A diverse workforce is more than a idea you hear about at human resource training.
Workplace diversity isn’t just an image on a flyer or poster in the break room. You know the one showing the happy go lucky team of coworkers, from various ethnic groups and a wide range of ages, all looking like they’ve been best friends for years. It’s an idea, a concept, that you’d likely never be able to fully comprehend independently.
At the same time it’s not an award, like a plaque to hang on the wall in the HR department. It’s a vital and necessary part of your business culture and can actually help your business survive as the world becomes more and more connected. A world where workers of all genders, abilities, races and ages are making monumental achievements not for themselves but as a reflection of their pride in the organizations in which they work.
When people from a variety of different backgrounds work in a comfortable environment, a natural byproduct is a workplace with a high value on respecting others. People hired into this environment will have an easier time recognizing the talents and strengths of others who are different from themselves.
Another result of this type of environment is the mutual respect needed for conflict resolution and other situations where it is an absolute necessity in order to achieve the most desirable outcome.
Diversity looks good from far away
When you have a workplace with effective conflict resolution and a general atmosphere of mutual respect, chances are your business will garner a decent reputation. When your community connections and recruiting efforts – not just the flyers and posters in the breakroom – show a commitment to diversity, it’s a fair bet that outside organizations will hold yours in much higher regard. When you are hiring, and your business is known for its commitment to having a diverse workforce, your candidate pool will grow, simply from the increased interest in open positions.
Diverse talent pools have taken the lead as priority policy for a variety of companies. During an interview with OneWire, Edith Hunt, former Chief Diversity Officer at Goldman Sachs put it this way:
“We’ve made huge strides in terms of [diversity] numbers, but not as much as we need to get to. So our recruiting efforts, our retention efforts, our career advancement efforts as it relates to women, people from underrepresented racial groups, LGBT people, and people with physical disabilities will continue to be an important pillar of talent management activity at Goldman and of other fine firms.”
What are some of the most recognizable effects of diversity?
Organizations with work forces with a high level of diversity, show significant increases in the areas of employee retention and productivity. Likewise, the overall combined experience and know-how of such a diverse workforce can enhance community relationships, improve the company’s abilities in customer relations, have a positive impact on creativity and provide a boost in its ability to adapt and deal with significant changes to the overall organization. What about lasting impact?
Significantly important to any organization’s long-term survival, is its ability to solve problems effectively. The variety of perspectives from a diverse workforce is a primary component of this. As part of OneWire’s CEO interview series, Seán McCarthy, CEO of Build America Mutual, a municipal bond insurer, explained why he sees diversity as a critical element of his business:
“I think it’s important to have a diverse group of talented people that bring different points of view to the table when you’re doing credit analysis. If you have everybody who thinks the same way and has the same background, you’ll miss the same issue every time.”
Workforce diversity needs to be a top priority, especially in today’s market when more people than ever before have access to, as an example, finance jobs like this one and others listed on our Job Search Engine. Keeping diversity in mind when hiring, will help you build a more productive and efficient team.