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Why Your Business Needs Diversity In The Workplace

Why Your Business Needs Diversity In The Workplace

Diversity has become one of the most important facets in a thriving business as companies become more competitive than ever and cultural dynamics with their audience evolves. Additionally, in today’s climate, customers are looking to work with companies that value a diverse workforce. Your customers are observing your company’s inclusion and using it as a deciding factor in who they choose to do business with. 

Companies that have placed serious value on diversity and inclusion have seen the positive impact on both their staff and their bottom line. Some of these companies include Johnson and Johnson, Mastercard, Disney and more. For Kaiser Permanente who ranked No.1 on the DiversityInc list and is within the healthcare industry, 60% of their staff comprise people of color. They find diversity to be crucial to the success of the company and healthcare giant to be able to provide culturally-acceptable medical care and culturally-appropriate services to all of the 140 cultures currently represented in the population of the US.

Beyond being able to better serve your customers, here are a few ways that hiring diverse talent can positively impact your business:

More Innovation

When companies hire staff with similar backgrounds they tend to receive similar ideas and feedback. A diverse workforce challenges the status quo and allows for more creative and innovative ideas to flow. Diversity brings in new perspectives and helps the company speak to a broader audience that is as unique as the team that delivers the content. 

Google, arguably one of the strongest leaders in technology innovation, has been taking strong initiatives over the last few years to champion diversity and have seen significant positive results as they push technology forward. When interviewed by Quartz at Work, Sundar Pichai the CEO of Google said, “A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.” 

Faster Problem Solving

Harvard Business Review ran a study testing groups strategic thinking and performance. This exercise has been used with over 100 teams, but for this study, it focused on 6 main groups to test for cognitive diversity. The study showed that diverse teams were able to solve problems much faster than teams that were not diverse. In this example, Harvard took 3 teams that were diverse and 3 teams that were not and the diverse teams were able to complete a task 2 to 3 times faster than the team that was not diverse. In IT and cybersecurity, having a team with varied education and work experience, for example, would be more likely to take a look at an issue from different angles, unlike a team that all had the same educational background. For companies, this could mean saving millions of dollars in IT or cybersecurity costs by hiring a diverse team that is able to solve problems quicker. 

The article quotes, “Tackling new challenges requires a balance between applying what we know and discovering what we don’t know that might be useful.”

Better Retention

Companies that value inclusion and diversity have overall better retention rates, keeping key talent for years to come. An ADP study found that companies that are diverse and inclusive retain employees 20% higher than those who don’t. When employees feel valued and that they can come as they are and not singled out for their “otherness” they are happier and are more likely to stay. 

For larger companies, keeping employee turnover at a low number is crucial for not only company culture, but also the financial bottom line. PeopleKeep shares that through studies from Human Resource organizations like SHRM, predict that every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it costs 6 to 9 months’ salary on average. For a manager making $40,000 a year, that’s $20,000 to $30,000 in recruiting and training expenses.

Better Decision Making 

In a white paper conducted by Cloverpop, it was found that companies with diverse teams outperformed monolithic teams and delivered superior performance by 87%. When teams of different backgrounds come together, they bring their unique perspectives with them, with what works and what doesn’t to help maximize results. 

While we are living in an era where technology is moving and changing everything around us so quickly, making and keeping the best IT and cybersecurity team is the most important aspect for any business to survive.

For all of these reasons and more, NexGenT is proud to have a diverse group of students that we know will help drive a positive impact to the companies they work for. NexGenT helps individuals build their IT and cybersecurity technical and interpersonal skills, but it is who an individual is, their background, their culture, and their experiences that help make them the great assets that they are. 

How to Hire for Diversity

Looking for your first step in fostering a more diverse and inclusive organization? NexGenT’s alumn Al Minnigan (Network Operations Technician) has this suggestion.  “I would advise a company to truly do an across-the-board transparent view of candidates and employees. Truly assess the employees’ or candidates’ skills and strengths. When you focus only on what they individually contribute and make an effort to promote their growth, there will be a fair assessment. Always be open-minded, step out of your comfort zone, and give everyone an equal chance to build your organization and be a valuable asset. Globally, EVERYONE has positive contributions.”

Terry Kim, Co-founder and CEO of NexGenT quotes, “For IT teams to be successful within a company… they need to constantly innovate and solve critical problems. This is where diversity can make a huge difference as studies have shown from MIT to Harvard publications that diverse teams are smarter and more creative when working together. So why not build a diverse IT team from the start?”

If you or your company is looking to build its best IT networking or cybersecurity team, join our employer network by opt-ing in here.