Diversity is often linked to the concept of inclusion. In the context of the workplace, diversity is characterized by understanding, acceptance and appreciation of differences when it comes to race, ethnicity, gender, and age, as well as education, skills, and experience. Several studies have underlined the benefits of forming diverse teams.
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increased creativity and innovation
Employees from diverse backgrounds have different perspectives and points of view thanks to their culture and education. When working together on a project, they bring their own frame of mind and are able to challenge each other, which allows for unique and varied ideas to emerge. Team creativity is stimulated and the capacity for innovation is strengthened.
superior problem-solving and decision-making
Thanks to their diverse experiences, team members are able to provide varied and complementary solutions when faced with challenges—this improves the process of how decisions are made. According to the Harvard Business Review, diverse teams are able to solve problems faster than teams of people who share similar knowledge.
a positive return on investment
A team’s diversity also has a positive impact on their employer’s bottom line. A 2018 study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group surveyed 1,700 companies in eight countries. It concluded that organizations with more diverse leadership teams enjoy revenues that are 19% higher than average. The findings are a reminder that the creativity and innovation that emerge through diversity give organizations a competitive advantage; potentially increase their revenues as a result.
employee motivation and retention
Diversity also plays a role in staff motivation and retention. Employees who feel accepted, valued, and empowered are happier, more motivated, more productive, and easier to retain. As a result, companies with greater diversity are likely to have lower employee turnover rates, this means less time spent recruiting and lower training costs. Research by Deloitte Australia has shown that teams that focus on diversity and inclusion tend to have the highest levels of engagement.
build credibility and attract top talent
Companies that promote diversity in the workplace are seen as more ethical and socially responsible, while employers who ignore these aspects appear out of touch with reality. Job seekers, especially millennials and those from Generation Z, place an enormous amount of importance on the diversity of their workplaces. By promoting diverse teams, organizations help to establish their credibility in this area, which allows them to attract five-star talent. In a 2017 survey by PwC, over 80% of respondents said that employers' diversity and inclusion policies are a deciding factor in accepting a position.
access to high-level skills
Certain Canadian industries including skilled trades, STEM, medicine, and nursing are suffering from severe labour shortages. By broadening your recruiting pool to talent from diverse backgrounds, you can find accomplished workers who have the attributes you need most.
better understanding of canadian customers
38.2% of Canada’s population is made up of first or second generation Canadians. Having teams that represent this diversity allows you to gain a better understanding of potential Canadian clients that come from diverse backgrounds. The differing points of view from your team members bring you a unique and valuable perspective on aspects of your business that you might not have considered if everyone on your team has similar perspectives. These insights can be a source of motivation, help you attract varied clientele, tap into new markets, and find new customers and potential business partners.
access to international markets
Employees with varied backgrounds are an important source of information to help you develop your growth strategy and your approach to customers in international markets. They can also support you in your efforts to better understand and target international customers as well as build relationships globally. Organizations with a diverse workforce are therefore more likely to succeed in international markets—this is a valuable competitive advantage.
Integrating employees with diverse backgrounds and profiles is an undeniable asset for your organization. Both the quality of your business plan and the caliber of talent you attract will benefit.