A lot of people ask me about the importance of diversity in the workplace, as in, "What are the benefits of diversity," or "Why does diversity matter at all?" In my experience, diversity is the acknowledgment that you don't have a bunch of cogs working for you, that people actually come to the table with an amazing range of talents, abilities, and experiences that you can use to improve your workplace. Diversity simply means that you value all the unique traits your employees possess and are able to use their varied perspectives to build a positive work environment. Here are some examples of the importance of diversity in the workplace:
- You reduce interpersonal conflicts because people know and understand each other better.
- You're able to build stronger teams.
- You have a greater pool of ideas and skills available to you.
- People value each other.
- There is greater trust between employees.
- People's minds grow when they learn about other perspectives and experiences.
- People become more well-rounded when they interact with individuals and groups that are different from them.
- Your organization becomes healthier because you have less of the simmering fear and anger that comes from people not understanding each other.
- Your organization becomes more inclusive.
- You hire a wider range of people, looking at candidates you might not have before.
- Your organization doesn't get stuck in one way of thinking because there are so many viewpoints available.
- You are able to develop new ways of looking at issues.
- You welcome change.
- People from a wide variety of backgrounds enjoy working at your organization.
- Your thinking becomes more expansive rather than restrictive.
The importance of diversity in the workplace is that you get to move on from the petty stuff that holds you back to building a strong, vibrant organization that encourages a rich variety of thoughts and perspectives. All you have to do is be open to people who are not like you.