There’s a lot more to encouraging & maintaining diversity than following legislation – employers & HR should be striving to go above and beyond what is required, because there are significant benefits to be gained from the perspective of an employer.
Some of these benefits are listed below.
1. Finding & retaining the right talent
A 2017 study by Women Ahead found that supporting employee networks for specific demographic groups (gender, sexuality, religion for example) has a direct link to employee retention and engagement. In an age where employee happiness is the focus of most HR conversations, this is therefore a great way to boost the happiness of your staff, while at the same time gaining a good reputation for potential candidates.
2. Building a successful employer brand
Employer branding has never been so important – not only is it directly linked to marketing, allowing companies further reach on social media and other networking channels, but it also helps the best candidates find your business.
On the other side of this, employees talk about ‘bad’ brands, too. Word spreads very fast in the recruiting world so a bad reputation is likely to put potential candidates off applying for your role. Not supporting diversity in the workplace is a sure-fire way to cause candidates to click off your vacancy.
3. Bring in a variety of skills & fresh ideas
“The more your network includes individuals from different cultural backgrounds, the more you will be creatively stimulated by different ideas and perspectives," says Harvard Business School professor Roy Y.J. Chua in her study.
Encouraging diversity in your workplace gives you a competitive edge, too – you avoid seeing your innovations from a flat, 2-dimensional point of view, and it allows you even more customer insight, meaning you can learn from your diverse workplace in order to better target your products or services.
Okay, so now we understand the reasons why we should be encouraging workplace diversity. How can we put it into practice?
Check out this factsheet by CIPD for great tips on how to manage diversity & inclusion in the workplace.
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