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Diversity - Making A Difference At Workplace

Diversity is becoming the key mantra for business and a culture of diversity across functions helps business to reinforce workforce performance

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Diversity, a recurrent theme in the discussions about workforce, is gaining prominence with the developing industry scenario. It is becoming the most discussed term these days in corporates and at the boardrooms. While addressing diversity, the understanding still remains clichéd with major focus on a diverse women workforce.

However; diversity cannot be labelled into big blocks like, male or female, old or young or nationalities. It goes beyond all disciplines and brings together a combination of talent with new ideas and perspectives for organization's long-term success.

Diversity is becoming the key mantra for business and a culture of diversity across functions helps business to reinforce workforce performance. In today's competitive and global business environment, creating an organizational culture that attracts, develops and retains talent from diverse backgrounds is compelling. New companies are emerging every day, hence, it is important for business leaders and employees to create a workforce, and an environment that encourages diversity to stay ahead of the curve. Diversity needs to be seen as an integral part of the business plan, as a component that is essential to successful products and increased sales. This is especially true in today's global marketplace, as companies frequently interact with different cultures and clients.

The organizations of the future need to leverage the strength of the workforce in a way that leads to collaboration and increased knowledge sharing that foster value creation for both, individuals and the organization. A few advantages evident from having a diverse team include:

Talent Availability - Recruitment is less challenging when one looks far and wide for the best talent. It also builds an employer brand. Having a diverse workforce makes a company more interesting, people can expect to learn more from their employees and organizations can also attract better talent from around the world. A company that has a strong diversity program will have a good reputation because it will be seen as having fair employment practices.

Differential Perspectives 
- People have different ways of analyzing and confronting challenges and the ability to think differently ensures that there are multiple ways to look at a problem and solve them. In short, diversity fosters creativity.

Culture Vibrancy - The culture of a workplace defines the morale of the employees, it also affects the retention rate. A diverse workplace ensures a stimulating work environment, it also ensures variety of ideas and fresh perspectives. People with different ideas come together and collaborate and bring about a new perspective to problem solving.

Many companies, however, are still facing challenges around building a diverse environment. The primary hurdle in the path of effective incorporation of diversity is the tendency to pigeonhole employees, that is placing them in different silos based on their diversity profile. This further defeats the purpose of diversity and keeps the company away from reaping the benefits of a diverse workforce.

Encouraging diversity in business has to be intentional from the top down. Taking the time to embrace and make positive use of diversity will only strengthen business endeavors and also take company to the next level. Build the business with complex multi-dimensional talents and personalities of workforce, and make diversity work for the organization.

Celebration of diversity needs to be applauded and encouraged as it reassures the employees that their differences are assets for the organization. Managing diversity indicates the commitment of an organization to recruit and retain employees from a different demographic background. Organizations today understand the importance of diversity and are taking significant methods to build a competent and diverse workforce. Corporate leaders are also upgrading human resource initiatives to effectively deal with organizational diversity.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Tags assigned to this article:
employment human resources workplace cuture diversity

Shilpa Kabra Maheshwari

The author is Head-Human Resources at National Engineering Industries Limited (NEIL).

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