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Why workplace diversity is key to success

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In the wake of increased globalisation, multinational companies (MNCs) are now looking to expand their workforce with a larger and more diverse team, as they endeavour to hire staff from a wider range of ethic and cultural backgrounds. This is a strategic human capital implementation that the MNCs are using to set themselves apart, as they recognise that there are benefits to be reaped from having diversity and inclusion in the workplace, as new hires with a broader range of skills and a fresher perspective are able to offer more to rejuvenate an organisation’s operations and protocols.

In a 2023 article by research writers at Harvard Business Review, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives are set to stay admidst growing resistance. By proactively surfacing problems within the social and cultural hierarchy of their workforce, businesses are intentionally choosing to support the holistic development of their workers. This attitude presents them as forward-looking platforms well-positioned to become an inclusive workplace that can house.

Amongst these benefits, standout advantages of diversity and inclusivity in the workplace include increasing the likelihood of a potential candidate being keen on joining an organisation. According to a Glassdoor survey conducted in 2020, 76% of the people browsing for new job offers prefer a diverse workplace, this is indicative of the general populace’s shift in mindset, as they are now more attuned to the importance of cultural diversity in the workplace. 

Read on to learn more about the benefits of embracing inclusivity and diversity in your workplace and tips to manage and execute the correct diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategies to grow your business.

What is the difference between diversity and inclusivity?

The terms, diversity and inclusivity, though often used interchangeably in the workplace are words with different meanings. For diversity, it is a term that is quantifiable through the compilation of statistics such as gender, age, ethnicity, and nationality, to name a few. As for inclusivity, it is more qualitative in nature. One can only term a workplace as inclusive, when its employees feel respected and accepted and are free to express their individuality at work, without fear of being judged on their culture, ethnicity, gender, and age, amongst others.

Why are diversity and inclusion essential to the success of a business?

As more organisations look for ways to expand their talent pools, establishing workplace diversity creates a balance of voices. Moreover, having a diverse range of people from different backgrounds and cultures ensures a friendly and productive workspace. However, this is merely the tip of the iceberg. To really understand how important cultural diversity and inclusivity are to the success of a business, let’s dive deep into the following factors:

1. Greater innovation and creativity

Innovation is the most important driving force that businesses are required to have in order to compete in this modern global market. As it is common knowledge that groupthink discourages innovative ideas and individual responsibility, by having a diverse and inclusive working environment, employees will feel more secure in sharing ideas and expressing individuality. And with a nurturing and collaborative workplace culture, employees are less likely to feel left out and will be more willing to contribute and bring fresh ideas to the table. 

2. Improved skill sets

With more inclusion in the workplace, organisations can leverage their employees’ diverse skill sets to improve performance in various aspects of the business, these include brainstorming of new ideas and problem-solving existing issues. Besides fulfilling business tasks, businesses could also use different skills to create a socially sustainable working environment. In other words, by adopting a broader perspective and effectively embracing different skill sets, not only does it open doors for new roles and more effective job tasks for businesses, they can establish themselves as attractive destinations for new hires.

3. Happy and productive employees

Human capital is the most important asset of any organisation, as such employee satisfaction is one of the main social sustainability metrics in the workplace. By creating a diverse and inclusive working environment, your employees will feel happy and valued. Naturally, when employees are happy, they would feel compelled to strive hard and achieve company goals, save for a couple of malingering individuals with a lackadaisical attitude towards work.

Besides benefiting from these advantages, an inclusive workplace is conducive for better and more productive inter and intra departmental collaboration. As employees within and across departments get along with one another, it presents more learning opportunities and cross-pollination of ideas. Consequently, these learnings and teamwork enable a company to improve its job satisfaction and retention rates. 

4. Larger talent pools lead to higher revenues

A business that encourages diversity and inclusion has much more to choose from when recruiting new talent. Recruiting efforts should only be focused on an individual’s skill sets, experience, knowledge, as well as what they can bring to the table, and nothing else. By adopting this strategy, organisations can promote a more sustainable business growth in the long term and increase their employee retention rate. 

It is also crucial that organisations look for employees who are a close fit to the job description and how well they can adapt and fit into one’s company culture. When employees are properly matched to the correct roles and responsibilities, they will be able to excel in their jobs. Square pegs in round holes are detrimental to both staff and organisation. 

Key tips for managing workplace diversity

Though establishing a diverse working environment has its perks, managing it can be quite a challenge. In this regard, businesses often focus their efforts on building a proper and robust organisational culture to promote positive values and principles. With proper processes in place, it can help prevent or mitigate workplace conflicts. Below are the steps needed for organisations to efficiently manage a diverse and inclusive workplace:

  • Prioritise communication
  • Acknowledge individuality
  • Encourage collaboration in diverse groups
  • Base standards on objective criteria
  • Embrace open-mindedness
  • Hire talents with different backgrounds
  • Promote a nurturing and empowering environment

How DHL Express strives for success through inclusivity?

DHL Express is a leader in the international shipping industry, and is present in over 220 countries. We have a diverse and inclusive group of staff that serves over 2.6 million customers worldwide. The key to our success is placing our employees as the number-one priority. By recruiting a diverse team of qualified personnel, we combine strong organisational culture and leadership with a friendly and inclusive working environment. To get started with DHL Express, apply for a business account today.