When companies boast about diversity in the workplace, they frequently refer to race, gender, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. However, an inclusive workplace is not constrained to these definitions. Diversity can assume a myriad of shapes and forms from job position to personality. Understanding different forms of diversity and leveraging them to facilitate a creative, well-managed work culture will produce a positive effect on employee satisfaction, engagement, and efficiency.
Race and Gender
Some aspects of one's identity can shape personal life experiences, social expectations, stereotypes, etc. While each quality individually influences all of these factors, their intersectionality offers even more fragmented perceptions of life. For example, a French-Canadian heterosexual male will undoubtedly have a different perception of life than an Asian female. A strategic leader will cultivate an environment of inclusivity to benefit from the perspectives that diversity of life experiences offers.
Cultural diversity is applicable to a variety of qualities, including religion, location, ethnicity, values & beliefs, traditions, and more. Each individual in a business is contextualized by their own experiences and background, which give them unique perspectives. Cultural diversity in the workplace renders learning opportunities and shapes social competencies capable of positively affecting other areas of business. For example, a copywriting intern may provide insight into potential cross-cultural perceptions of a piece of work.
This form of diversity is crucial to running a successful business. Skill diversity is the differentiation of talents and knowledge. A few examples include project management, coding, program-specific knowledge, graphic design, and conflict resolution. Skill diversity in the workforce fosters collaboration and cross-training to fill skill gaps. Minimizing skill redundancy increases efficiency with a smaller headcount, thus reducing the overall cost of human capital.
The two primary classifications of workers are contract, or contingent, workers and permanent employees. There are additional classifications including temps, employees, interns, contract workers, and more. As for duration, the positions can be full-time, part-time, seasonal, or temporary. While diversity in terms of job classification can introduce risks such as misclassification and co-employment, these can be mitigated with the assistance of a managed service provider (MSP) or a contingent workforce advisor. Diversifying the classification of employees will also enable the manager to cover areas of need assuming the financial burden of a full-time employee.
Mindset and Personality
Personality quizzes are everywhere from what Myers-Briggs personality type you are to which fruit best represents you. In-depth personality assessments such as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator claim to provide insight into how you interact with others, what you value, how you engage with the world, and your leadership approach. It is important to build a balanced team of individuals with a variety of personality types. A team composed of too many cohesion-focused individuals may result in delayed tasks, unrefined ideas, and unmet deadlines. Even a team formed around a single skill set can be a host of personal diversity, as a team of coding specialists can host over 16 personality types. For instance, Harvard Business Review recommends a blend of the following personality types:
- The Results-Oriented Commander:
Self-confident, energetic, task-oriented, organized, competitive, take charge, rules-oriented.
- The Relationship-Focused Empath:
Diplomatic, warm, values feelings of others, cohesion-focused.
- The Organizer:
Detail-oriented, conscientious, rule-following, organized, reliable.
- The Disruptive Innovator:
imaginative, curious, innovative, anticipate problems, open-minded, change embracing, problem-solvers.
- The Pragmatic:
Cautious, level-headed, challenger, practical thinker, emotionally stable.
Overall Effect of Diversity on Employee Engagement and Efficiency
Studies suggest that diversity and employee engagement workforce diversity is positively related to perceptions of workplace inclusion and trust in leadership. In turn, perception of inclusion is correlated with employee engagement, meaning the more diverse a workplace is, the more likely they are to trust leadership, feel included, and positively engage with the individuals around them.
Tasks require collective efforts; they require individuals of all backgrounds to pool their diverse perspectives and talents for the sake of the objective. By understanding how diversity in the workplace can positively impact your business, you can better assemble teams that foster enjoyment and engagement, ultimately generating efficiency. Utilizing a third-party contingent workforce management solution that offers MSP and HR advisory services can optimize the recruitment of team members and management of team building. To learn more about how HCMWorks can help strengthen your teams, contact one of our experts.