What Is A Diverse Workplace? (Definition And Benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 4 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

As diversity becomes a more prevalent topic among professionals, you may notice that some companies choose to implement more diversity in the workplace. In addition to providing a wide variety of professionals with similar opportunities to thrive, diversity in the workplace comes with several other benefits. If you work in the human resources department of a company, you can benefit from knowing more about this topic. In this article, we define diversity in a professional context, list the benefits of having a diverse workplace and explore some effective ways to increase workplace diversity.

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What Is A Diverse Workplace?

A diverse workplace is a work environment that hires a diverse group of people from various backgrounds. If you notice a mix of people with different genders, races, nationalities, sexual orientations and educational backgrounds in your workplace, then your workplace may rightfully be called a diverse workplace. Workplace diversity entails not only employing a varied workforce but also ensuring the company treats all employees equally.

Having a varied work environment means that professionals from a variety of backgrounds with a range of different experiences can succeed in their respective roles. A varied work environment can contribute innovative ideas. It can also increase productivity, besides providing professionals with the right opportunities and resources which they might require to do their job well.

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What Are The Benefits Of Workplace Diversity?

Workplace diversity can make employees feel that they have as much scope for climbing the corporate ladder as any other professional in the same company. This diversity is vital not just for the well-being of a company's culture and employees, but also for the company's sustained growth and success. These are some benefits of workplace diversity:

Better cultural sensitivity

Organisations that have people from various backgrounds are often culturally aware and sensitive. Acknowledging and considering the viewpoints and opinions of the kinds of people who represent a company's target audience can help the company provide more genuine and sympathetic offerings. For example, if an advertising team wants to develop a commercial appealing to people of Bengali descent, it could be a good idea to include someone from this background on the team. This ensures that the company depicts Bengali individuals appropriately and accurately.

More creativity

When professionals from various backgrounds interact, they may come up with more innovative ideas. Team members can exchange ideas that are impacted by their individual life experiences and viewpoints. When people with similar backgrounds work together, there is redundancy and a lack of innovative thinking.

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More talented candidates

Committing to diversity can help you recruit better candidates if you want the top talent for your team. You may persuade potential applicants to apply to your organisation by demonstrating that you cherish, respect and uplift people from different backgrounds. Recruiting a varied group of individuals might help you find more talented employees. Giving diverse candidates the opportunity to work together and to develop professionally can help companies form a competent workforce.

Better reputation

Having a diverse workplace can help boost a company's brand image. This is especially true if your target audience comprises people from different backgrounds. Consumers who value diversity may be more likely to support a company that makes it a priority to hire a diverse workforce. A corporation can show its commitment to social good by recruiting a diverse group of people and treating them equally.

Improved acceptance

People may become more accepting of one another when they spend more time with individuals who are different from them. You may discover that you have a lot in common with individuals you believe are different if you get to know them. Even though there are substantial variations, regular interactions can help people gain a better understanding of other cultures and backgrounds. Professionals can learn from each other and strive to be more accepting when they have a safe atmosphere to appreciate their differences.

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More skills to use

A diversified workforce typically contributes a wider range of skills. This varied set of abilities can aid in the development of better products and services for a business. Employees can also interact and share more effectively when they have a diverse set of talents that are compatible with each other. You might even discover that your colleagues can assist one another in developing their abilities, resulting in a more talented and unified team.

Improved problem-solving capabilities

Bringing people from various backgrounds together to solve problems is beneficial, as each member may bring their own set of unique talents and experiences to the work environment. This can assist a professional team in coming up with better and more inclusive solutions. Each person perceives a situation in a unique way, and unique perspectives are important for innovation.

More representation

When you have workplace diversity, you are more likely to produce work that represents a wider range of people. When creating a commercial or writing a blog, for example, you can come up with ideas that can appeal to a wide range of individuals belonging to different religions, geographies, educational backgrounds, industries and ethnicities. It can be a positive experience for people to see media, commercials and other forms of communication that accurately portray them.

Reduced employee turnover

Companies can reduce employee turnover by implementing progressive rules in the workplace. By demonstrating that your firm values diversity, you can set up a platform for appreciating and enabling a wide variety of professionals. Initiatives towards incorporating diversity may appeal to a workforce and motivate them to pursue a continued engagement with a company.

Increased productivity

Allowing people from various backgrounds to make an impact can improve employee morale, which can lead to increased productivity. Employees may feel more devoted to organisational goals and may try to work efficiently and productively. Similarly, more innovative thinking leads to better production solutions. When you have a lot of ideas to work with, your organisation may come up with more efficient methods to accomplish its business goals.

Improved conflict resolution

Employees can better understand each other's differences in a workplace that is diverse. This can typically reduce the chance of disagreements between even the most diverse team members. Differences often unite professionals who share the same organisational or career objectives.

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Increased confidence

Employees at an organisation are more likely to be confident in their abilities if they see that the company values their unique competencies. Individual team members may easily communicate their ideas, develop professionally and enjoy and take pride in their job if the organisation encourages diversity. When organisations support their diversity, employees may find the courage to express themselves truly.

Improved employee engagement

Employees are much more likely to perform successfully in an atmosphere that prioritises diversity and inclusion. The objective of diversity and inclusion is that it benefits everyone, not just under-represented groups. Encouraging everyone to believe in their abilities may help to raise morale and employee engagement throughout the business operation.

Ways To Increase Workplace Diversity

These are some effective ways to incorporate diversity in a workplace:

Evaluating existing work culture and composition

Evaluate the nature of the current workforce and observe how diverse it is at present. This can help you identify areas where the company performs well or poorly in terms of diversity. For example, if you are a hiring manager and you notice that the management team comprises entirely of men with engineering and MBA degrees, consider recruiting women in management with relevant academic qualifications that lie outside these domains. You can, for instance, consider recruiting qualified candidates from disciplines like psychology, marketing or data science.

Focusing on diversity at multiple levels of an organisation

Companies that value diversity usually have a diverse workforce at all levels. If a company has a diverse executive workforce that operates under the supervision of a relatively less diverse management team, it may not experience all the benefits of its diversification strategies. Diversity at multiple levels of organisation ensures that there are multiple perspectives available at each individual level. This is especially important for institutions like start-ups, which can benefit greatly from having an administrative team with varied competencies and areas of expertise.

Observing and representing the local community

It is beneficial if a workforce's composition represents the ethnic, cultural and religious make-up of the local community. The same applies to parameters like gender as well. Hiring managers can achieve this by establishing procedures to provide equal representation and opportunity to all qualified community members regardless of age, gender, religion, ethnicity, educational background and race.

Providing diversity training

Diversity training typically happens after the stages of recruitment and onboarding. It focuses on making individuals capable of functioning effectively in a diverse work environment. These modules help sensitise professionals to social and cultural differences and the varied formative influences they may observe in the workplace.

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