Over the next few blog posts, I am going to break down each of the benefits of diversity in greater detail, starting with problem solving and decision making.
So how does business improve just from diversity? One of the reasons is that employing people from different backgrounds and experiences create differences of opinions which can lead to constructive dissent – and better problem solving.
So why would you want dissent and disagreement in a team? Most of us avoid it, but for business – believe it or not – it leads to a demonstrated rise in business profit of up to 35 per cent.
Managing constructive dissent can be a challenge, but the results can increase your profits, and put your business into the lead in any market.
How do you create constructive dissent which leads to better discussions in your team, and shows in better business decisions and better profits? Constructive dissent happens when people have differing opinions about how to solve a problem, or approach a business decision. Differing opinions can be based on a person’s background, their political beliefs, their life experiences, their socio-economic status, their cultural heritage, and their different abilities.
The role that constructive dissent from a diverse team plays in business has been studied in detail. Discussions on business problems, sales, and decisions will be more creative, because diverse teams provide more solutions to problems than non-diverse teams, leading to better business results.
Recruiting staff from different backgrounds with the appropriate skills and qualifications to do the job – and ensuring proper inclusion occurs will create an environment where constructive dissent and better problem solving will thrive.
When managing differences in opinion, inclusion is the key, and leadership on practising inclusion in your business and in your teams is crucial. If you lead by example, and your team leaders lead by example, in your recruitment choices and your genuine inclusion of people from different backgrounds, your business will begin to see the emergence of new ideas, new ways to do business, and better results.
Let’s take the example of Verizon, a company that openly takes pride in the diversity of their workforce. They have a leadership with diverse backgrounds, they have 59 percent of their staff identifying as a member of an inclusion group, and – they make purchasing decisions and buy from companies who are owned and operated by, for example, veterans or culturally diverse people.
They openly acknowledge problem solving, ideas and constructive dissent ensures the financial success of the company. Verizon’s recruitment strategy continues to encourage people of all backgrounds to work at the company, and their 2016 annual report shows they are in their tenth consecutive year of annual dividend increases.
Whether you’re a small to medium enterprise, or a larger business, there’s a profit to be had from a diverse workforce. So if you’re striving for a 35 per cent increase in profits, next time you hire, think diversity.
It’s been shown many times over to improve the business bottom line, your creative problem solving, and lead to better decisions, with people who come from many different backgrounds. It’s been proven, it works.
Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (02) 6162 5127 if you’re ready to increase your diversity and increase your profits.