June 8, 2021 | 3-minute read (470 words)
HR executives have traditionally defined diversity in the workplace as the acceptance of co-workers of different races, genders, disabilities, ethnicities, sexual orientations, ages and religions. With the rise of millennials in many businesses, diversity has been reshaped to also incorporate acceptance of co-workers with different personalities, education and experiences.
For startups in particular, recruiting a diverse staff can open an array of opportunities. Building a diverse team spurs new ideas from a wider pool of viewpoints and experiences, which in turn can lead to more innovative thinking, the lifeblood of a startup. In addition, you will be able to attract better talent as a magnet for candidates looking for companies they know are diverse.
A Citrix study finds that 86% of employees believe that the importance of a diverse workforce will continue to rise as the skills companies need evolve over time. Some 66% of HR directors included in the study agreed.
Below are the five key reasons why your startup should focus on building a diverse staff.
1. Higher productivity
When HR staff conduct their onboarding for new hires for a diverse team, efforts must be made to ensure they feel included and that they successfully integrate into their new role. This inclusion-focused process will foster better communication and understanding among members of the team, which in turn benefits productivity.
2. Deepens staff engagement
Modern employees are increasingly concerned about being part of an inclusive organization whose work is meaningful. When staff feel valued and appreciated, it brings a higher level of motivation to their performance. Ensuring that team members get to know one another and feel comfortable sharing their different cultural backgrounds and experiences will also boost employee engagement.
3. Spurs innovation
Each member of a diverse team brings their own unique experiences and perspectives to the job. This leads to a variety of insights that can inform a complex project or campaign and give rise to a better end product. Additionally, in a period of crisis the ability to get opinions from all members of such a team is conducive to quicker problem-solving.
4. Cultural differences become assets
By spending time together, team members come to respect one another’s different cultures, languages, religions, practices and traditions. The ability to learn from members’ different backgrounds has the opposite effect of marginalization.
5. Attracts high-caliber talent
As an employer who adapts a broad understanding of diversity, your startup will appeal to people from many different walks of life. With a reputation as a progressive business, more people will seek to work for you. This will also affect your employee retention rate, as workers embrace an environment where individuals of all backgrounds are welcome.
Startups that hire for diversity foster openness to new ideas and boost employees’ sense of belonging, which benefits not only engagement, but also productivity.