Whether or not companies need diversity is a constant topic of conversation in just about any field. But no matter how much or how long people talk about it, the answer is this: Yes, diversity is a necessity. But more importantly, companies should want diversity instead of thinking of it as an obligation. Diversity isn’t just about building a better employer and consumer brand—it has tangible benefits to productivity, creativity and ROI. Diversity also provides a number of other positives for your company. Why should you strive for a more varied workforce? Here’s five reasons:
Bilingualism Is a Boon For Business
The more you work to add people of different backgrounds to your workforce, the better the chance you’ll find someone who speaks multiple languages. Bilingual workers tend to earn 10% more per year than their monolingual counterparts. Benefits of having a bilingual employee include being able to better negotiate with clients and partners who speak another language, being able to expand your customer and client base by creating multilingual ad copy, and saving money on translators, should the need arise.
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Diverse Teams are More Productive
Happiness is overrated. Employees want to work with people like them because it makes them more comfortable and makes the working environment a little more pleasant. However, when you introduce diversity into the workplace, you’re also introducing new ways to tackle problems. The result is more productive teams . Companies who split men and women more evenly in their teams earned 41% more revenue, even if employees reported higher satisfaction levels when working people who were similar to them.
They’re Also More Creative
Diverse teams are more productive, and they’re more creative. Along with more approaches to problems, diversity also introduced more ideas from people with different backgrounds. In more diverse groups, ideas from people who differ from everyone else are less likely to get shot down, leading to new ideas that could drive companies forward, and producing better results. More creative teams produce better results, and this gives your company a new quality of product that could boost both your consumer and employer branding.
The higher-ups at your company may be stodgy and as averse to change as they are to risk (heck, the two are often seen as synonymous), but that doesn’t mean they’re right—or that they’re in line with how people think. According to a recent survey by Glassdoor, 57% of employees think their company should do more to diversify their workforce . If people know you’re hiring anyone who’s qualified for the job, and not just those that already are entrenched in the culture you’ve built up, they’ll be more willing to apply, and this will lead to better (and more diverse) candidates down the road.
It Covers Your Legal Bases
Incentivizing more kinds of people to apply for jobs at your company leads to better work, and it could help you avoid lawsuits. Discrimination lawsuits are everywhere, and they’re often because an employer doesn’t embrace diversity as part of its core philosophy. A group of McDonald’s employees recently sued the company when they were fired, alleging racial discrimination. By hiring more diverse people and creating an inclusive environment, you’re far less likely to face litigation when you let someone go. These are just some of the reasons your company needs diversity. There’s really no reason not to aim for diversity, and the benefits are huge. Once you get over some initial uncomfortable situations, your business and your employees will thank you.