When people consider staff diversity, they often think about how people look – different races, ethnicities, ages, and genders. However, diversity includes all employee differences – education levels, experiences, ways of processing information, communication styles, and much more. It is easy to create a pattern of hiring people who look and act alike, but a commitment to diversity builds a stronger business.
If fostering diversity is not already part of your management strategy, here are six reasons why we believe it should be:
Increases Creativity & Innovation
People are products of their experiences. They inform how we think and feel about future situations by forming unique perspectives. When these diverse viewpoints come together in a warehouse, they create an environment that sparks creativity and innovation around new ideas. Thinking of new ways for accomplishing work also increases overall productivity. A Forbes Insight study found that 85% of surveyed companies earning at least $500 million in annual revenue believe a diverse workforce is crucial for driving innovation.
Introduces Better Problem-Solving & Decision-Making
Diverse teams make better decisions faster. Harvard Business Review published research citing that cognitively diverse groups, or teammates that think differently solve complex problems faster. Promoting employee diversity brings more solutions to the table when opportunities or challenges arise. Employees can process through the various ideas quickly to find the optimal one. In fact, diverse teams generating a variety of possible answers outperform solo decision-makers up to 87% of the time.
Improves Employee Engagement & Retention
Inclusive workplaces encourage employee voice. When employees feel heard, they want to contribute to the business, become more engaged in their work, and stay with the company longer. This decreased employee turnover generates significant savings. Estimates show hiring a new employee can cost up to 30% of the salary. This means that even the cold chain industry’s 33% turnover could cost a small warehouse operation more than $250,000 annually. However, when companies do need to recruit, a commitment to diversity helps attract top talent and expands the qualified candidate pool.
Builds a Good Company Reputation
Promoting diversity is seen as a hallmark of a socially responsible company, a must-have for building a strong reputation and brand. Diversity of staff languages, ethnicities, and geographic origins opens doors for attracting and serving new customers. Inclusiveness then not only becomes a valuable corporate commitment but also represents a unique selling position for global clients wanting vendors that can deeply understand their business.
Creates Scheduling Advantages
Diverse employees lead different lives. Several may have children to pick up from school and need to work during the day. Others may enjoy working with a smaller team on an alternative shift. Some may want to earn extra money during a second job on the weekends. By attracting a diverse staff, management can find employees a shift and role that fits their lives well while maximizing warehousing operations for profitability.
Diversity’s impacts culminate in one very important metric – increased profits. Boston Consulting Group found that companies with diverse leadership generated 19% more profit from innovation than their non-diverse peers and averaged 9% higher EBIT margins. Simply put, diverse people create different thinking that leads to exceptional outcomes.
At Merchandise Warehouse, we pride ourselves on having a diverse leadership team and an inclusive employee culture. The benefits show in the way we work – unique logistics expertise, outstanding customer service, and a commitment to our communities. Let’s discuss how Merchandise Warehouse’s diverse thinking and service delivery can drive innovation in your supply chain.