The Benefits of a Diverse Workforce – Part 1

The Benefits of a Diverse Workforce – Part 1

  • May 2021

(Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash)

By Phumelele Ndlovu, Human Resource Service Lead, Dynamic Talent

Diversity and Inclusion are often associated, and they are indeed interconnected. The reality is however, that the two are not interchangeable, and sadly, not every diverse environment is inclusive. The good news is that this can be remedied successfully. In this series, we provide a guide to achieving inclusivity; and reveal the benefits of supporting a diverse and inclusive workplace culture.

How are diversity and inclusion different?

Simply put: diversity is a noun, while inclusion is a verb.

Diversity (noun) in the workplace refers to the combination of different types of people in a workplace environment. Employees may come from various backgrounds distinguished by race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age, gender, disabilities, education, and other visible and invisible attributes.

Inclusion (verb) speaks to how such a diverse workforce of employees is accommodated in the workplace by welcoming their apparent differences. When inclusion is practiced in the workplace, employees are treated equally and fairly, and are afforded the same opportunities and respect, regardless of their differences.

What does an inclusive workplace culture look like?

An inclusive workplace culture is one that recognises the differences between its people and harnesses those differences to the benefit of the business. The combination of different strengths can lead to more cohesive teams – as an example, where younger employees in an organisation are recognised as being more tech savvy, the business could align its marketing strategy to include social media marketing initiatives, headed by those younger employees. More seasoned employees could provide their insight and experience of the business to enhance the content, enabling a valuable information exchange and mutual learning.

Where the workforce includes employees (or clients) with disabilities, a company could modify their working conditions to accommodate all employees, with adaptive furniture and office equipment; or hire a sign language interpreter to aid understanding for people with hearing impairments in, for example, face-to-face or virtual meetings.

Promoting inclusivity means that employees of different races, ethnicities, sexual orientation, or social status are all afforded the same tools to build successful careers and form part of leadership in the business. The organisation designs and implements policies which are non-discriminatory and promote respectful and fair behaviour. These policies furthermore ensure accountability for any form of bullying, harassment, and discrimination in the workplace.

Contact Dynamic Talent here to discuss how we can proactively help you to build a pipeline of high-quality, diverse talent.