DIVERSITY AT THE WORKPLACE

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    DIVERSITY AT THE WORKPLACE

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    How diverse is your organisation? Diversity refers to the Quality of being different. Well, when talking of diversity, what comes to mind is gender and ethnic affiliations. However there are so many other forms of being diverse in an organization such as diversity by:

    • Age
    • Back-ground
    • Cognitive style
    • Personality
    • Work skills
    • Disability status

    Statistics from a research done by McKinsey reveals that: Gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to perform better than those that are not. Ethnically-diverse companies are 35% more likely to perform better than those that are not. E .g in UK for every 10% increase in racial and ethnic diversity, the EBIT rose by 3.5%. A statistically significant relationship between companies with women and minorities at the top management and better financial performance has been established based on the Earnings before Interest and Tax (EBIT). So, you might ask, why is it that diversity is so important?

    • It drives innovation/creativity-Harvard Business Review article states that there is two-dimensional diversity-inherent business traits and acquired ones hence the more the diversity the greater the level of innovation.
    • It captures a larger market share-market diversification. Every company dreams of having a large market share. The easiest way to achieve this without marketing tools is actually diversification at the workplace.
    • Increased adaptability within the work-place-We all feel safe when we know that we are not outcasts in our spaces .Therefore, diversity allows new employees to feel part of the group.
    • Broader service range, product diversification-The greater the diversity that exists, the more the creativity in product creation at your disposal and hence the broader the service/product range.
    • More effective execution-Duties and assignments are done more creatively and effectively when you have a diverse team.

    Challenges encountered in achieving diversity:

    • Differences in cultural customs and norms
    • Communication issues
    • Homophile- the tendency of associating with those who are similar
    • The need to incorporate policies to accommodate the diverse groups

    In conclusion, most companies today are operating within a diverse globalized market. Hence the need for companies to ensure they have a comparative edge through diversity. Despite the challenges associated with trying to achieve diversity, in the long run, your company is sure to achieve a greater level of innovation , market share, broader service range, more effective execution and an overall high financial performance.

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