Jun 11, 2018
The word diversity is a word that you will no doubt be familiar with, but do you truly understand what it means? It’s much more than race or ethnicity; rather it’s a term that refers to any features which vary between individuals. Diversity includes gender, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, and even religious and political beliefs to name but a few characteristics. In short, diversity encourages and allows people (and businesses!) to benefit and prosper by valuing the differences which make each of us unique.
There are two types of diversity: inherent and acquired. Inherent diversity refers to characteristics that you are born with, including gender, race and ethnicity. Acquired diversity involves learnt traits and mindsets from experiences such as working within a specific geographical location or with a specific client group. Businesses who balance the two types of diversity are more likely to succeed.
How Does Diversity Benefit Your Business?
Growing a business takes an enormous amount of time, hard work and resilience, and it can be a daunting experience especially in the early days, but investing in a shared office space can give you the motivation that you need to take your business to the next level. Not only can it provide you with a reliable and welcoming co working space, but it can give you the opportunity to learn and be influenced by others from diverse backgrounds that you may not previously have considered. How can diversity benefit your business?
Great communication skills are essential for any successful business, from the boardroom down. Communication is a two-way street, and a diverse workplace environment requires flexible and dynamic agility to affectively and effectively convey the intended message. While this often requires you to revisit previous approaches, the result is a greatly improved arena for collaboration which boosts productivity and efficiency, and of course, innovation.
From a customer or client’s perspective, it means that you can understand their needs and respond appropriately to their requirements if you respect and recognise their differences. The ‘one size fits all’ mentality of bygone eras is now redundant. Instead, it’s time to celebrate our differences, and these differences are something which businesses can capitalise upon.
By having a business that embraces both inherent and acquired diversity, you are creating an exciting environment that encourages free thinking and where creative ideas from outside the box can be heard.
If a team member is inherently diverse, they are in the best position to understand the unmet needs of an underrepresented demographic, and this provides crucial opportunities for being able to target a specific market and audience. Having multiple voices within a team can lead to new ideas, products and services that appeal to the varied customer base and increases market growth.
Improved Workplace Culture
With improved communication within your business and free-flowing creativity, the culture of your organisation will organically improve. As you value each employee’s input, the culture of the workplace provides an environment where people want to excel and ensures that a diverse group becomes a strong team with a commitment to building the company’s success. When your team shares common goals, any differences become secondary as talents are nurtured regardless of age, race, gender or lifestyle.
For your business to succeed, it is imperative that diversity and inclusion are high up on your agenda. While diversity initiatives have been pushed in larger organisations, smaller businesses need to pay attention to the benefits a diverse range of employees can bring to the table. Diversity levels the playing field and can progress your business to reach its full potential.