It's no secret that in a country as diverse and multicultural as the United States, the workplace works best when diversity is celebrated. When workers of different ages, races, cultural backgrounds and beliefs work together, employees are happier, the community is better served and companies show that they are about more than just the bottom line.
A Positive Effect
Diversity in the workplace is as good for the staff as it is for management. A 2002 report by the University of Florida found that in companies that celebrate and respect a diverse staff, productivity and creativity among employees goes up. A sensitive workplace also lessens the likelihood of lawsuits by creating a fair and safe environment in which everyone has access to the same opportunities and challenges.
Business today is global, so doesn't it make sense that a well-diversified staff would put your company in a better position to reach out to a planet full of potential customers? According to a July 2012 report by the Center for American Progress, companies that hire workers from various backgrounds not only draw from a broader pool of top-shelf candidates, they can more effectively market to customers and communicate with clients from different cultures, backgrounds and languages all over the world.
Support from the Top Down
Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images
A company is only as strong as those who run it. When it comes to diversity in the workplace, managers can do many things to make sure the company is on the right track. Social gatherings and business meetings that give every employee the chance to speak -- and listen -- to each other can create open dialogues. Mentoring programs and sensitivity training for managers also go a long way toward a safe, productive and creative workplace.
Life Outside the Office
Companies today realize that employees have personal lives and families to take care of. The Wall Street Journal reports that benefits such as onsite daycare, childcare subsidies and flexible schedules show employees that their employers are willing to work around important aspects of employees' lives. And companies that accommodate cultural and religious holidays and celebrate cultural events with fun events like international movie nights also make for great, diverse workplaces.