Diversity in the Workplace Really Does Work

Joe Weinlick
Posted by in Career Advice

Workplace diversity has been a hot topic among American companies for several years due to huge demographic shifts in the U.S. population. Businesses recognize they need to cater to a younger and more culturally diverse customer base to survive. Therefore, companies should undergo changes to align with the needs of their diverse clients.

Growth Strategy

Companies must first realize that workplace diversity is a vital part of an overall growth strategy. Firms start by knowing the demographic data of their clientele. If a business sees that 60 percent of its customers come from one particular cultural background, employees should match that level of diversity. This leads to better engagement between employees and clients, which creates a larger and more loyal customer base.

These returning clients create a steady expanding revenue stream from word-of-mouth advertising. Companies create an ever-expanding profit margin simply by hiring people who mirror the faces of customers. Diversity among employees also leads to economic growth over the long term. Statistics show that by 2050, the United States should no longer have an ethnic majority, which means the best companies should reflect that major change. More clients and higher profits aren't the only reasons why workplace diversity is important.

Innovation and Happiness

In 2011, a Forbes survey found that 85 percent of companies with annual revenues of $500 million or higher stated that workplace diversity fosters a sense of innovation among workers, a happier office environment and lower turnover rates. All of these things reduce a company's expenses relating to hiring more workers to replace those who leave.

A diverse workforce adapts to market changes much better, faster and more efficiently because employees understand their customers. Diversity increases the chances a company survives, so the sooner CEOs implement a diversity strategy, the sooner a firm adapts to changes within its industry.

How to Incorporate Workplace Diversity Initiatives

CEOs, managers and business professionals should all be on board for diversity initiatives at the office. However, any major decisions come from the top and filter down to the rest of the staff. Without a CEO or leadership strategy, diversity fails before it starts. Leaders must incorporate the values of diversity in the company's mission and core business model.

Beyond the approval of leadership, businesses should undergo diversity training to help make employees more sensitive to the cultural needs of each other and customers. HR takes the lead by developing hiring practices, employment goals, training materials and auditing procedures to monitor the firm's progress. HR can adjust the strategy as needed when goals are met or need improvement.

Managers and supervisors are one very important part of a workplace diversity model. When new hires see bosses reflect their own cultural backgrounds, it encourages entry-level employees to think there is hope and a better future on the horizon for promotions and workplace diversity.

Photo courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

Jobs to Watch