Diversity in the workplace involves a lot of things and goes beyond having a workforce with people of diverse race, age, cultural background, religious affiliations. It even goes beyond maintaining an equal number of employees from both genders.
Diversity is Success
Increasing Productivity by Diversity
Despite the similarities we share as humans, the understanding that everyone is unique, made up of distinct capabilities and traits is essential in building a team. When you have different people with different levels of experience, there could be a synergy of ideas, creativity and balanced perspective to issues which guarantees maximum productivity.
From business research studies, diversity in the workplace is known to have benefits, the following are:
1. It gives room for innovation to thrive.
There is always a synergy of ideas that give rise to great concepts and methods that get the work done smoothly and efficiently when people with different working methods, different experiences work together. Under the umbrella of workplace diversity, there is this division of labor that allows very body approach work from his angle of strength. Everyone gets an equal platform to contribute its quota, giving room for innovation to thrive for the progress of the organization.
2. Boosts employee performance
Diversity in the workplace gives people a sense of belonging and the feeling that though they different they are part of a family. Once achieving this, employees happily give their best with lots of confidence as they know they won’t get discriminated. Through this means, the employees are united, motivated and highly productive and can surmount any form of challenge.
3. Offers a variety of skills, talents, and experiences
The presence of different kinds of people in an organization provides a rich array of skills, abilities, and experiences. These qualities can be transferred from one staff to another, as employees learn from each other.
4. Makes growth and expansion of business to be very easy
When a company has people from different cultural backgrounds, who speak different languages, the language barrier no longer poses any form of challenge, for the growth and expansion of such company. It becomes easy for the company to operate and compete with its counterparts anywhere in the world.
5. It adds quality to the pool of talents
An employer that values diversity in the workplace will surely attract a lot of potential employees to his or her organization with different kind of abilities, from different walks of life. The more an organization absorbs diversity in its workforce the more it boosts its chances of having exceptional employees in its team, which is very good for any organization.
Regardless of the benefits of diversity of workplace diversity, it also has accompanying challenges which could undermine the progress of the organization if not handled properly. Such challenges of this sort could be due to differences in cultural backgrounds, sexual orientation, religious affiliations leading to misconceptions about topical issues which could affect harmony during work hours.
Another serious challenge posed by workplace diversity is with regards to communication, this is because every group communicates concepts in different manners. Interpretation of emails, body language, may not be uniform and could hamper effective communication. The response to change will also not be the same as not everyone is brought up in the same manner. Some person will readily adapt to change while others will attack the source of change even to the detriment of the organization progress.
Considering these challenges, it becomes necessary that managers are at the helm of affairs be supportive and accommodate the various groups of people, relate to each person as an individual, knowing that their backgrounds are not the same. Companies should create a platform like get together or a picnic where employees get to air their views comfortably, and bond with each other as a family. The human resources management should be useful in handling issues emanating from the diversity that affects productivity. If we effectively address the challenges of workplace diversity, it strengthens the organizations and enables it to reap the full benefits that workplace diversity has to offer.
Linda Rawson is the CEO, and Founder of DynaGrace Enterprises, (http://DynaGrace.com) which is a Women-Owned, Small Business. She is also the author of The Minority and Women-Owned Small Business Guide to Government Contracts.