The case for building a culturally diverse workforce is stronger than ever. More than just a human resources program or a good public relations move in response to global demands for increased social awareness, diversity in a business setting can meaningfully effectuate change Those companies that maintain diversity as a guiding principal know that it’s not only the “right” thing to do (and ensures they comply with Equal Opportunity Employment laws), but can also meaningfully benefit the company business, as well as serve the “greater good.”
At Verus LLC, we know firsthand the impact of a diverse workforce. Since its founding, diversity has been a core value at the company, comprised of employees representing 20 different countries who speak more than two dozen languages. Generationally, the firm is equally divided among millennials, Gen-X, Gen-Y and boomers. When it comes to gender diversity, Verus encourages the development of talented women and men alike, and its senior management team is 50% women. In order to nurture a culture of empowerment and diversity, Verus strives to support inclusion plans that consist of hiring top talent in all protected classes, which also comprise race, religious affiliation, disability, sexual orientation, age, education level, veteran status and family status. To ensure its diversity, leadership regularly identifies areas of concern such as overrepresentation of one demographic, hiring challenges, employee attitudes and location uniformity.
Here are just some of the benefits of a diverse workforce:
- Inclusive contributions: A diverse workforce feels welcomed and accepted, which directly impacts how comfortable and empowered employees feel when presenting ideas and addressing challenges. For example, Verus employees actively participate in the resolution of organizational challenges by applying their own unique expertise acquired through own life experiences and backgrounds. This amalgamation of skills and education enables the company to manage critical projects from various perspectives, minimizing the risk of a “group-think” mentality that often limits creativity and innovation.
- Enhanced understanding of business challenges: Successful corporate leaders understand that a diverse team brings a unique perspective to the workplace, a client matter or a business problem. For example, having the capability to relate to a customer on a cultural level heightens communications and deepens understanding of differing viewpoints.
- Improved customer relations: Your diverse employee base that communicates with customers/clients from various backgrounds can have a meaningful impact on helping to build a more trusting connection between company and client.
- Establishment of a positive reputation and corporate image: Businesses that embrace diversity may be viewed as more ethical and feature a corporate image of transformation and empathy — critical values for competing in a global landscape.
- Improved attraction and retention of top talent: Companies that prioritize cultural inclusivity routinely highlight cultural influences — whether through employee appreciation events, paid holidays or incorporating other traditions from distinct cultures into an organization’s social calendar. By fostering an inclusive culture that prospective employees from myriad backgrounds will seek out, employers can also create an environment where these employees will want to stay and grow with the organization.
By building and retaining a diverse workforce, companies can better relate to a multicultural client base, attract customers from varying backgrounds, and effectively manage projects by applying unique expertise acquired through an inclusive team — all of which directly impacts a company’s overall growth and success.
Lori Todaro is the chief resources officer at Verus LLC, a litigation support firm serving mass tort and class action law firms based in Princeton. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 609-466-0427, ext. 1011.