Deep-level diversity within the workplace helps create greater job satisfaction and higher financial performance. Learn more about how to take your DEI goals deeper in this article.
Here's what you need to know about how diversity of skill sets improves workplace morale and productivity:
- A team comprised of people with varying skills can handle changes more readily.
- Many employees enjoy embracing both similarities and differences among their coworkers.
- Having a diverse team helps ensure that at least one person can handle each task necessary to complete a project.
Diversity is more than just a buzzword in business. It’s a goal for many HR departments to create a more diverse workplace. But will a diverse workforce provide real, tangible benefits for a company?
Like virtually everything else, workplace diversity affects productivity. Diversity within the workplace also helps create greater job satisfaction and higher financial performance. Misplaced diversity policies can also hinder performance, so people should understand how to properly introduce diversity into the workplace.
Pros and cons of workplace diversity
Workplace diversity is a broad concept. Multiple criteria can form the basis for a company’s definition of diversity. Surface-level diversity is visible criteria such as age, gender, race, or sex. There is also diversity in:
- Skill sets
When these aspects differ within a company, it’s said to have deep-level diversity.
Both levels of diversity are necessary for a successful workplace. Discrimination and stereotyping have historically kept people from chasing the opportunities they wanted. As worldwide societies continue to change and become more inclusive, embracing people from various walks of life, barriers to anyone pursuing the career opportunities they want are diminishing significantly.
Diversity within the workplace helps create greater job satisfaction and higher financial performance.
The workforce still has some adjusting to do to be perfectly diverse. For example, only approximately 40% of the US workforce is female. The chief executive level of corporate life is skewed even more, with about 73% of that population being male. Only 22% of the workforce is Black, Asian, or Latino.
Similar statistics apply to deep-level diversity
Many companies only recruit and hire people who fit well into their current company culture, leading them to hire people with similar mindsets and ideas. Some organizations take the lack of deep-level diversity deeper by discouraging differences of opinion to minimize disagreements as much as possible. This causes a workplace where people seem to think alike.
Companies need to lead the charge in embracing diversity within their organization. To help them embrace diversity, executives within a company need to understand how deep-level diversity can improve the organization’s overall performance.
Management also needs to be aware of the issues that can occur when they fully embrace deep-level diversity too abruptly. Researching the best ways to encourage diversity within the workplace with the least amount of hassle can help organizations transition to a more diverse population.
Benefits of a diverse workforce
Many organizations consider introducing a diverse workforce as an inclusive act of goodwill. While that is technically correct, diversity holds the promise of multiple benefits that can positively impact a company’s bottom line.
There’s a reason monotony, tedium, and boredom are synonymous. People need variety to perform at their best. Some businesses have incorporated programs that let workers rotate between positions regularly.
Hiring people with differing points of view allows workers to expand their personal and professional circles, which helps the workplace become more exciting.
This same principle applies to relationships with other people. If people are regularly with others with the same ideas and hobbies, they soon get bored. Many employees enjoy embracing both similarities and differences among their coworkers. Hiring people with differing points of view allows workers to expand their personal and professional circles, which helps the workplace become more exciting.
A commitment to diversity opens greater access to talent
Historically, people missed opportunities because of stereotypes based on unfair criteria. Organizations willing to set aside biases will find more people with the skill sets and dispositions they want and need.
Open-minded companies will be able to fully embrace a more diverse group of people to fill the positions within the organization. Additionally, more people will choose to work with a company that embraces inclusivity as a core value.
Companies incorporating diversity will have access to a larger talent pool than those with a more close-minded culture. These companies can set higher standards for their hiring practices without fearing losing portions of their talent pool. Access to a larger talent pool allows the company to be more selective with its hiring process. As a bonus, having access to a larger talent pool creates greater performance as a company.
Creativity increases with the number of people that a company hires. Generating ideas is a complex process in general. A healthy team with more people working together is more likely to create good ideas through brainstorming.
Diversity is crucial to the creative process. When people who think differently work together, it facilitates higher-quality ideas. People with varying experiences and skills stimulate each other’s thought processes, leading to a more stimulating idea generation.
Everyone has a unique set of strengths and weaknesses. A person’s skill set allows them to excel in some areas while needing assistance with others. Even the most talented individuals can’t perform every assigned task without issues.
When a team is built of people with similar skills, it has vulnerabilities when dealing with change. If something unexpected occurs that requires a different skill set or way of thinking, the team won’t be able to adapt appropriately or quickly.
A team comprised of people with varying skills can handle changes more readily. One person’s strengths will offset another’s weaknesses. When a team seamlessly works together, everyone’s abilities shine, and the deficiencies become less noticeable. Collectively, the group can access their varying skill sets to consistently perform in various situations.
Better critical thinking is a result of deep-level diversity
Individuals working solo are limited in their abilities to assess their own performance. Their own biases can convince them they, and by extension, their ideas, are more important than others around them. This makes it challenging to recognize their own mistakes. These people usually need peers or supervisors to assess their performance.
Critical thinking skills rely on a person’s ability to recognize inconsistencies or missed opportunities.
Assessments are based on the perspective of the person making the assessment. Critical thinking skills rely on a person’s ability to recognize inconsistencies or missed opportunities. For this reason, having someone with a different perspective assess a coworker’s ideas is essential. This process only works in this manner when mutual respect and diverse viewpoints are present.
Well-rounded skill sets
Two characteristics are the hallmarks of critical business projects. They are created from complex, interconnected tasks that are dependent upon each other. These projects also require different skills that one person is unlikely to possess alone.
Think about simple marketing campaigns:
- One person writes the copy
- Another creates, edits, and manages media
- Yet another person would be in charge of publishing the content
Additionally, someone typically oversees the entire operation to ensure that everything is finished on schedule and the final product meets the client’s expected standards.
Having a diverse team helps ensure that at least one person can handle each task necessary to complete a project. Even the most uncomplicated project requires different skill levels in multiple areas. If teams think too much alike, the finished product will suffer. This issue can be avoided if a company creates a team with the right balance of skill sets.
Deep-level diversity within the workplace allows a company to access a larger talent pool. That larger talent pool provides hiring opportunities that help to increase:
Diversity within the workforce increases the opportunity to access a variety of skill sets. This results in a well-balanced team that helps to eliminate the monotony of a homogenous workforce.