The uniqueness in employees’ skills, abilities, age, tradition, experience, values, culture, backgrounds, etc. is what we call workforce diversity. It is as opportunistic as it is challenging. Here we will discuss some advantages and disadvantages of workforce diversity in the workplace.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Workforce Diversity
Workforce diversity is the most common aspect in organizations. Every organization’s employees differ from each other to some extent or a great extent.
Following are some common advantages and disadvantages you may realize from a diverse workforce in your organization.
Advantages of Workforce Diversity
Following are the positive aspects or pros of a diverse workforce.
More Diverse Employees, More New Ideas
The first benefit you may realize from having a diverse workforce is various new ideas. As they have diversity in knowledge, skills, experiences, attitudes, etc. they can certainly provide you with new ideas to do the tasks.
However, it depends on you how you conceptualize those new ideas. They can be beneficial to making new effective plans and strategies that might help in bringing outcomes more effectively.
In addition, a diverse workplace also gets organizations to access more talent.
Creativity and Productivity
When we feel motivated and encouraged the idea is that we can be more creative in every activity. Promoting diversity and an inclusive workplace ensures that every employee is important, valued, respected, and fairly treated, and their contribution even small is appreciated.
It motivates employees to do work more effectively. In addition, they have a uniqueness in their abilities, knowledge, and skills which further brings creativity to the working environment. And, when employees feel motivated and work with creativity surely you achieve greater productivity and improved performance in the organization.
Ability To Serve Diverse Customers
It is an undeniable fact that a diverse workforce has employees having different backgrounds, cultures, religions, and demographics.
They know better diverse customers. They know what they like and what do not, their need, taste, preferences, economic status, and so forth. This makes companies possible to produce and serve customers as they want to be served.
As employees have knowledge about many customers their knowledge lets the company be able to better serve the diverse customers.
One of the objectives of workforce diversity is to motivate employees in a way they feel valued and have committed to the organization so that they do not think of shifting to another.
Further studies have shown that diverse workplaces have reduced employee turnover to great extent. This is because it promotes inclusivity in the workplace which welcomes and values employee differences and disabilities. As such, they feel appreciated, valued, and important in their presence which does not let them go to another firm.
High Market Coverage
Employees with diverse reach to different markets, areas, and locations can easily deliver the message of the organization. They have connections with diverse customers and their effort to share the positivity of the organization can certainly increase the market access of that organization.
In addition, this may reduce the costs and you can develop better marketing campaigns that make people take action as you have sufficient information about the diverse customers.
Related: What is Market?
More employees mean more tasks in less time. A diverse workforce enables an organization to access more talents, brings creativity and productivity, increases market access, and makes it able to serve better diverse customers which ultimately increases the sales and profits of the company.
A diverse workforce working environment gives positivity to general people. It shows that everyone working here is fairly treated, valued, and the working environment is fit for all. Such inclusivity in the workplace leads to a good reputation for the organization.
Disadvantages of Workforce Diversity
Following are the cons/negatives aspects of workforce diversity.
More Diverse Employees, More Conflicts
One of the major disadvantages of workforce diversity is there is always a potential for workplace conflict. Since the employees vary in their different aspects their concepts and ideas might clash with others. Such conflicts will cause less work completion and may reduce productivity.
Read Also: How To Manage Conflict in the Workplace?
Too Many Opinions
One of the benefits of workforce diversity is it provides many ideas and opinions to conduct activities. On the other hand, too many opinions will also be a con of the diverse workforce.
Too many opinions to solve a problem or conduct a task might confuse the managers in choosing which is the best. Similarly, analyzing the effect of all opinions might be time-consuming and make work completion slower.
Proper communication is necessary for the workplace. Since the employees are different in backgrounds, knowledge, education, and language they might not understand the language of other employees. Which causes the communication problem in the organization.
Increase Training Costs
Employees themselves do not know how to cope with and work with different backgrounds people. Some might know but most are not. So it is an important task of the manager to train employees so that they understand the importance of having a diverse workforce and know how to work with them.
Diversity laws are means to maintain inclusive workplaces. You have to adhere to diversity laws while managing workforce diversity in the organization. Because the ignorance of diversity laws might cause you to bear serious fines and losses.
Hence… These are some of the advantages and disadvantages of workforce diversity commonly realized in all workplaces.
Read Next: Importance of Diversity in the Workplace