Societal expectations and regulations have made it essential for companies to create an inclusive workplace. While these concepts have long been touted as morally imperative, a growing body of research shows that diverse and inclusive workplaces lead to greater productivity and innovation.
Diverse and inclusive teams serve as a rich wellspring of innovation, paving the way for businesses to truly thrive. They mirror the rich tapestry of our society and create a fertile ground for creativity, growth, and success. So let’s dive in and explore the advantages of building teams of varying backgrounds and abilities and take a look at real-world instances where having diverse and inclusive teams has positively impacted an organization.
Benefit 1: Increased Creativity and Innovation
When employees from various backgrounds and abilities come together, they bring unique perspectives, experiences, and ideas that create a melting pot of viewpoints. This creates a rich canvas for brainstorming, with each person contributing distinct thoughts and insights.
Such an environment becomes a natural incubator for creativity and innovation, driving the development of novel concepts, products, or services that cater to a broader customer base.
In fact, diversity encourages individual creativity and challenges conventional thinking, enhancing innovation by 20%.
Sodexo is an example of a company that leverages diversity and inclusion to push industry boundaries. They’ve received dozens of awards that demonstrate their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
By implementing diversity and inclusion programs, Sodexo has actively fostered a workplace culture that encourages the generation of creative ideas.
As a result, the company has experienced a significant increase in innovation, leading to a better understanding of its customer base and the ability to create value-added services.
Benefit 2: Improved Problem-solving and Decision-making
Problem-solving and decision-making are crucial processes that drive business growth and success. When diverse and inclusive teams handle these processes, businesses avoid “groupthink” and improve the quality of their decisions.
Researchers found that people who work in non-diverse teams are less capable of solving problems than those who work in diverse organizations. An inclusive team can develop well-thought-out problem solutions and decisions to ensure the best outcome is achieved efficiently.
In addition, diverse teams that work well together often outperform individual decision-makers in most cases.
To further illustrate this point, Deloitte’s research into different businesses revealed that organizations with an inclusive culture are six times more likely to be innovative and agile, and inclusive teams make decisions twice as fast with half the meetings.
Benefit 3: Diverse Skills, Experience, and Resources
One of the most immediate and tangible benefits of building diverse teams lies in the wide array of skills, experiences, and resources that diverse individuals bring to the table.
For example, individuals from different cultural backgrounds may possess language skills or knowledge of specific markets. Skills like these significantly contribute to global operations success and cater to a more diverse customer base.
Diverse teams also benefit from each member’s vast experience. Whether it is years spent working in various industries or exposure to different work cultures—this collective experience fosters a rich environment for learning from one another’s successes and failures.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) recognizes that it is essential to bring diverse individuals together to solve problems and build healthy communities. Some key initiatives and strategies BCBSMA employ to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion within their team:
- Workforce Diversity: BCBSMA is dedicated to building a diverse workforce. Approximately 30% of their employees are people of color, and 39% are millennials.
- Inclusive Leadership: BCBSMA strives to ensure diversity in leadership positions. They have made significant progress, with 60% of women in executive leadership roles.
- Employee Resource Groups: BCBSMA supports ten Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that engage more than 35% of their employees. ERGs provide a platform for employees to connect, share experiences, and contribute to a more inclusive work environment
Benefit 4: Increased Sense of Belonging
Creating a diverse and inclusive environment isn’t just about ensuring equal representation. It’s also about fostering a sense of belonging among employees where everyone feels comfortable expressing their ideas and opinions without fear of judgment or discrimination.
When individuals feel accepted and valued for their unique perspectives and backgrounds, they experience a 56% increase in job performance and are 50% less likely to leave the company.
As individuals learn from one another’s expertise and experiences, collaborative efforts become more dynamic, leading to rounded solutions.
The Clorox Company is a great example of this. Clorox believes that when employees’ uniqueness and commonalities are appreciated, they are empowered to do their best work.
The company has adopted the IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy) program, fostering a culture where everyone feels they belong. Clorox’s initiatives have resulted in a 78% positive employee response to inclusion.
Benefit 5: Higher Performance
When you combine all the benefits previously listed, they create a stimulating work environment that fuels high levels of productivity and performance. It’s that simple.
Evidence of the relationship between higher performance and DEI initiatives has been studied extensively. Both Deloitte and McKinsey & Company have found a correlation between diversity and performance.
The former found that diverse businesses are three times more likely to be high-performing, while the latter found that companies that have diversity in their management teams were 33% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.
An outstanding example of this principle is Marriott International. The company has long embraced diversity and inclusion, maintaining a strong belief that it’s an array of perspectives within the company that drives its innovation and competitiveness.
Their inclusive culture contributes to their high performance. The company’s commitment to putting people first and prioritizing employee well-being has created a positive and supportive work environment.
Benefit 6: Better Understanding of Diverse Markets
Modern businesses cater to a wide variety of markets, each with its own unique requirements, preferences, and characteristics. Creating diversity and inclusion within the organization is one of the best ways to navigate this complexity.
A team comprising individuals from various ethnicities, races, genders, and backgrounds brings knowledge about different cultures and consumer behaviors. They’re adept at pinpointing the distinct needs of various customer segments and developing solutions tailored to those needs.
In fact, approximately 70% of new markets are captured by companies with high levels of diversity. This impressive figure underscores how diversity and inclusion can become a formidable competitive advantage in penetrating and succeeding in new markets.
A practical example of harnessing diversity to understand diverse markets is seen in Walmart. Through its Culture, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (CDEI) dashboard, the company not only measures its workforce diversity but also uses these insights to understand and cater to the diverse markets they serve.
This strategic approach enables Walmart to tailor its offerings and communication to resonate with customers from diverse backgrounds, thereby boosting customer satisfaction and business growth.
Benefit 7: Increased Profits
The business case for DEI extends beyond promoting fairness and equality. At its core, every business strives to be profitable, and a diverse and inclusive workforce does not just enrich a company’s culture; it also positively impacts its bottom line.
Several studies have consistently found a significant correlation between diversity and profitability. One of the most comprehensive among them is a study by McKinsey & Company, which found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability.
From attracting top talent and reducing turnover to increased innovation and problem-solving, inclusive environments pave the way for financial success. So, investing in diversity and inclusion is not just an ethical choice; it’s a smart business decision that directly impacts a company’s financial health and profitability.
The Bottom Line
Embracing diversity and inclusion is no longer just about creating a harmonious workplace—it’s imperative to a modern organization’s success.
Despite the fact that businesses know the benefits of DEI initiatives, implementing and managing them can be challenging. It requires not just an understanding of different cultures, experiences, and perspectives but also the right tools to foster and manage this diversity effectively.
One such tool to help is Namecoach. With its unique features like name pronunciation and demographic data collection, Namecoach makes it easier for businesses to navigate the landscape of diversity and inclusion, thereby setting the stage for the many benefits that come with it. See why it’s different here:
Find out why businesses across all industries choose Namecoach as their preferred to help them build stronger relationships. Request a demo to learn more about Namecoach’s features and how it can help your organization.