Diversity is more than just a buzzword. In today’s hyper-competitive world, it can hold the key to fostering new ways of thinking and growing your business. Since target markets are far from homogeneous, successful companies capitalise on diversity and inclusion as a source of competitive edge. Aside from the challenges, a diverse workforce can create competitive advantage by increasing not only profit but also innovation and problem-solving capacity, if integrated as a holistic strategy that considers all stakeholders.
Many surveys highlight that diversity can set a competitive differentiation, which is able to shift market share towards companies with a diverse workforce. Organisations with greater gender diversity are 15% more likely to perform better than more homogeneous ones. Similarly, ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform.
In addition, HR Magazine UK reported that organisations, demonstrating an inclusive and diverse workforce experience almost 40% higher customer service satisfaction, over 20% higher productivity, and less turnover.
The business case for diversity is simple since the facts speak for themselves. If you want to deliver value for your clients, you will need diverse talent, views and thinking that reflect the modern society in which you operate. So, here are some top reasons, why your company needs to enact diversity initiatives:
Better company reputation
With many UK companies publicly disclosing their policies in diversity and inclusion (D&I), there’s heightened public awareness. Organisations, employing individuals from different backgrounds generally gain a reputation for being a good employer, whilst enhancing their employer brand. Moreover, a diverse workforce can boost corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts. D&I and CSR both entail reaching out to disenfranchised communities to drive innovative, collaborative solutions ultimately with the same goal: improving quality of life.
Quality candidate attraction and employee retention
In today’s competitive world the battle for talent is on, as employers are aggressively seeking the best and the brightest to build their businesses. Conversely, employees are eager to work with companies that align with their values, naming diversity as one of the things that matters most. The reason behind this is that organisations demonstrating inclusive cultures showcase a willingness to innovate and accept new ideas. Therefore, an employer who promotes diversity is more likely to become an employer of choice.
Variety of skills and increased innovation
Employing people from diverse backgrounds and cultures, can bring a fresh array of perspectives to the table. This can lead to benefits like better problem solving, increased productivity and innovation. Creativity is also enhanced by working alongside people of different backgrounds and experiences. In fact, research supports, diverse teams see a 60% improvement in decision-making abilities.
Customers appreciate employees who understand their problems and can offer tailored solutions to them. A diverse team is more likely to resonate and empathise with your customers and offer better, more personalised solutions. According to a study, by 2020 the customer experience factor will be a key brand differentiator over price and product. This highlights further that personalisation in customer service will become even more essential in business.
Better employee performance
A work environment that consists of a variety of cultures, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, is likely to help employees feel more comfortable to be themselves. In turn, this can lead to a happier, more productive workforce, where everyone is pushing towards the same goal. On the other hand, research shows that a strong, homogeneous culture can stifle natural cognitive diversity due to the pressure to conform. If employees don’t feel like they can be themselves at work, they’re more likely to fear rejection and not utilise their full potential.
Research conducted by McKinsey among 180 companies in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States supports that companies with more diverse top teams were also top financial performers. Hence, organisations with greater workplace diversity are likely to achieve greater profits.
Successful companies should pursue top-team diversity, ambitious strategies, and strong financial performance. Here at Zoek, we do all we can to support workplace diversity, appreciating the importance of equality, providing employers with top quality candidates for their recruitment process.
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