Whether it is class, race, gender, sexuality, age or disability, there are many barriers that can – if we’re not careful – divide us. The drive for diversity is, in essence, the fight to break down these barriers and ensure that none of those factors hold people back in life.
Nowhere is that more marked than the workplace, the place where life chances are made and shaped. But diversity really shouldn’t be seen as problem for you to solve. Embracing diversity in your workplace can bring big benefits and enhance your operation.
Here is why you need diversity…
Variety of views are healthy
No matter what your business is – or how creative your output has to be – you will undoubtedly face challenges that need to be discussed. The best businesses can call upon a variety of people from different backgrounds, who can each approach a situation with an alternative perspective and help to find a solution. If you sit around the table with ten very similar people, then you are unlikely to be able to explore the challenge you face from every angle. Better planning and breadth of discussion should lead to more successful outcomes and, hopefully, a more productive organisation too.
Your customers are diverse
Take a look around at the world we live in. In particular, take a look at the people who are your customers. To deliver the products and services that they want, and will purchase, you need to be able to understand who they are and what they are looking for. A diverse team allows you to reflect your customer base much more naturally and ensures you don’t end up just churning out things that you want.
If you want to attract and retain the best staff that you can find then you need to develop a positive reputation as an employer. As a business that draws on talent from a diverse pool, you’ll be able to get that. Candidates will be able to look at the people you employ and see that you have no glass ceiling in the way of their career ambitions. Too many businesses feel like a closed shop to those on the outside, even if they are not.
It’s the right thing to do
Best of all, it’s the right thing to do. If an employee is great at what they do – and can deliver the results you need – then you should try to get them on your team. Talent and ability trump any other factors and by taking a positive step and reaching out to people from different walks of life you have the best possible chance of finding the talent you need.
The barriers are all in your mind
Finally, it’s easy to think that running a diverse office is harder than it is. These days, with HR management software it is much more straightforward to handle paperwork and focus on the pastoral care that you need to give your employees. Modern buildings and offices also make it far simpler to give a chance to people with disabilities, who are all too easily overlooked.