09 Aug The Value of Diversity and Inclusion in Staffing: Creating a Stronger, More Productive Workforce
America has long been referred to as a “melting pot” of cultures and people from all over the world, coming here for the chance at a better life.
Does your company’s staffing reflect that? Does it represent the full range of diversity in background, cultures, identities and influences found in your community?
Diversity and inclusion aren’t just buzzwords or “feel good” topics; companies that embrace and prioritize hiring people from various backgrounds are more successful than their competitors who do not.
Here’s why and how diversity and inclusion, at the center of your staffing priorities, can make your company even stronger, more productive and more successful.
- Develop a more creative team. Inherently, people who grew up in different neighborhoods have a different way of looking at the world. Expand that to different cities, states and countries and you’re adding depth to your talent pool and expanding the abilities available on your team. This also adds creativity and methods of thinking about things and problem solving. Someone who is unfamiliar with certain tactics or practices is not beholden to them; there’s no better way to look at a problem with new eyes than giving it to someone who isn’t locked into a traditional way of solving it and is ready to try something brand new.
- Build relationships and respect from the bottom up. A welcoming atmosphere and attitude from everyone within your company, from the person who answers the phone and greets guests up to the CEO, creates a safe place where everyone is treated with respect. When that is the foundation upon which people build relationships with their colleagues, everyone feels empowered to be their authentic selves, opening up stronger lines of communication and better trust among employees.
- Improve your reputation. If your company is historically known to employ only certain employees from certain backgrounds, universities/colleges, programs, etc., expanding your reach to new backgrounds can do wonders for your reputation. Companies need to be perceived as open and welcoming, willing to change the way “business as usual” has historically been conducted. If all the photos on your company’s website feature a homogenized array of smiling faces, that’s sending a very strong message to clients, customers and potential job candidates alike. At the very least, you could be dissuading top talent from applying to open positions; at the worst, it could be setting your company up for a discrimination lawsuit and severe damage to your reputation.
- Create opportunities for new customer and client bases. If you have people on your team who can speak different languages, now you have someone in-house who can help you reach new markets. You have ambassadors who can go into new communities, new areas and help build strong relationships, speaking highly on behalf of your company and your work. People feel more comfortable talking and working with someone who looks like them and understands their background; diversifying your workplace to make it more diverse expands the world in which your company can operate.
- Improve employee morale and, in turn, productivity. This is a pretty simple concept: Someone who feels like the odd person out, if they’re surrounded by people who don’t look like them or share their culture or background, won’t ever feel as comfortable or allow their true self or strengths to shine while at work. They’ll be a little timid, a little reserved, because they’ll feel uncomfortable speaking up. As the workforce expands and diversifies, those concerns and intimidations start to decrease; people begin to feel more confident and comfortable. When people are comfortable at work, they can focus on their assignments and projects and can work harder as a result, improving productivity. Happy employees are happy workers, dedicating more time and energy to their tasks. That also leads to improved employee morale, as everyone is in a better mood and getting along better.
According to studies, 85% of CEOs, a vast majority, say their company has become more successful, productive and profitable after they focused on expanding their diversity and inclusion efforts. Research from Forbes Insights suggests companies with diverse management teams have 19% higher revenue than their competitors; companies with a diverse staff are 1.7 times more likely to be a leader in their industry and, based on conversations with 500 companies, each 1% increase in gender and racial diversity corresponded with increased sales revenue. It’s a matter of how quickly you can include goals and strategy to improve your diversity, not if that’s the right approach to take.
If you’re ready to make a change, call LeadingEdge Personnel. Our recruiters can help you meet your diversity and inclusion goals by helping find the most qualified candidates that best represent the community in which your company is located. Give us a call today and start reaping the benefits!