As workforce demographics shift and global markets emerge, workplace diversity is increasingly becoming necessary in companies, rather than being advertised on their website as part of their commitment to embracing differences and change.
There are clear signs in the Leadership, Employment and Direction (L.E.A.D) Survey results prove that companies are slowly awakening to the positive benefits available through a diverse workforce.
In this week’s blog, we highlight the main points in Senior Professional HR Writer , Ruth Mayhew’s article about how employees reap tangible as well as intangible benefits from a diverse workplace:
Workplace diversity fosters mutual respect among employees. ‘Whether employees work in groups or teams comprised of co-workers with varied work styles, or colleagues who represent different cultures or generations, a synergistic work environment become the norm. Although an idyllic atmosphere may be difficult to achieve, employees nevertheless recognize the many strengths and talents that diversity brings to the workplace and they gain respect for their colleagues’ performance.’*
Conflict is inevitable in every workplace. ‘However, employees who acknowledge others’ differences often also find similarities, particularly when there are common goals -- production and quality. Respect for co-workers either reduces the likelihood of conflict or facilitates an easier road to conflict resolution. The ability to resolve workplace conflict minimizes potential liability for employee complaints that would otherwise escalate to formal matters, such as litigation. Workplace diversity preserves the quality of employees’ relationships with their co-workers and their supervisors.’*
Workplace diversity manifests itself in building a great reputation for the company and may ultimately lead to increased profitability and opportunities for workers. When companies demonstrate their commitment to diversity through aggressive outreach and recruiting efforts, a company known for their ethics, fair employment practices and appreciation for diverse talent is able to better attract a wider pool of qualified applicants.
Another advantage in respect of a positive reputation from workplace diversity includes customer loyalty as they choose to engage with companies who are socially responsible.
‘The appeal of global markets creates two kinds of opportunities for employees: opportunities for promotion and employee development. A global marketplace opens doors for employees with diverse language skills and multicultural understanding to build global profit centres. Employees interested in learning multinational business strategy and who are available or possible assignments may lo find new and challenging career opportunities.’*
“A diverse workplace offers more than exposure to employees from different cultures and backgrounds. Employees learn from co-workers whose work styles vary and whose attitudes about work varies from their own. This is particularly true for employees within multigenerational work environments. Traditional-generation workers learn new technology and processes from workers who belong to the tech-savvy Millennial generation. Likewise, Generation X employees learn from exposure to the assertive, go-getter work ethic typical of many Baby Boomers.’*
Source: Ruth Mayhew, Demand Media, Why is Diversity in the Workplace Important to Employees? , <http://smallbusiness.chron.com/diversity-workplace-important-employees-10812.html>