In an increasingly interconnected world, diversity has become the unifying thread that forms the fabric of modern society. Due to growing globalisation and technological advancements, businesses can contribute to and be a part of a more open, diverse, and inclusive society. This is not merely a moral obligation. Businesses that practice this in the name of ‘enlightened self-interest’ can enjoy significant tangible benefits. Read on to understand what a diverse workplace entails and some of the benefits that you can expect from cultivating such an inclusive organisation.
What is a Diverse Workplace?
Workplace diversity means respecting and valuing the skills and differences that each employee brings to the workplace. It champions an inclusive environment that provides equal rights and opportunities for all, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, physical ability, sexual orientation, religious and political beliefs. Businesses can offer a safe environment for all the workers to thrive and bring value to the company. Businesses that prioritise diversity will put in place fair and progressive employment and workplace practices to encourage an environment that is built on respect and merit.
Diverse Workplace – A Simple Trend or A Competitive Advantage?
Diversity in the workplace has always been a major talking point, but its importance has never been as prominent as it is today. It has become one of the key workplace trends in 2020 due to the momentous shift in the global workforce and the way we are approaching work. Moreover, brands and businesses must embrace diversity and inclusivity at all organisational levels as consumers become more socially conscious.
That said, workplace diversity is not a mere trend – it is a serious competitive advantage. It offers immediate and tangible benefits that directly influence your company’s bottom line and lead to better financial performance.
Benefits of Cultivating a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace
A Variety of Perspectives
Our cultures and backgrounds influence the way in which we perceive the world. A diverse team can offer new perspectives and ideas from a variety of viewpoints and wide-ranging personal and professional experiences. This breeds creativity and drives innovation, helping businesses solve problems and create solutions in novel and creative ways.
A Large Talent Pool
By hiring employees with a broad range of backgrounds, skills, and experiences, businesses can leverage a wider spectrum of expertise and creativity. Take age, for instance. Older workers possess considerable industrial experience and knowledge that they can then implement in the workplace, while their younger counterparts offer new ways of thinking, methodologies and up-to-date technologies. When these different generations come together to work harmoniously, the output will take on a more innovative and creative feel.
Moreover, a large talent pool engenders a broader skills base, which can build your company’s competitive advantage of adaptability. This translates to faster and more effective planning, development, and execution. Companies that boast cultural and cognitive diversity are naturally quicker to spot gaps in the market. Additionally, they can also benefit from various global and industrial insights and experiences to adapt to changing consumer behaviour and succeed.
Improved Employee Retention
A diverse and inclusive workplace thrives on mutual respect. Employees are more likely to stay loyal when they feel supported and valued for their unique contributions at work. An inclusive atmosphere of cross-cultural and cognitive cooperation is also an excellent way to bond colleagues and teams across departments. This establishes the foundation for positive working culture and relationships – two other important aspects that determine employee loyalty. Simply put, if you value your employees, they will value you too.
Taking a Stand for Diversity in Business
Businesses have the transformative power to change and contribute to a more open, diverse, and inclusive society. By creating a space that promotes respect and dignity for all, you will cement your business’s chances of success.
The SBF Sustainable Employment (SE) initiative calls on the Singapore business community to take purposeful action to improve their SE practices in anticipation of emergent trends and future developments. The initiative was launched with a report that highlights key recommendations and potential opportunities. Businesses can take on these recommendations to achieve long term business success and foster a vibrant economy and inclusive society.
Make the pledge to join others in this journey!