Workplace Diversity – Benefits or Disadvantages?

Employees variety and differences between them give rise to workplace diversity. Thus, people from different cultural and social backgrounds and different generations or various nationalities and ethnic groups get to work together and form teams. In the context of globalization and expansion of companies working with global clients, encouraging diversity brings benefits that help maintain a high level of competitiveness. However, the existence of a diverse group of employees can bring disadvantages or conflicts when the diversity culture is not encouraged and accompanied by the organizational collaboration.

Diversity not only influences the image that people have regarding themselves, but the way they perceive others, and these perceptions have a powerful impact on the interaction between individuals. When dealing with notable differences between colleagues, leaders must effectively manage communication at an organizational level to efficiently react to diverse needs, build and maintain a friendly working environment. Moreover, assessing the satisfaction level at work is essential to identify and overcome the perception, cultural or linguistic barriers occurring in such groups.

Increased Productivity

However, when properly managed, diversity can bring increased productivity and the organization can offer various solutions to customers, depending on their type, given that they have a diversified workforce, capable of delivering different types of solutions for their needs. Creativity at a team level will be higher when the people working together are different. Thus, where having employees with various backgrounds, original and innovative proposals suggested by them will be numerous, and the organization will be able to provide solutions for all kind of clients.

Also, when talking about companies working for clients worldwide, having employees trained in several fields or coming from different cultural environments this can turn to a significant advantage. For example, an employee of another nationality, who speaks a different language can facilitate a partnership with a customer from his native country, since he owns abilities that will allow him to have a better approach in dealing with the potential partner. On the other hand, when within the company there are more native speakers of a particular language, this can be a business card for the entire organization, to attract partners from that local market.

Promoting a Positive Image

Last but not least, we must take into account the fact that any candidate in search of a job will be attracted to organizations that promote a workforce diversity. Thus, they will make sure that companies do not discriminate and treat their employees equally, even if they are different. In the context of promoting cultural diversity, new talents will rather turn to companies where they will find different people than to the ones where individuals are similar. Thus, even if keeping the identity remains a priority, it does not exclude interaction with mixed people.

In conclusion, building a healthy relationship between employees, and partners is vital for an organization, particularly when we talk about homogeneous groups of individuals. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, workplace diversity can turn into organizational benefits, but can also have negative effects if acceptance, tolerance, and inclusion are not encouraged. Let’s not forget that we live in a world where borders are no longer an issue, and the free movement of people has led to the diversification of the workforce, and that the only barrier we can face are those that we impose to ourselves when interacting with others.


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