By Randy Wooden, Director, Professional Center by Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace brings value to the company and you as an individual.
Many of us first think of gender and race when considering diversity; it extends well beyond that to include national origin, age, culture, faith, disabilities, introvert/extrovert and a whole host of other areas.
Today, let’s look at a few ways diversity and inclusion add value.
#1. A diverse and inclusive work culture can lead to more creativity and innovation. Diversity brings varied experiences – perhaps new and better ways of delivering different products and services, and inclusive teams out-perform their peers in innovation. The status quo might be comfortable, but companies which cannot or won’t adapt to change are destined to fade away.
Today’s economy is far better than that of several years ago. Qualified applicants are fewer and farther between, and diverse hiring gives a company a wider candidate pool.
It builds team morale when employees see their organization inclusively embracing diversity; they feel more comfortable sharing their opinions and experiences.
#2. A diverse workforce helps a company engage with customers differently. If a company wants to reach a new market, it helps to have team members who know and understand target customers and can customize products or services.
Businesses know consumers want more than a good product at a good price. Today, social awareness, giving back to the community, and reflecting the customer base are reasons some consumers choose to do business with a company and how the business attracts good employees. A company’s commitment to diversity helps the bottom line, so owners and investors value it.
#3. Diversity and inclusion benefits all of us. Many of us grew up with and have worked with those whose backgrounds and experiences are just like ours.
As we expand our experiences, we meet diverse people with a whole host of different life experiences. It opens our eyes to different ways of thinking and doing things.
Our communities are increasingly diverse. Diversity and inclusion at work move us from tolerance to acceptance to embracing our differences in an ever-changing world.