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Created on 18.07.2022

Diversity and success go hand in hand

Diversity is inevitable and all around us. Globalization, technological advances and climate-driven migration are making our society more diverse – and this is reflected in companies. This presents an opportunity. When properly promoted, diversity brings great advantages. Find out here why you should promote diversity within your company and the best way to go about it.

What does diversity at the workplace mean?

Everybody is talking about diversity. But what does it actually mean? Diversity signifies difference and variety among people based on the following characteristics: 

  • Age and generation
  • Family situation and lifestyle
  • Physical and mental ability
  • Educational background
  • Nationality and culture
  • World view and religion
  • Gender and gender role
  • Sexual orientation and gender identity

The more these various characteristics are found in a company, the greater its diversity. But the term encompasses much more: it places a positive value on human diversity and reflects the belief that diversity is something that should be treasured and encouraged. 

This is precisely what an inclusive corporate culture does: it sees diversity as enrichment of the company. Inclusion at the workplace means creating equal conditions for all employees, regardless of their background and characteristics. This ensures that everyone can bring their authentic self to the organization. And it is in precisely these conditions that companies improve their performance: allowing each individual employee to develop freely and achieve their optimal personal performance. Companies are increasingly using diversity as a strategic management approach – this is known as diversity management. 

Why you should promote diversity within your company

There are various reasons why diversity can enrich your organization. Active diversity management gives your company these four advantages: 

Advantage 1: Diversity makes your company more profitable

More diverse companies also perform better financially. This was demonstrated, for example, in a The link will open in a new window study by McKinsey: organizations with a particularly high level of gender diversity in the measured category in 2017 had a 21 percent likelihood of outperforming companies with a lower level of diversity. The same is true for companies with high cultural and ethnic diversity – with a 33 percent probability.

Advantage 2: Diversity makes your company attractive on the job market

Tolerant, diverse and open employers attract and retain talent. More than 77% of the participants in a The link will open in a new window StepStone study explicitly desire to work in a diverse environment with different people. This is not surprising: A corporate culture that values every individual ensures greater employee satisfaction – reducing employee turnover.

Advantage 3: Diversity increases innovative strength

The more heterogeneous your team, the greater the wealth of different knowledge, perspectives and skills they can bring to the workplace. This means that a mixed-age and multicultural organization has greater innovative strength and comes up with much more original ideas.

Advantage 4: Diversity leads to better decisions

Management teams in particular are better positioned with greater diversity. According to the The link will open in a new window StepStone study, employees feel that in crisis situations, the behaviour of heterogeneous teams at management level is more appropriate. This is not surprising. Diverse teams combine more varied perspectives and abilities – the ideal basis for well thought-out decisions in top management. This in turn has a positive effect on the motivation of employees at the workplace.

How to promote diversity at the workplace

Diversity has many advantages. So far so good. But how can you promote diversity? Here are six tips for promoting diversity in your company:

Tip 1: Celebrate diversity, don’t hide it

Create a corporate culture that values diversity. Participate in LGBTQ+ events, for example. Introduce everyday traditions from other cultures. Or provide meals from different nationalities at corporate events. This means that all individuals with a wide range of sexual orientations, from different cultures, and with other unique qualities, will feel welcome in the workplace.

Tip 2: Create a recruiting process that promotes diversity

Starting with your recruitment, you should structure your processes in a way that attracts and accommodates a wide variety of individuals. Create a network in a wide variety of communities and advertise your jobs on different platforms. In the interviews, ask standardized questions that focus on skills rather than age, gender, or other characteristics. And it is very important to indicate in the job advertisement and the initial interview just how important diversity is to you.

Tip 3: Offer further training and development opportunities for everybody

Offer people of different educational levels and backgrounds the opportunity to develop at their individual level. This is the only way for each individual to freely develop their personal strengths.

Tip 4: Consciously address prejudice

We all have prejudices. Conduct diversity workshops with your employees to address and break down (unconscious) prejudices. Ideally, it is worth bringing in support from external experts with specific expertise.

Tip 5: Promote a healthy work-life balance

Offer flexible working time models and other progressive conditions: working from home, job sharing – or whatever empowers your employees to work most efficiently and enables a decent work-life balance. This provides opportunities for different people with different family models and different backgrounds.

Tip 6: Offer jobs that are suitable for older people and the disabled

Create a working environment that is as barrier-free as possible – giving everyone the same opportunity to work in your organization without restrictions. Ramps, lifts or software designed for the visually or hearing impaired are just one facet of this approach.

Make your company diverse and enjoy a wealth of different exciting personalities and perspectives. A truly diverse workplace will give your company many advantages.

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