In today’s day and age, striving to increase workplace diversity is no longer an empty slogan; it has become a smart business decision. Organizations that are built on a diverse leadership team not only have stronger employee value propositions, they are also more successful in recruiting and retaining top talent. As stated by Sundar Pichai; the CEO of Google, “A diverse mix of voices not only leads to better discussions but also better decisions and outcomes for everyone.”
Undoubtedly, hiring and managing a diverse leadership has become an essential ingredient in the recipe for success for every business. A recent survey conducted by McKinsey Group also indicated that companies in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their average industry returns. Below are the eight benefits that organizations enjoy as a result of employing a diverse leadership team.
- Creating new depths of understanding
When companies bring diversity to the leadership level, they end up opening doors to greater depths of experience and perspective. As a result, it allows leaders to understand and relate to employees, clients, and even prospective clients. This newfound experience and perspective allow room for setting new benchmarks. It allows leaders to bring forth change and facilitate innovation which is critical for both capturing and maintaining market share. Not only this, but a diverse leadership team has a larger pool of experience and unique points of view to draw from, which can help with finding solutions to problems and generating new ideas.
- Increased awareness amongst employees
As strange as it may sound, the experiences we face in our lives create a filter for us through which we see and understand those around us. Following the same principle, if businesses engage in increasing diversity in their team of leaders, they automatically increase the awareness of the landscape an organization must navigate to succeed. From customer experience to employee needs and even global opportunities, every aspect is viewed in a new and improved lens of awareness.
- Promoting a growth mindset
Just look at some of the tone-deaf and downright offensive marketing mishaps that could have been easily avoided by having a more varied group of decision-makers. Employing a diverse leadership team tends to bring perspective to an organization’s goals. It allows room to pressure test assumptions and judgment as well as inculcate a new way of thinking. As a result, promoting a healthy growth mindset and allowing room for greater employee engagement, empowerment, and faster decision making. Remember! Every step towards a diverse leadership team is like a stone in the lake. Those ripples can reach out.
- Building healthy relations with employees and clients
Imagine being the only female in an all-made leadership team or being the only one from an ethnic minority in an all Caucasian senior-level management. Not having leaders that an employee can relate to can sometimes prevent an employee to feel motivated or envisioning a path forward for themselves. On the contrary, ensuring that your company has a group of strong yet diverse leaders can allow companies to be viewed positively, thus building better employee and customer relationships. After all, the foundation of any successful organization is an engaged workforce that strives to provide exemplary services to all their customers’ needs and wants.
- Acting as a means of continuous learning process
Another important benefit of having a diverse leadership team is its contribution towards maximizing the team’s learning process. When team members and employees come from diverse backgrounds, they always tend to bring something new with them. This leads to continuous learning and allows employees to be more readily adaptive towards changes.
- Providing unique ways to innovate
We have all heard stories about the legendary 20 percent rule of Google and how it encourages each of its employees to pitch in ideas. Because of this practice, Google News and AdSense became a reality. Organizations that focus on building a cohesive and diverse leadership team where all team members are free to pitch in ideas and have candid conversations automatically boost innovation in the company. No doubt, it takes a lot of discipline and patience to listen, and courage to build a successful and well-managed team that can deliver results. But when you get your team to be passionate about doing what they do and consistently churn out ideas, your company will automatically find new and unique ways to innovate.
- Having a wide array of different perspectives
Just like any other aspect of an organization, introducing diversity at the workplace can also be a success or a disaster. It is imperative to take stock of the level of cultural intelligence and the capacity to accept inclusion within your team. Leaders and teams must both be willing and open to let diversity in. After all, the different perspectives resulting from having a diverse leadership team will allow them to see the situation from multiple angles so that they can make better decisions, provided that all voices can and want to be heard.
- Less monotony and more fun
Many a time, leading organizations make the mistake of having leaders and team members of the same personality. They end up choosing employees with the same behavioral traits and characteristics. While this may help them get along easily in the beginning, things start to get monotonous and boring over time.
Introducing the concept of a diverse leadership team creates a greater learning capacity. It oozes new energy and more engagement amongst the team, ultimately leading them to be more creative, innovative, and effective. At the end of the day, it’s a win-win situation for all where work becomes more fun and companies end up finding new and innovative ways to excel.