Why Workplace Diversity is Important

As time progresses, American society, including corporate America, is becoming that much more racially and ethnically diverse.  Diversity is becoming increasingly important as a wide range of viewpoints and experiences ultimately enhance the workplace itself as well as a company’s value proposition.  This means it is imperative that organizations of all types and sizes make their employees feel respected and valued, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or gender.  Organizations that lack diversity and those that fail to make workers feel included essentially sabotage the employee experience.

Celebrating Diversity in the Workplace

A truly diverse workforce is inherently stronger as it is highlighted by a multitude of important voices.  Workers of varying backgrounds have unique experiences, points of view, and knowledge.  These idiosyncratic perspectives play an important part in maximizing creativity.  In short, differences in employee experiences and thoughts should be celebrated rather than frowned upon.  These distinct viewpoints are essential to shaping a truly unique value offering that ultimately wins that much more market share as time progresses.

Matthew Bush“Diversity and inclusion are two interconnected concepts—but they are far from interchangeable. Diversity is about representation or the make-up of an entity. Inclusion is about how well the contributions, presence, and perspectives of different groups of people are valued and integrated into an environment.” ~ Matt Bush, Culture Coaching Lead ~ Great Place to Work

Consider the Employee Experience

The recent slew of social injustices makes it increasingly clear that plenty of Americans lack a broad perspective on social issues.  Companies that intentionally enhance workforce diversity force their current employees to consider alternative opinions and incorporate new input into the organization’s value proposition.  Several new voices in the room that provide unique insight create important and rewarding differences within teams.  In fact, employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to perform their best at work (Salesforce).

A racially diverse workforce features the perspectives of those with a multitude of experiences, knowledge, opinions, identities, and backgrounds. Glassdoor reports that nearly 70% of job-seekers consider diversity as a key factor when evaluating businesses and offers of employment. The moral of this story is a truly diverse workforce proves mutually beneficial for a society characterized by ongoing social injustice as well as the company itself and its employees.

As an example, Dynamic Signal customer, Essilor hosts a weekly “Leaders Corner” where employees can surface their questions and opinions to executives, ensuring their input is heard and further strengthening Essilor’s close-knit, inclusive culture. Creative programs like this encourage and inspire employees to contribute – bridging the gap between the workforce and the C-Suite by giving everyone a voice.

Diversity in the Workplace is Quickly Proving Essential to Company Success

Workplace DiversityThere is a common misconception that making a concerted effort to enhance the diversity of a workforce requires the implementation of quotas for the hiring of a specific number of racial minorities.  In reality, a push for corporate workforce diversity is characterized by interviewing and hiring people from all walks of life.  The logic in interviewing, vetting, and eventually hiring people of varying races and ethnicities is not to hit a diversity quota; rather, the overarching goal of a workplace diversity initiative is to enhance the company and its products/services.

In fact, a racially diverse workforce also enhances employee engagement.  Deloitte reports more than 80% of millennials feel that much more engaged with work when their employer provides a truly diverse workplace culture.

It is time for the leaders of corporate America to recognize the inherent value of a truly racially diverse workforce.  Oftentimes, racially homogenous workforces suffer from a sort of Orwellian groupthink in which the majority of employees think along the same lines.

Alternatively, companies that push for workforce diversity benefit from a myriad of employee experiences and backgrounds that lead to truly heterogeneous thinking.  A diverse workforce leads to the diversity of thought, irreverence for the status quo, and a pushing of boundaries. Such irreverence for convention is exactly what companies need to provide a unique value offering that captures more market share and ultimately advances the bottom line.

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G.I. Sanders

G.I. Sanders is Senior Director, Creative Services at Dynamic Signal. He specializes in entrepreneurship, digital and social media, design, and marketing. G.I. is based in Dallas, TX with his wife and two sons. Passions include technology, startups, music, fitness and sports.