The Advantages of Diversity in the Workplace

By:  Alex F. Gray

How diverse is your workplace? While there are many people who think it is best to surround themselves with people that think like they do, studies have shown that there are actually many advantages of having diversity in the workplace. In addition to making your day at work more interesting on a daily basis, diversity offers new ways of thinking and new ways of solving old problems that have plagued a business for years.

Diversity involves celebrating people's differences as well as their similarities. Even small businesses can find diversity, but companies must work to develop a diverse work force. If hiring managers truly set out to find the best employees, there should be a natural spread of diversity. However, there is the tendency that we are often subconsciously drawn to other people like us. Hiring managers would do well to fight this tendency and encourage diversity.

Companies that value diversity will take time to recognize the uniqueness of each individual. They will encourage individuals to share from their past experiences and try to avoid the seven deadly words of "We've never done it that way before."

Companies that embrace diversity find that they often experience lower rates of absenteeism, and higher rates of productivity. Companies have lower employee turnover rates as well. In addition, companies that embrace diversity are less likely to be sued in discrimination lawsuits.

Companies which embrace diversity are also more likely to have the best understanding of their market. The truth is that most successful companies sell their products to a diverse market. If a company chooses to hire all like employees they are likely to miss some important understanding of the potential market. If they have a diverse set of employees, they are more likely to understand that market.

Companies should look at diversity as an investment. There may be some necessary chaos to adding diversity as employees learn to work together. They may even be times of disagreement, however when allowed in a healthy environment, the chaos and disagreement often leads to growth of individuals as well as the company itself.

Companies will only develop diversity if they are willing to begin at the top and work down toward the grassroots level. Trying to add diversity at the bottom of the ranks rarely works well. When companies come to value employees and celebrate their differences as well as likenesses, there is growth that takes place both personally and as an institution.

Article Source Ezine Articles



Jan 26