Diversity is a term that gets thrown around a lot in today’s media, but what does it actually mean? The official definition uses words like “inclusion, difference,” and “variety.” True diversity is when all of these words can describe a unified group. Diversity also doesn’t refer to just one kind, either. Diversity can mean a group that includes various races, job titles, opinions, and more.
As our modern workforce pushes for more diversity, why exactly should we go to the extra effort it takes to foster a diverse workplace? Keep reading to find out just some of the many benefits diversity can bring you.
Diversity Of Backgrounds
This type of diversity is likely what you think of first when you hear the term being used. Diversity of background refers to the type of diversity where many people in a group did not have a similar upbringing or do not now have the same framework for their lives. This can include racial background, socioeconomic background, or educational background, amongst many other types.
Although there will always be a need to hire for skill, taking the time to find out the different backgrounds that your employees come from can provide you and your team a greater understanding of others, helping you communicate with potential clients and others that may come from backgrounds different from your own. Acknowledging the importance of backgrounds will build empathy and camaraderie between employees, making them feel at home with one another.
Diversity Of Perspectives
Even twins can have completely different opinions on the same topic. In our management-centered society, oftentimes the diversity of perspective is undervalued. In an unhealthy workplace culture, decision-makers don’t listen to the perspectives of their employees, missing out on valuable input that they might have never considered.
Our perspectives are shaped by our life experiences, so everyone’s perspective is unique. When you embrace these differences, you can test ideas and encourage collaboration. Valuing others’ opinions will also show that you care about your team as individual thinkers, and not as a mass of mindless workers.
Diversity Of Personalities
Introverted and extroverted, cautious and ambitious, charismatic and peaceful… all of these personality traits are good! While we may personally value some traits above others based on our own biases, having a mix of personalities provides a lot of benefits to a workplace.
Personalities first and foremost contribute to a company’s culture. If all the personalities in an office were the same, no new ideas would be introduced, and no working friendships would be forged. Celebrating these personality differences can make work interesting, fun, and fulfilling for everyone.
Even though it takes some extra work and intentionality, fostering your team’s diversity is a worthwhile endeavor with many benefits. BP Dudley & Associates has often worked with businesses to help them discover their own diversity and embrace it.