Having a diverse workplace is more than just good HR and the following of legal legislation, it looks at the value of each employee as an individual and ensuring that your organisation boasts an environment and culture where all employees feel included, able to participate and supported in achieving their fullest potential. Having an effective workplace inclusion and diversity plan aims to add value to the organisation whilst simultaneously contributing to employee wellbeing, productivity and engagement.
What is workplace diversity?
Workplace diversity is the term used for having a workplace that is made up of employees with varying characteristics including that of sex, gender, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, religion (the protected characteristics) as well as many other characteristics. An organisation that is successful in having workplace diversity will be composed of employees with a wide variety of these characteristics and experiences.
Whilst in previous years diversity mainly focused on just the protected characteristics, it has now developed and is becoming increasingly aware of other characteristics such as political belief, education, socioeconomic background, location and military service.
Why is workplace diversity important?
Workplace diversity does not just improve organisation reputation and employer branding, there are also many other tangible benefits that can be a result of successful workplace inclusion and diversity –
The tangible benefits of having a diverse workforce
- Different perspectives and out of the box problem-solving – Having a variety of employees from different backgrounds and who have had different experiences, will all see things in different ways, ultimately providing a wider variety of solutions and innovative ideas that management can utilise.
- Increased Profits – Research conducted by McKinnseys outlined that depending on the industry, organisations with higher levels of workplace diversity can outperform the norms of the industry by up to 35%.
- Increased employee engagement and morale – Individuals from different backgrounds can often relate well to each other, supporting each other in the tackling of corporate and social prejudices. Therefore, in organisations with a diverse workforce where individuals are accepted and supported regardless, staff morale is high. Furthermore, organisations that boast a diverse culture are more likely to have reduced turnover, especially from employees who have characteristics that fall under those protected.
- More successful Hiring results – A survey conducted by glass door highlighted that over 60% of applicants consider an organisations workplace diversity and inclusion policies when applying for and considering jobs.