The New Meaning of Workplace Diversity

Diversity in the workplace. When it comes to the business world, it’s a topic that many company heads are oftentimes talking about. There are many reasons why this is the case. For one thing, it’s been proven that the more diverse a business is, the greater chance that it has to increase its profits, reduce its turnover rate and also improve on its customer loyalty as well.

That’s because when a company puts a concerted amount of effort into having its staff reflect both genders and several different cultures, not only does that speak to the heightened sensitivity and awareness that the business has for the world that we live in, but it also creates a professional environment for employees to become more creative, to improve their communication skills, to grow within the company—to thrive overall.

However, there is actually a new study which indicates that the term “workplace diversity” is actually expanding its meaning. According to the study’s findings, it’s not just about doing what is necessary in order to avoid gender and culture discrimination. Workplace diversity is also about promoting the kind of values that will make a company desirable to prospective workers. It’s about addressing some of the business’s professional passions and desires so that the people who work there will be excited about contributing to the company for a long time.

The study was based, in part, on information that was gathered by many different human resources departments of several different kinds of companies. When human resource executives were asked what they believed would result in the biggest changes when it came to human resource strategies over the course of the next three years, 60 percent of them stated that employees seem to have a lack of assimilating company values; 50 percent pointed to their workplace having conflicting values and 47 percent stated that millennial employees seemed to have unrealistic expectations.

And when a work environment has unclear values and unrealistic expectations, automatically, that affects the productivity of the business as well as the employer/employee dynamic. Johnna Torsone, the Chief HR Officer at Pitney Bowes, went on record statin that while working to find some sense of balance in this area, one of the main questions that employers need to ask themselves is if they are willing to create the kind of work environment where different staff members will be able to feel comfortable being who they truly are so that they company can then maximize their talent and grow their company.

In order to do this, it’s becoming more and more apparent that employers are going to have to approach work differently. They will need to be open to providing a virtual workspace (at least a couple of times per week or month). They will need to listen to more suggestions from the staff. They will need to think outside-of-the-box when it comes to maintaining employee and customer retention. They will have to put keeping their employees happy over “doing what’s always been done”.

Over the next couple of years, you’ll probably be reading a lot more about workplace and cultural diversity in business publications. For now, the new approach to the workplace is something that we all should definitely think about. For the sake of our companies, our customers and most importantly, our staff.

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