How building a diverse team can benefit your business
Diversity in business is growing at a rapid rate, with companies across the UK and the US embracing a cosmopolitan attitude. Due to the increased focus on inclusion and fairness in the workplace, we’re seeing more support for disabled employees, people from the LGBT communities, different religions and cultural backgrounds, as well as better working rights for women. Back in 2010, The Equality and Human Rights Commission published a range of guidance on all aspects of the Quality Act, which included a code of practice on employment, to support companies in promoting diversity. And as we continue to level the playing field, businesses will learn that diversity isn’t just good for team dynamics, it can also benefit the company in the long-run.
Let’s face it, if you’re constantly hiring people from identical backgrounds with the same experiences, you’re going to end up generating a lot of the same ideas. Increasing diversity in the workplace doesn’t just improve employee satisfaction, it also invites many different experiences into the office, providing people with a safe space to share. Whether those early, personal experiences are positive, such as religious festivals or negative experiences like bullying due to being different, they give everyone their own perspective. That diversity leads to greater innovation in branding and ideas, which can only boost your company’s place in the market.
In addition to great ideas, those unique experiences mean that your employees are more likely to be able to relate to others and have more empathy for both clients and other staff members. Research suggests that emotional intelligence now accounts for 75% of a person’s ability to succeed, so it makes sense to prioritise this when you’re building a team. By ensuring diversity and inclusion, you can create a respectful environment where people are more likely to consider other people’s values, experiences and ideas.
Boosting client relationships
A diverse team means that your company will gain a better understanding of your customers, and be able to relate to different teams within an organisation. For example, a disabled employee is likely to better understand the needs of a disabled client or their markets, and make adjustments accordingly. According to CIPD, diversity reflects well on a company as it shows they are committed to social inclusion. This, in turn, attracts new clients, as well as boosting relationships with existing ones. It improves the brand’s overall image, which is a positive step towards creating more business.
We know that millennials are attracted to companies who demonstrate good corporate social responsibility, with three-quarters of young people seeking brands that reflect their moral ethics and values. Commitment to ethical business practice is reflected in a company’s hiring process, something which many people know to take notice of. To attract and retain good talent that will keep your business generating a healthy profit, you need to tap into the values of your team and provide them with a diverse and inclusive workspace. By increasing diversity, you may even find yourself attracting candidates with unique and valuable insights into business, and boost your client portfolio as a result.
Improved gender dynamics
Research shows that for every 10% increase in gender diversity, a company can boost its profits by 2-4%. Diversity and improved representation of both genders can lead to greater debate and better decision making in companies, as well as changing the dynamics of leadership. If the executive level team is made up of 50% women, it is likely to bring more balance to the office, making other employees feel that their voices will be heard and recognised by management. People tend to work more efficiently if they feel their viewpoint will be represented, leading to a happier, more hardworking team.
Diversity is a huge part of developing an ethical, empathetic and unique team. Through better understanding and engagement we can not only make employees feel happier and more productive at work but also improve the brand’s overall image and future success.