If you perceive diversity as just a nice HR initiative, stop reading this article. Diversity is not just a quota to be hit or how your company will be perceived based on the percentage of female executives or various ethnicities in your organization. Did you know that diversity has a direct impact on the bottom line? That is just one of its many proven benefits based on various studies conducted in recent years. Today we are focusing on how diversity boosts innovation, so let’s dive in.
The Employee Diversity Journey
It starts with attracting and recruiting a diverse workforce, then continuously developing and retaining it. There are diversity traits you are born with, such as ethnicity and gender, but there are also traits that you gain from experience, your background or your career path. It is important to have a mix of these traits so you don’t only look at one side of diversity, such as gender or sexual orientation.
Inclusive organizational culture inspires talented employees to join a company and stay, while diversity in organizations is known to create a competitive advantage for businesses and improve company efficiency.
How Diversity Boosts Innovation in Business
According to a study by Deloitte, “Cognitive diversity can enhance team innovation by up to 20%.”
The novel thinking and new idea generation that is required for innovation to occur are more likely to take place in teams with a diverse set of experiences, backgrounds and perspectives. The impact of diversity on innovation can also be seen in revenue performance.
There are many behavioral traits in diverse teams where you will notice differences, such as:
- Considering alternative and unexpected viewpoints
- Recognizing new and different market opportunities
- Appreciating unmet market needs
- Understanding other ethnicities better
Many companies have diversity and inclusion strategies and global plans in place. The question is how they apply them in practice and what results those strategies have in reality. It is up to senior management to be accountable and to help the rest of the organization apply the tactics. Again, if diversity efforts are seen as just numbers that need to be achieved, then employees will not feel right about it, and these plans are less likely to be effective in the long run.
Besides fostering innovation, diversity also helps increase profitability and creativity, and improve problem-solving abilities. Your organization can become more resilient and effective too if your diversity efforts are genuine.
Sign Up For the CoreAcademy Course!
If you are interested in expanding your views on this topic and gaining valuable insights and best practices, join the CoreAcademy course Diversity to Boost Innovation on February 9, 2021, at 2:30 p.m. (EST)! It is a virtual instructor-led program where you will join other HR leaders via Zoom and have the opportunity to interact with the facilitator and other participants.
This session will provide you with the skills to help create a workplace environment that welcomes diverse perspectives and combats obstacles to boost innovation and creativity. Sign up here today and save your spot! See you soon.