Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Why A Diverse Workforce is So Important

Embracing a diverse and inclusive workforce is something at the top of many executive agendas in the business world. Why? Because it can promote collaboration, innovation and make the business more resilient in an ever-changing consumer landscape.

Here is the case for why it's important for your employees to be diverse, in terms of age, gender, ethnicity and experience, and why it makes good business sense.

Collaborative Multi-generational Workplaces

As baby boomers are retiring and Gen Z beginning to join the workforce, demographics are starting to shift in the workplace. This inevitably means a change in working culture too, with habits and expectations evolving.

Important lessons can be taken from each generation to benefit the other within a business. The younger generations (millennials and Gen Zers) are generally more tech-savvy and can introduce more seasoned workers to technology like mobile apps and social media. In return, the older generations (Gen Xers and baby boomers) can utilise their knowledge and share industry insights and tricks of the trade that have taken them years to acquire.

This culture of collaboration could be key to helping your business thrive, as it combines different philosophies and approaches to working and creates something that is greater than the sum of its parts.

A great way to test whether or not this works for your business is by utilising interim management, which is particularly useful if you’re going through a period of change. It will allow you to test the waters with temporary staff and find a winning combination that will be beneficial for both you and your business.

Embracing Diversity

It should go without saying that businesses should promote diversity and inclusion because it’s the right thing to do. It’s important that your business and products/services reflect the people you’re selling to. Your consumers will vary in gender, race, ability, age, sexuality and many other ways, so you want to make sure your business hears these different voices – within company policies and in the development and marketing of your product. The best way to do this is with a diverse workforce as it reduces the potential for unconscious bias.

According to a report by McKinsey & Company, companies with the highest gender diversity were shown to outperform their competitors by 15%, and those in the top quartile for ethnic diversity outperformed their competitors by 35%. So in short, diversity within a company makes good business sense.

Dipping into Other Talent Pools

It may seem like common sense to hire the candidate with the most experience in a relevant field when you’re looking at a pool of applicants to fill a vacancy. However, having a workforce with different backgrounds and experience can give you a variety of working styles, which could be beneficial to a business as it can provide flexibility and foresight.

For example, studies have shown that younger managers often have a preference towards narrow, more technical approaches whereas older managers prefer to work through others and focus on the big picture. Together, these two management styles could really complement one another and ultimately benefit the business as opposed to just one of the styles on its own.

Candidates with transferable skills gained from different working backgrounds can also help a business to remain dynamic and flexible. No two industries work in the same way so hiring a candidate with all the base skills, but gained in a completely different industry, could allow a fresh perspective. They may introduce a new way of looking at processes or bring innovative ideas into the workplace, rather than simply settling for what has always been done.

To give your business longevity and continued success, embrace diversity in the workplace. By committing to diversity and inclusivity within the recruiting process, you can create a collaborative workplace where different backgrounds and generations can inform the other to make the overall business more flexible and resilient. Diversity isn’t just a tick in a box; it makes perfect business sense.