Jun 3, 2020 in Research

Workplace Diversity

Introduction

The role of workplace diversity is fundamental because this concept is the main ingredient for success and a key impetus for revolutionary innovation. Moreover, diversity ensures a unique opportunity for companies and organizations to be incredibly successful on a global scale. Improving or enhancing workplace diversity has become one of the most critical issues for management as many companies have effective diversity strategies and tactics in place.

The current paper aims to analyse and evaluate why diverse workforces usually perform better. Moreover, it will focus on the most important advantages of organizational diversity and how this phenomenon benefits every employee and a company as a whole. Finally, this essay will provide examples of companies and corporations committed to diversity issues.

 

The Concept of Workforce Diversity

Although the term “diversity” is multidimensional and highly debated, researchers usually define this concept as the ability to recognize and understand differences between people, considering their race, age, gender, worldviews, religion, physical abilities, sexual orientation, social status, and many other factors. In addition, the concept of workplace diversity or, in other words, organizational diversity, focuses on acceptance and genuine respect. Patrick & Kumar, who explore the benefits and downsides of workplace diversity and organizational diversity management, claim that the phenomenon of diversity incorporates numerous dimensions, including socioeconomic status and religious beliefs, that should be explored in a positive, friendly, and fostering atmosphere. The authors of the study maintain that diversity mainly focuses on a system of conscious practices that recognize and appreciate interdependence and differences in cultures, viewpoints, habits, beliefs, and traditions. However, the scholars emphasize that despite the fact that the term “workplace diversity” sounds very simple, the concept of diversity should not be limited to how employees perceive themselves. On the contrary, workplace diversity teaches and inspires every employee to review and reassess the way they perceive and treat other employees because these perceptions influence and shape interactions and collaboration among workers. In general, the concept of workplace diversity is versatile and may drastically vary from one company to another.

Reasons Why Diverse Workforce Performs Better

According to the results of the statistics data, radically diverse workforce usually results in increased performance because diversity has the power to boost productivity, foster creativity, and motivate employees to generate fresh ideas. In addition, a significant percentage of respondents agree that diverse workforce brings better results because the concept of diversity contributes to innovation and encourages employees to assess situations from different perspectives. Nowadays, almost all reputable and successful companies and organizations maintain and develop strong diversity cultures within organizations because diversity increases happiness and productivity of employees, attracts the attention of top talents, has a positive impact on the financial health of businesses, considerably strengthens customer orientation, influences the processes of decision-making, and creates a favourable organizational image. 

Diversity in the workplace really matters in today’s flexible and competitive business environment because diverse workforce does not only perform better financially, but also creates a healthy working atmosphere and acts as a cohesive and collaborative team, where every employee is respected and valued. One of the recent reports with the participation of 366 companies on the territory of Canada, the USA, and the UK provides convincing evidence that companies which promote racial and ethnic diversity are approximately 35 percent more likely to have significant financial returns. Moreover, gender diversity is not less significant than ethnic and race diversities because the representation of women has not only increased but also yielded unbelievably positive results. Mixed-gender teams in the workplace lead to higher performance and maintain a more collaborative and warm workplace atmosphere. Diverse employees are better performers because they behave and act ethnically, respect worldviews and opinions of co-workers, practice open and transparent communication, are more collaborative and friendly, and, finally, are more connected and supportive.

 The researchers who explore the phenomenon of diversity and its importance in the workplace claim that workforce diversity focuses on four main pillars purposed to maximize financial performance, leverage talent, foster innovation, and maintain a fair name. Professionals in the fields of psychology, economics, and sociology assure that socially diverse groups and teams perform better because individuals with extremely diverse individual expertise are more cohesive and supportive at solving challenging and complex problems, compared to homogeneous groups of people. Although numerous studies indicate that social diversity in the workplace may accumulate interpersonal conflicts and cause discomfort, it is the key to remarkable innovation as well as strategic decision-making and ethical problem-solving. 

Diversity in the Workplace: Employee Benefits

Diversity in the workplace has a myriad of tremendous benefits. Firstly, continuous learning and professional development are crucial employee benefits because diversity within companies and organizations creates valuable opportunities for personal and professional growth and development of every employee. Secondly, the exposure of every employee to unusual cultures, mystical traditions, and dynamic perspectives shapes their insights, beliefs, and expectations. Employees who spend their time and collaborate with a diverse workforce subconsciously destroy the barriers of ethnocentrism, discrimination, xenophobia, and generalizations. In addition, researchers suggest that diversity in the workplace contributes to more honest, meaningful, and efficient communication. Workplace diversity does not only broaden the team’s perspectives, but also makes employees smarter and increases their levels of emotional intelligence. Taking into account the claims of the researchers who address the notion of diversity and explore its impact on employee growth and development, it is possible to conclude that workplace diversity provides new employees with a unique opportunity to work in the environment where they can expect to develop and advance. 

Diversity improves relations between employees as the term “workplace diversity” has nothing in common with prejudices, stereotypes, blaming, harassment, and discriminatory viewpoints. Finally, researchers have revealed fascinating evidence that commitment to diversity issues decreases litigation and reduces employee complaints. Thus, diversity in the workplace has a tremendously positive impact on employees because it encourages them to be sincere and direct in discussing personal ideas and emotions, motivates to show interest in diversity, promotes equality, encourages employees to set and achieve common goals and missions, and contributes to the growth of every person on personal and professional levels. 

