Everyone knows that workers are the life and blood of a company. The proof is in the pudding: According to the Harvard Business Review, organizations with low employee engagement scores experience 18 percent lower productivity and 16 percent lower profitability, along with other decreased metrics. Your company’s success, in other words, is reliant not only on top talent, but also engaged employees.
One way that you build a strong company culture? Diversity. And when it comes to diversity, there’s more nuance than you might realize, especially for Gen Z and Millennials. They look for company cultures with 2-D diversity. To understand that concept, let’s take a step back: The Center for Talent Innovation (CTI) identified two kinds of diversity: inherent (traits you’re born with, like sexual orientation and race) and acquired (traits you gain through experience, like living in a foreign country or attending a two-year school and matriculating into a four-year university). To have 2-D diversity, you need a mix of both acquired and inherent diversity.
You and your organization need to understand both the needs of your employees and customers. And a diverse workforce can help you accomplish that. Here’s why.
Companies that actively cultivate a diverse employee base have a quantifiable advantage over their competitors. In its research, CTI researchers found that teams with 2-D diversity are 45 percent more likely to report market share growth in one year, and 70 percent more likely to have captured a new market.
The benefits of diversity don’t stop there, though. According to the Boston Consulting Group, companies that reported above-average diversity among their management increased innovation revenue which they defined as revenue from products and services launched in the past three years—by 19 percent overall.
The main takeaway? When you bring together people with diverse backgrounds, the results are better ideas, more collaborative environments, and increased revenue.
The future leaders of your company—Gen Z and Millennials—want to work for organizations with diverse senior management and a forward-thinking mindset. In fact, 69 percent of Millennials employed at a diverse organization claimed they would stay with their employer beyond five years. Only 27 percent said they would remain with their present employer for the same amount of time if that company has employees with similar backgrounds and thinkers. That’s a stark difference.
Another fact worth noting: 77 percent of Gen Z want to work for an organization that values 2-D diversity.
Regardless of whether you’re starting to emphasize diversity as a core business initiative or it’s been a major push for an extended period of time, remember this: Diversity begets diversity. A company that values all voices and provides professional growth to diverse employees is one that’s more likely to have engaged workers. And as the Harvard Business Review notes, businesses with highly engaged employees see an increase in job applications—by 100 percent!
If you want the lifeline of your company—your employees—to keep your company pumping, you need to hire more diverse top talent. Failing to do so will put you at a disadvantage that’ll be increasingly difficult to overcome, especially as Gen Z and Millennials continue to represent an increasingly large share of the overall global workforce.