboration that includes diverse perspectives is an excellent way to improve output.

2. Promotes development and innovation

Thanks to social influence in the workplace, employees frequently share opinions and ideas. When the workforce is diverse, this fosters the exchange of differing viewpoints and can contribute to a more balanced overview and more innovative thinking.

Giving employees the platform to learn and evolve from each other can fast-track both their personal and professional development, bringing further benefit to the organisation.

3. Reflects society’s needs

Recruiting diverse candidates with relevant skills and knowledge ensures your company is equipped to work successfully in our multicultural society.

Your employees are the face of your company and the more your workforce reflects the population, the better the community will be represented, putting you in a better position to meet their needs.

Various minority groups can experience different challenges and have different requirements to what is considered normal, so having people in your team who can relate is crucial to serving these customers well.

4. Boosts company reputation

Diversity creates a positive impression and can help clients feel an affinity with your company, particularly if they see a minority group they belong to that’s represented amongst your workforce.

As business ethics and social responsibility become increasingly important topics, the ability to demonstrate diversity among employees gives a favourable impression of your company and shows a real commitment to equality.

5. Improves decision-making

Confident decision-makers are key for any organisation but when the team is made up of a range of differing perspectives and worldviews, it’s even more conducive to a well-thought-out decision.

Diversity of thought and experience means your business is more likely to have the right individuals with the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions.

This can be particularly relevant to diversity in age, where employers can find different qualities in candidates of differing age groups and stages of their career.

6. Attracts the best talent

With diversity and inclusion ranking among the top 5 things millennials look for in an employer in a study by Great Place to Work, building an inclusive culture can boost your employer brand and create a good impression with job seekers in search of their next role.

Attracting applications from people from all walks of life improves your chances of discovering and hiring the best talent for your business and working with a recruitment agency can help you reach that talent quickly and effectively.

7. Greater employee satisfaction and retention

It goes without saying that employees perform better and are happier at work when they feel respected, included and valued by their employer.

Hiring based on competency and personality over demographics sends a clear signal to your employees that you support them as an individual and trust in their ability to carry out the job, no matter how they may identify.

8. Increases profitability

Not only does diversity in the workforce bring a number of social and cultural benefits, but it also makes a compelling financial case.

A study by McKinsey & Co found that ‘companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile’ – a figure that has shown a positive upward trend since 2014.

This correlates with other findings that suggest the greater the representation amongst the workforce, the higher the likelihood of outperformance.

9. Improves cross-departmental relations

When diversity extends across all levels and functions of a business, communications become easier, and employees feel a greater level of trust in senior leadership.

When minorities see themselves represented at management level, it adds a sense of belonging and can help to establish new relationships and improve existing ones within the organisation.

10. Increases opportunities for international business

If your business has its sights on international markets, existing employees might be able to help make the dream a reality.

Knowledge of foreign languages and cultures is invaluable when it comes to establishing a business in another country, so engaging current employees and utilising their expertise can help you get your foot in the door.

How The Recruitment Consultancy can help your business hire a diverse workforce

Hiring for diversity is an investment in the future of your company, and it pays dividends in the present. Using a recruitment agency has a number of benefits, and can help in the hiring process. The Recruitment Consultancy can help you to find and attract the best talent in Surrey and Sussex, thanks to our extensive database of pre-qualified professionals and our collaborative, client-first approach to the recruitment process.

The benefits of a diverse workforce are tangible – it is good for business, good for employees, and good for our society. No matter the size or specialism of your business, we’re experts at creating tailored recruitment solutions to help your business succeed.

If you’re ready to explore your recruitment and retention options, you can get in touch with us here for specialist help and advice.