Why Diversity in The Workforce Fuels Growth
At a young age, we all embraced an unlikely iconic duo of a bird and a snuffleupagus without questioning their collaboration. Elmo’s age and species are up for debate, but his contribution to our emotional development as human beings would be hard to dispute. We idolized an entire street of monsters and grouches and adults and kids that lived in harmony, and maybe some of us begged our parents to move there.
When you peek your head up from your cubicle/out your office door (now that we’ve all (allegedly) grown up)—what cast of characters do you see? Do you a heterogeneous mix of backgrounds, races, ages, and monsters? Or is everybody just like you?
The trend of hiring people who are a good “cultural fit” gave us a bunch of people who were exactly like us, who liked the same things, and knew the same things, and believed the same things. If we all agree, where is the room for growth in the organization?
In a 2018 study by Boston Consulting Group, companies who reported above average diversity in management, saw 19% more innovation revenue (enhancement of products or entirely new products) year over year. Companies with below average diversity reported 26% of their revenue came from innovation revenue, and those teams with above average diversity scores reported 45%- almost half of annual revenue.
Companies are 120% more likely to hit their revenue goals in an inclusive environment, which would be a lot of cookies for a certain blue monster. 83% of millennials feel more engaged in their work when their culture is inclusive, and there’s 2.3 times more cash-flow for all employees, not just that age group.
Why is that?
- New Ideas. Diverse workforces foster a safe environment for a myriad of new perspectives. New perspectives spur new ideas, new ideas spur new revenue streams.
- Inspired Employees. New ideas and creativity spur increased productivity. Not only are you making more, you’re getting more done, and the employees feel inspired, and even better, they feel a sense of ownership in their ideas.
- Less fear in the workplace. If we are free to be you and me, then you’re going to get a lot of more confident employees who are ready to stick their neck out and say something, eradicating the culture of “this is how we’ve always done it”.
Cookie Monster was a monster with a passion for baked goods, Oscar was a monster focused on the logistics of trash, Elmo was as far as I can tell, a love monster, and a darn good one at that. Mr Hooper was a grown up running a small business and Big Bird was well, a very nervous bird. If they all can come together, why can’t we? Diversity and inclusion are where the air is sweet and it’s the answer to having a more innovated workforce.
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