3 Benefits of Promoting Diversity in the Workplace

By August 15, 2019 No Comments

Diversity Training, Implicit Bias Training, and Sensitivity Training seem to be hot topics these days. You may have seen in the news that companies like Starbucks, Nordstrom, and Google[i] are addressing these hot topics. Many times, these types of training are instituted after an unfortunate incident has occurred. However, Diversity Training in the workplace goes beyond simply being about public relations and crisis management. There are tremendous benefits to promoting diversity that go beyond simply checking off the box for HR departments. Discover three benefits of promoting diversity in the workplace and the positive effects it can have on any organization.

Better Decision Making

Diversity in the workplace creates better decision making. According to Tufts University research, diverse groups perform better when making decisions. In the study involving mock juries, panels of whites and blacks deliberated longer, raised more facts about the case, and conducted broader deliberations. The study also has significant applications for business, higher education and other institutions that grapple with difficult issues.[ii] For any organization to grow, decisions – whether small or large – must be made. To make the best and most strategic decisions you need a diverse team. Soichiro Honda, the founder of Honda, once said, “If you hire only those people you understand, the company will never get people better than you are. Always remember that you often find outstanding people among those you don’t particularly like.”[iii]

Better Employee Retention

Diversity in the workplace impacts employee retention. In fact, employees who perceive bias are more than three times as likely (31% to 10%) to say that they’re planning to leave their current jobs within the year.[iv] Diversity is often thought of as either race or gender, but it represents much more than that. Diversity represents the full spectrum of human demographic differences — race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status or physical disability. A lot of companies consider lifestyles, personality characteristics, perspectives, opinions, family composition, education level or tenure elements of diversity, too.[v] It is so important that companies recognize all of these facets and encourage building diversity and an inclusive environment. According to Gallup, an inclusive environment makes employees, “feel appreciated for their unique characteristics and therefore comfortable sharing their ideas and other aspects of their true and authentic selves.”[vi]

Better Results

Diversity in the workplace can lead to new viewpoints which can lead to better results.[vii] A study from BYU and Northeastern examined “old-timers” and “newcomers” and tasked them with solving a murder mystery. The groups with more diverse sets of participants were more likely to correctly identify the murderer than those with uniform members.[viii] The study found that, “performance gains were not due to newcomers bringing new ideas to the group discussion. Instead, the results demonstrate that the mere presence of socially distinct newcomers and the social concerns their presence stimulates among old-timers motivates behavior that can convert affective pains into cognitive gains.”[ix] Diversity truly can be the catalyst for significant business results. Janina Kugel, Chief Diversity Officer at Siemens, said, “Diversity strengthens our innovative capacity, unleashes the potential of Siemens’ employees and thereby directly contributes to our business success.”[x]

The human brain is designed to learn and build new neural pathways for changing existing behaviors and decisions. Consequently, an organization does not have to accept a lack of diversity as a way of operating.[xi] Contact TTA today to discover how to improve decision making, employee retention and business results within your organization. For more information on Diversity visit – https://thetrainingassociates.com/diversity-inclusion-training/

[i] McGregor, Jena. “Google Admits It Has a Diversity Problem.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 29 May 2014, www.washingtonpost.com/news/on-leadership/wp/2014/05/29/google-admits-it-has-a-diversity-problem/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.92f6314748b4.

[ii] “Racial Diversity Improves Group Decision Making In Unexpected Ways, According To Tufts University Research.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 10 Apr. 2006, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060410162259.htm.

[iii] “15 Great Diversity and Inclusion Quotes for a Better Workplace.” Business Envato Tuts+, business.tutsplus.com/articles/diversity-and-inclusion-quotes-for-a-better-workplace–cms-31221.

[iv] Office, Team True. “The Cost of Unconscious Bias in the Workplace.” True Office Learning, www.trueofficelearning.com/blog/unconscious-bias-in-the-workplace-what-it-costs-your-bottom-line.

[v] Washington, Ella, and Camille Patrick. “3 Requirements for a Diverse and Inclusive Culture.” Gallup.com, Gallup, 26 June 2019, www.gallup.com/workplace/242138/requirements-diverse-inclusive-culture.aspx.

[vi] Washington, Ella, and Camille Patrick. “3 Requirements for a Diverse and Inclusive Culture.” Gallup.com, Gallup, 26 June 2019, www.gallup.com/workplace/242138/requirements-diverse-inclusive-culture.aspx.

[vii] 7 Studies That Prove the Value of Diversity in the Workplace, blog.capterra.com/7-studies-that-prove-the-value-of-diversity-in-the-workplace/.

[viii] 7 Studies That Prove the Value of Diversity in the Workplace, blog.capterra.com/7-studies-that-prove-the-value-of-diversity-in-the-workplace/.

[ix] Phillips, Katherine W., et al. “Is the Pain Worth the Gain? The Advantages and Liabilities of Agreeing With Socially Distinct Newcomers – Katherine W. Phillips, Katie A. Liljenquist, Margaret A. Neale, 2009.” SAGE Journals, journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0146167208328062.

[x] “15 Great Diversity and Inclusion Quotes for a Better Workplace.” Business Envato Tuts+, business.tutsplus.com/articles/diversity-and-inclusion-quotes-for-a-better-workplace–cms-31221.

[xi] Office, Team True. “The Cost of Unconscious Bias in the Workplace.” True Office Learning, www.trueofficelearning.com/blog/unconscious-bias-in-the-workplace-what-it-costs-your-bottom-line.