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The Effects Of A Diverse Workplace

The Effects Of A Diverse Workplace

What are the effects of a diverse workforce on productivity, working environment, and your company’s bottom line? If you don’t know the answer, you probably need to. While diversity in business is always encouraged, it’s also important to understand how and why it might benefit you when making hiring decisions. These are some of the effects, which have been recorded in diverse workplaces.

Benefits associated with feelings of value

In a diverse workplace, employees are more likely to feel valued and part of a healthy company. They feel more appreciated, more heard by their employer, and more needed. It’s currently unclear whether this is as a direct result of diversity, or rather as an effect of the type of company that creates hiring policies related to diversity. The benefits of your employees feeling this way can include:

  • Increased productivity
  • Willingness to work extra hours or go above and beyond their job description to get the work done
  • Lower rates of absenteeism
  • Lower turnover of staff
  • Improved mental health of employees

It’s important to note that these benefits are only felt when cultural, religious, or racial minorities are made to feel welcome and part of the team. If they are seen as “other” and treated differently to white Christian employees, you will instead see negative effects. Having a diverse workplace does not just mean hiring people of colour – it means welcoming anyone who can do the job right, regardless of their appearance, sexuality, religion, or culture.

Global business boost

When you have a more diverse workforce, you are likely to attract business from further afield. Global companies like to know that they are working with internationally minded suppliers and partners. Having a diverse workforce in terms of hiring employees who originate from other countries also means you may be able to cover more languages when talking to your clients. This means a better ability to do business all round, no matter where your client may be from.

Diverse experience

Coming from different backgrounds, cultures, and countries can mean that your employees have a diverse range of experience as well. This can be instrumental when creating a more productive and efficient workforce. There are different techniques used around the globe to get the job done, and having people who understand these ways can help to speed things up. It’s also important that you have employees on board who understand different cultures. When setting up a new deal with a client from China, for example, it would be extremely advantageous to have a Chinese employee who will fill you in on the niceties and decorum for doing business in their way.

Communication and integration issues

Diversity can, however, have a negative impact on the workforce if certain issues arise. These include the following:

  • Difficulty communicating due to language barriers
  • Inability of an employee to fulfil their role, e.g. a wheelchair-bound employee who is unable to deliver files to the correct locations in the office
  • Feelings of isolation and failure to integrate
  • Resentment over concessions for religion or culture, e.g. allowing a Muslim employee extra breaks for their prayer time
  • Tension regarding cultural differences on how things should be done

If any of these issues arise, it is the responsibility of the HR department to find a fitting solution, which makes everyone happy. Issues that are not addressed will hurt the productivity of the business as well as forcing a higher turnover rate.

 

It’s clear that there are a lot of benefits from a diverse workplace, but that there can be downsides too. The most important thing is a workforce which is productive, highly-skilled, and united.

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Corinne Ledling is a businesswoman who’s very passionate about her job. She’s a Content Manager at Bizstats.co.uk and loves to share her work experience.

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