With a shift in America’s demographics and an increasingly global market, the idea of workplace diversity is becoming more and more pertinent. Sure, there are some companies who continue to cling to the idea of a mono-cultural business, but they’re often not industry leaders or visionary thinkers. Instead, the businesses who are at the forefront of the changing economy are the ones who support and celebrate cultural diversity. From corporate language training to creating more inclusive policies, there are so many things company leaders can do to invest in workplace diversity. And, not surprisingly, those who invest in it often see some great returns:
Why Workplace Diversity is Good for Business
• Increased productivity. According to the Center for American Progress, employees who work at culturally-inclusive businesses are often more loyal, more productive, and more satisfied with their jobs than their peers who work elsewhere.
• Increased customer base. . Research shows that companies a diverse set of employees are better able to reach and serve a diverse set of customers. This is especially important when you consider that the buying power of women and minorities has greatly surpassed that of white males.
• Increased innovation. In 2012, a group of leaders from around the world met to discuss the future of business. They agreed that a successful business – and community, for that matter – could only maintain a high level of innovation if it supported an increasingly diverse population.
Everyday, new studies are published that highlight the positive impact that diversity can have on the future of a company. Luckily, being one of those businesses can be as easy as investing in one of these strategies:
How to Support Workplace Diversity
• Start at the top. A directive from the CEO or owner can lend a lot of credibility to a new initiative. If you’re at the beginning of embracing workplace diversity, encourage the company leader to make a public statement or to engage in conversation about the topic with employees.
• Invest in programming. Partnering with outside organizations that specialize in creating connections to diverse populations can be a great way to support workplace diversity. Consider paying for employees to attend corporate language training classes or bring in consultants to lead workshops on issues in diversity.
• Revise the employee handbook. Offer “parent sick days” so parents can stay home to tend to ill children. Invest in on-site daycare or childcare subsidies. The idea here is to change any policies that may be making it difficult for great employees to produce their best work.
Understanding the value of workplace diversity is an important step towards creating a culturally inclusive work environment. And research shows that the more culturally inclusive a company is, the more likely that business is to grow.
Patrick Whalen is a writer who specializes in SEO. He has written for numerous web sites. Follow him at @2patwhalen.