A few years ago, Starbucks made headlines when it closed its stores for all employees to attend an anti-bias diversity training. The training came after an incident in a Philadelphia Starbucks in which two young African American entrepreneurs had the police called on them and were led out in handcuffs after less than 10 minutes after they arrived. Their crime? They had been waiting for a business meeting to begin and had not yet ordered anything.
The company responded with a mandatory racial bias training for all employees because, according to Jen Randle, a consultant who helped coordinate the trainings, “Starbucks is a microcosm of what’s happening in the United States. We all have bias. It doesn’t matter your race or ethnicity.”
So, let’s assume that’s Starbucks truly is a microcosm…of society…of your workplace. And let’s explore how diversity (when properly implemented) can truly benefit all.
Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace
- Diversity provides fresh perspectives
Hiring people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and nationalities opens the door for fresh perspectives. Inevitably, you open your company up to benefits like increased problem solving and productivity because not everyone thinks the same way.
Some hiring managers struggle with the thought of bringing in different types of people and personalities. It can be intimidating to introduce unpopular opinions and awkwardness. Ultimately, they’re throwing off the status quo. That said, research has demonstrated that more diverse teams have a 60 percent improvement in decision-making abilities.
- Diversity is better for recruitment and retention
A company seeking diverse candidates has access to a wider talent pool. As you reflect on your hiring process, you may find that you’re picky about traits that don’t make an employee successful at your company, and this could be weeding out potential candidates. Embrace diversity in background, thought, ethnicity, culture, nationality, etc. so you can find good hires.
Furthermore, after you’ve hired individuals, having a diverse workforce can improve your retention rate. Most employees and job seekers desire a diverse workforce and take this into account when evaluating companies and their job offers. Companies that emphasize diversity are more likely to attract and keep the best talent.
- Diversity increases profits
Everyone has their eye on the bottom line. The good news is that focusing on diversity and enhancing it within your workplace will only improve your profitability. One 2015 McKinsey report found that companies in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their industry means. Another study by BCG found that increasing the diversity of the leadership teams leads to improved financial performance. These findings demonstrate just how important it is to prioritize your staff. You handle your staff, and they’ll handle the work.
As beneficial as diversity can be, it doesn’t truly act alone. Thus, you should truly be considering the benefits of both diversity AND inclusion. If you’ve ever wondered why you hear about “diversity and inclusion” collectively, it’s because they work in tandem. Diversity is essential for all the benefits above, but without inclusion, there can be a diversity backlash. Go check out our article on Benefits of Inclusion in the Workplace and read about its importance.
For more diversity topics, see our 2022 Diversity Calendar.
Keep up to date with our 2022 Interfaith calendar for this year.