Diversity in the Workplace: Employee Benefits

Workplace diversity offers a vast array of benefits to companies because organizations with diverse employees are perfectly suited for providing services to diverse clients in an increasingly globalized and competitive world market. The recruitment of diverse employees is a predominant task for every successful business because it ensures a valuable chance to drive future growth, attract the attention of diverse customers, and maintain competitive advantage. Commitment to diversity is one of the most creative and innovative ways to increase customers base and attract the attention of experienced and skilled professionals from diverse backgrounds. By maintaining and developing a diverse workforce, companies will have an opportunity not only to cope with a multitude of various consumer concerns, but also to build stable communities within diverse populations.

According to the results of the statistical data, diversity in the workplace increases productivity, boosts effective organizational performance, fosters creativity and innovation, reduces crime rates and lawsuits, and enhances marketing opportunities. In the sphere where flexibility, creativity, and innovation are the key to competitive advantage, diversity is the heart of organizational success. Bedi et al., who explore workplace diversity as the biggest opportunity for businesses to globalize and integrate, promote the idea that every company recognizes immediate benefits of workforce diversity because this diverse experience results in high levels of productivity. In addition, workplace diversity considerably increases candidate pool as the companies and organizations that are truly committed to diversity draw the attention of highly educated, skilled, and persistent candidates willing to work in a diverse environment. Diverse companies and organizations are more progressive, compared to those that do not hire employees from diverse backgrounds. Furthermore, diversity fosters the integration of companies into new territories and communities because commitment to diversity teaches employees to appreciate cultural differences. Professionals in the sphere of economics claim that diversity has multiple advantages to the workplace and organizations because diverse workforce has an adequate understanding of the main principles of the global marketplace. Thus, diversity boosts productivity, increases creativity and innovation, eliminates aggression and discrimination, enhances decision-making and problem-solving processes, and directly promotes organizational excellence. Commitment to workforce diversity motivates companies and employees to acknowledge the reality where all people differ in a variety of visible and invisible ways. Companies and corporations should manage and invest in diversity at strategic, operational, and, finally, tactical levels because diversity opens new markets, attracts diverse customers, improves the quality of performance in existing markets, creates values, and promotes competitiveness. 

The Best Companies for Diversity

Companies promote and invest in diversity because this strategy ensures an excellent opportunity to adjust to new cultures, environments, and communities. According to the statistical data provided by the DiversityInc, a famous company on the territory of the USA that explores the issues of diversity in the workplace, more than 1,600 companies and organizations participated in the recent survey in order to measure their diversity. The results of the survey indicate that Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, EY, Johnson & Johnson, MasterCard, Procter & Gamble make the list of the most diverse organizations that are significantly much more committed to various diversity issues than any other average company on the territory of the USA.

According to the official website of Johnson & Johnson, the leaders of this health care company claim that diversity is a central component of their culture across this company. The information provided on the company’s website proves that commitment to diversity and inclusion is an inseparable part  of practices and behaviours of this successful company. Johnson & Johnson has earned recognition and successfully won numerous diversity awards because this giant corporation understands, recognizes, and respects differences in age, race, religions, nationality, sexual orientation, physical ability, thinking styles, and worldviews as this behaviour brings richness in their work environments. This company follows the rule that commitment to diversity is the heart of organizational excellence because it ensures a unique opportunity for people to connect better with the needs and expectations of people in communities in different corners of the globe. Moreover, Johnson & Johnson has developed and implemented a variety of diversity programs and inclusions, especially employee resource groups and mentoring programs in order to expand opportunities as well as foster development of  a diverse workforce within this organization. 

Marriott’s diversity initiatives and practices are constantly improving and updating to support the goals and objectives of global growth and development. Marriott International has a long-standing and brilliant reputation for its fundamental commitment to workplace diversity. For example, this company employs different people regardless of their social status, age, gender, and sexual orientation. The leadership of this company confesses that diversity is the most reliable way to expand on global markets, encourage employees to pursue organizational missions, and deliver exceptional experiences to customers. 

HR: Managing Diversity in the Workplace

Human resource management has a tremendously positive impact on the issues of diversity and inclusion. Moreover, training, or development of employees, is essential because it influences and shapes attitudes of people toward diversity issues. Through effective development and adoption of diversity training programs and courses, human resource departments have a unique opportunity to affect corporate culture, recruitment, productivity, compensation, and, finally, performance of the diverse workforce. HR has the power to make diversity work better by creating a supportive environment, leveraging the main differences and similarities between employees, and maximizing the ability and willingness of people from different backgrounds to work as a cohesive and collaborative team.

Furthermore, researchers provide convincing arguments that balanced and committed HR leadership will have a fundamentally important effect on diverse workforce as it will identify existing opportunities and use all available resources in order to support and improve diversity programs within companies and organizations. Finally, HR diversity management considerably improves organizational performance, enhances open communication, and increases employee satisfaction.

Conclusion

In conclusion, workplace diversity is a must-have policy for all companies and organizations in case they want to experience social, economic, and, finally, political gains. The concept of diversity has a close association with acknowledging, understanding, valuing, celebrating, and respecting differences between people with regard to such factors as age, religion, gender, social status, worldviews, sexual as well as spiritual orientation, and race. By managing diversity in the most efficient manner, companies and corporations have an opportunity to interact and collaborate with different cultures, clients, and communities. Moreover, workplace diversity drastically increases creativity, fosters innovations, builds more cohesive teams, promotes mutual respect, and motivates diverse employees to search for new solutions to challenging situations, new attitudes and beliefs, and new language skills and viewpoints. On the contrary, businesses that ignore the significance of workplace diversity fail to expand, reach global markets, and attract the attention of customers, employees, and partners from diverse backgrounds. Despite the fact that managing diversity is a challenging and time-consuming task, many profitable companies and corporations invest in this process and successfully create harmonious teams that consist of individuals from diverse backgrounds.

logotype

Related essays