The Benefits of Diversity
Diversity brings a variety of perspectives to a company, which can be positive for the growth of individual employees and the company as a whole.
Having a diverse workforce gives a Company insights into the various niche markets that each one of them is part of.
Members of such communities understand them in a way others do not. It will allow you to advertise your products and services in a highly-targeted way.
- Having a member of the LGBTQ community on your staff will give you a competitive advantage in that market over a Company that does not.
- Staff members from different cultures will give you insight into those cultures.
- Staff members from different age-groups will give you insight into those age-groups.
- Disabled staff members will give you insight into that group.
- Pregnant and lactating mothers will give you insight into that group.
When it works, diversity increases profits. In America each year, DiversityInc selects the 50 most diverse companies. It found that the 43 that were public corporations were 24 percent more profitable than the S&P 500. They made up just 7 percent of the Fortune 500 but generated 22 percent of its total revenue.
For the individual, it literally pays to be on a diverse team. Wharton Business School Research found that members of successful diverse teams earn more.
Diversity can inspire creativity and drive innovation.
Innovation within a diverse team can be very powerful.
When it has insights into the various market segments, the team creates new products that satisfy the markets’ needs. That’s because a diverse workforce better understands diverse markets.
For example, Daimler Chrysler found the best mix for a product development team was heterogeneous. It was 50/50 male/female. It had a gradual age distribution rather than peaks. No more than half of any team was any one ethnic group or nationality.
Cosmetic giant L’Oréal attributes much of its impressive success in emerging markets to its multicultural product development teams.
A recent study from Forbes concluded that “the best way to ensure the development of new ideas is through a diverse and inclusive workforce.”
Niche market knowledge and insight make a business more competitive and profitable.
One person may be great at generating exciting, out of the box ideas. Another may have the necessary experience to execute it. It is essential to play on each other’s strengths and collaborate with the team.
Local connections, native language skills, and cultural understanding can boost international business development exponentially.
Recent research from McKinsey also underscores the fact that diversity is good for a business’s bottom line. In fact, ethnically diverse companies were shown to be 35% more likely to have financial returns above the national industry median.
Diversity sensitivity, insight, and local knowledge mean higher quality, targeted marketing.
Representing a number of nationalities within your company can also help to make it more relatable and lends itself to the production of more effective marketing strategy and materials.
High quality and culturally sensitive translations of websites, brochures, and other assets are essential. But these can be overlooked without the input of a native speaker.
Advertising copy can get badly lost in translation. A frequently cited example is from KFC in China, whose chicken was marketed as so tasty, you’ll “eat your fingers off!” (A poor translation of their brand tagline, “Finger lickin’ good.”)
Such mistakes can cause irreparable damage without the knowledge of a diverse workforce with local marketing savvy.
A culturally diverse talent pool allows an organization to attract and retain the best talent.
If employees feel included, they’re less likely to leave.
Diversity in a team means that employees can learn from each other.
A company that embraces diversity will attract a wider range of candidates and the chances of finding an exceptional candidate increase.
According to a Glassdoor survey, two-thirds of job hunters indicated that diversity was important to them when evaluating companies and job offers. In a competitive global job market, this can make you stand out to the right candidates.
Embracing diversity has been shown to improve retention and reduce the costs associated with employee turnover.
A diverse skills base allows a Company to offer a wider, more adaptable range of products and services.
Consider leveraging the skills and experience that international employees bring to the table.
Companies that are adaptable and quick to act are the ones that thrive in today’s volatile and uncertain global business environment.
Diverse teams can be more productive and perform better.
Studies have shown that Companies with a culture of diversity and inclusion are both happier and more productive.
As a recent article in the Harvard Business Review argues, the challenges of working in a diverse team are one of the reasons why diverse teams perform better: “working on diverse teams produces better outcomes precisely because it’s harder.”
Diverse groups offer greater opportunities for personal and professional growth.
An inclusive and culturally diverse Company quality employees who appreciate the opportunity for personal and professional growth.
Learning the perspectives and traditions from around the world can be an enriching experience. Colleagues assimilate the differences, abandoning prejudice and intolerance.
Avoid legal compliance issues.
South Africa has stringent legal requirements around affirmative action, equal opportunities and discrimination.
Being proactive in this regard can save you many legal problems.