Today, companies are recognizing the huge value that hiring a diverse range of individuals and personalities can add for their business. Diversity is about appreciating differences between individuals, and in context with the workplace ensuring that each attribute and characteristic are valued. In comparison, equality in the workplace aims to ensure that all individuals have equal opportunities to be successful preventing discrimination or unfair treatment.
To understand the importance of workplace diversity and what it can mean for a business, it’s important to understand what diversity in the workplace means and its benefits.
What is Workplace Diversity?
Diversity in the workplace means that a company employs a wide range of diverse individuals with different backgrounds and characteristics. This is a common topic of conversation among employers, hiring managers, and recruitment professionals. With this mindset a company will create a more inclusive environment for people of varying gender, age, religion, race, ethnicity, cultural background, sexual orientation, languages, education, abilities, and more. Accepting more cultures has a strong positive effect on individuals and is proven to build stronger employee relationships in the workplace.
Workplace diversity has never been more prominent than it is today. People may not realize it, but workplace diversity has been a topic of discussion for HR professionals for several years now. With the Covid-19 pandemic, companies have turned to the global workforce and started hiring more diverse teams to work remotely.
Now that we know the definition of workplace diversity, we can look at the benefits of this type of workplace setting.
Benefits of a Diverse Workplace Environment
There are several benefits to diversity in the workplace, but let’s focus on five: increased creativity, increased profitability and productivity, better company reputation, increased employer engagement, and faster problem-solving.
The exposure of having a variety of different backgrounds creates a multitude of perspectives leading to increased creativity. When a diverse group of people look at one thing in different ways, a melting pot of ideas is created which often leads to better solutions for problems.
Professionals are often more attracted to inclusive companies. This can result in a more motivated team and efficient workforce leading to increased productivity and profitability. One study shows that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams are 15% more likely to generate above-average profitability compared to companies in the bottom quartile whose executive teams are predominantly white males.
Companies who promote a diverse workplace also have great reputations. AT&T took the prestigious top spot in DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity in 2019. The award commended CEO and Chairman Randall Stephenson for his advocacy for inclusion and diversity management in corporate companies. As a result of this, AT&T has been applauded for its unbiased approach to their hiring practices.
Another benefit of a diverse workplace is increased employer engagement. In general, employees who feel included and respected will be more engaged with their employer and their motivation to do well increases. They also become more loyal to their employer when their unique contributions are recognized.
Lastly, companies with higher workplace diversity solve problems more efficiently. Harvard Business Review found diverse teams are able to solve problems faster than cognitively similar people. Employees from different backgrounds bring diverse solutions to the table due to different experiences and views affecting how problems are generally approached.
How Commercial Real Estate Companies Can Build Workplace Diversity
Workplace diversity and inclusion over the past several years has been a priority for the commercial real estate industry. In order to be more inclusive, commercial real estate companies must engage leadership starting from the top. In order for the industry to diversify itself from entry-level positions to the C-suite, and change the culture, company leadership must be involved and commit to long-term change.
Another way commercial real estate companies can build workplace diversity is by creating a career pathway for diverse talent. This can be done through talent recruitment programs targeting a diverse hiring pool. Creating diversity metrics, setting hiring goals and updating them regularly are other steps commercial real estate companies can take to encourage workplace diversity.
The commercial real estate industry is already seeing change. In 2020, 15% of executive management roles in the commercial real estate industry were made up of women as compared to 12% in 2016 according to NAREIM. This number is expected to continue to grow in 2021 and beyond.
One of the most important things a company can do is educate its employees on what workplace diversity means, including best practices and benefits. Employers can consider holding webinars, online training and/or hosting guest speakers in company meetings. Encouraging discussion and welcoming ideas is a great way to create a culture of inclusion and belonging that is important for a company to have.
Plaza Companies Holds Its Employees to a High Standard
For almost 40 years, Plaza Companies has provided industry leaders with quality commercial real estate to meet their needs. Our longevity and quality of service are made possible by our hardworking real estate team. Their knowledge, experience, and commitment to our clients have allowed us to prosper for many years. Contact us today to learn more about Plaza Companies.