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What is diversity and why should we all be pro-diversity in the workplace?

Diversity is all about inclusion – no matter what race, age, religion, gender or sexual orientation. As well as promoting respect and acceptance, it can also increase innovation in businesses, through everyone coming together to achieve a common goal. With this in mind, the results can be monumental.

The Diversity and Equality Act of 2010 protects people from discrimination in the workplace and wider society – however, it appears that more needs to be done to implement inclusion in the corporate world. Recently, a number of companies such as PwC and Tesco have joined a charter that tackles the shortfall of women in the technology sector, in order for it to become more diverse.

Here at Dovetail, we champion a diverse workforce and have come up with some main points for consideration…

Inclusion

Businesses can have their heart set on employing a diverse workforce, but if they fail to change their company culture to be completely inclusive of new talent, all efforts will go to waste. Time, money and effort will be lost, as employees who don’t feel included will leave within the first few months – and you’ll have to start the whole recruitment process again.

In order to create a more inclusive work environment, businesses can try mixing things up – for example, staff can adopt a hot desk approach where employees can work in different areas of the office. This will enable them to have interactions with people in the organisation – who they might not engage with normally. This could be beneficial in generating new ideas and insights.

Another way to enhance inclusion is to let different employees run business meetings. In many cases, the same people usually talk while others will always stay quiet. Rotating who runs the meetings will give everyone a chance to voice ideas and will build up confidence, as well as inspire valuable conversations.

Different people, different minds

A diverse workforce is beneficial in many ways. Arguably, one of the biggest advantages of diversity is the access to larger talent pools, allowing for differing viewpoints – where employees can draw on varied experiences and knowledge. More insights and opinions are better than one, especially if they can challenge the way we think and lead to increased creativity and productivity. Through listening to everyone in your team, you could make changes for the better of your business.

Everyone has something to give and as a business, you just need to tap into that knowledge. This can also help with your employee retention, as employees value working for a company that promotes equality and diversity.

Competitive advantage

In order to stay competitive in an increasingly difficult market, businesses should put time and effort into creating policies that offer equal opportunities. This will not only attract the best talent but give out a strong, positive message to customers. When diversity is managed correctly, employees feel validated regardless of cultural differences – this can greatly improve company morale and promote positivity.

Additionally, in this global marketplace, businesses need to understand their customers regardless of language or culture. Having a workforce who come from a number of backgrounds who can empathise with the target market will give you a competitive advantage.   

Implementation

However, with most things in life, employing a diverse workforce does have its challenges. Communication barriers will be the first obstacle to overcome. Without this, it could lead to misinterpretation of key objectives and lack of teamwork, which can affect business results and overall morale.

Another thing to look out for is resistance to change. As touched upon above, inclusion is key. If your workforce refuses to accept different ways of working, new employees will find it difficult to assimilate. Developing an implementation strategy will help a smooth transition process and aid company growth.

It seems like a no-brainer, employing a diverse workforce not only increases productivity and creates a higher performing work environment – but also elevates an organisation’s brand image. The only challenge standing in a business’s way is how they deliver and execute it!

If you are interested in recruiting a diverse workforce, please get in touch with us on hello@dovetailtailhrs.co.uk or call 01635 43100. Or, for the latest news and insights, visit our blog page.

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