Diversity at companies is more than just about “equal pay for equal work”, even more than about the fair and unprejudiced treatment of employees. Yes, it is all that, too – but having a diverse group of people on board has also become a business factor. Diversity means higher productivity, faster innovation – and therefore more success.
If you work in HR, trying to convince you that diversity is important would be preaching to the choir. However, you might sometimes find it hard to explain why this issue should deserve any special care or attention. We’d like to help you out in these situations – here are a few arguments you can use to evangelise non-believers.
You ensure your people stay on board
One core aspect of managing diversity is that you embrace it and promote a corporate culture that values different backgrounds, ethnicities, and viewpoints. This will make employees feel more comfortable in their own skin – and less likely to leave.
Employees don’t get sick as often
Many causes for sick leave have psychological roots. If exclusion, bullying, explicit and implicit discrimination, and unfair treatment are not dealt with adequately, you will have a higher rate of absenteeism. In diverse teams, those misconducts are less likely because being different is not considered something to be ashamed of, but an asset.
You’ll have an easier time to attract talent
If you disregard discriminatory factors such as age, gender, or sexual orientation during your recruitment process, your selection of potential candidates becomes larger right away. And the fact alone that you have a diverse group of employees will be a convincing reason for many potential candidates to join you instead of your competitor.
Diverse teams outperform others
If you don’t have much time to convince someone that diversity is a good thing if in fact you only have one argument you can bring across, make it this one: Many scientific studies have shown that diverse teams are significantly more productive than teams where individual members have similar traits and backgrounds. They contribute a larger variety of viewpoints, initiatives, methods, and experiences – a fertile breeding ground for productivity and innovation.
You’ll strengthen your brand
Being an employer who embraces diversity and being different – and who has a track record of praying what you preach in this regard – will have a positive impact on your company’s image. And if your products or services are targeted at a diverse customer base, it will very likely also have a positive impact on sales numbers.
For most people, it’s not hard to see that diversity within a company is an asset, not a burden. Hopefully, you will never need all of the above arguments to convince someone that this is the case. But if you ever do, we hope that they will help you get the job done.
For more information, download Janet Sayers eBook Managing Diversity
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