Leverage Your Diversity Potential

Friday, October 11 2013

Every organization has the opportunity to benefit from human diversity. Families are moving around the world and all organizations have an ever increasing diversity in their communities, of individuals who are potentially customers and staff. A strategy to build a highly diverse workforce will deliver great payoffs.

More innovation and creative ideas

Human creativity is wrapped in human experience. Staff who are drawn from various parts of the world expand the scope of creativity and talent for unearthing new ideas to serve diverse markets.

Lower rates of absenteeism and turnover
Studies have concluded that these rates are lower when organizations promote diversity, reducing a key cost factor and bringing long term consistency.

Increased marketplace understanding

When your workforce reflects the diversity of your community and marketplace, you increase your understanding of those you serve.

Better ability for conducting business worldwide

If you conduct business in international markets, you encounter different philosophies and approaches. Similarly, in your local community, customers may be from diverse ethnic groups. Individuals from these communities who work for your organization have invaluable insight and connections.

Exponential growth

Research shows that companies emphasizing diversity experience strong growth. People are experts in understanding their own community market space and diversity enables companies to meet a broad range of unfolding needs in multiple spaces.

What are the best ways to leverage diversity?

Assess your diverse community and marketplace

Review reports, government or others, to determine where cultural or ethnic groups are growing within your community. Develop five year projections identify the growing opportunities.

Demonstrate commitment from the organization’s leaders

Have senior managers share their vision of the future organization’s diversity and visibly act to make it a reality.

Identify the organizational needs that will be fulfilled through diversity

Lay out the emerging market needs, the range of creativity and the roles that diversity can bring to your organization.

Build a diversity strategy

Identify long-term diversity objectives with short-term goals, plans and actions to move towards the vision. Assign the most appropriate people as champions to make key goals happen.

Emphasize teamwork

People accomplish more when they share goals and work together to make the visions a reality.

Measure and share results

When each champion regularly reports on what their team has accomplished, celebrate successes to reinforce good work. Provide coaching when people fall short.

Over the next ten years, the cultural diversity of every community will grow. Organizations which match this internally will reap the rewards of diversity for a long successful future.