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A diverse workplace is better for people and profit

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As a country, Canada prides itself on diversity. As the backbone of our economy, small and mid-sized businesses (SMEs) can benefit from diversity to find new customers and build more business. Made stronger by our greatest asset, we can assemble teams from all ethnicities, genders, ages and preferences. And when we do, we get the kind of exceptional thinking and results that come from building an unbiased, unprejudiced workplace.

 

Defining diversity and inclusion

Here’s how the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion makes it easy to understand the terms1:

Diversity is about the individual. It is about the variety of unique dimensions, qualities and characteristics we all possess.

Inclusion is about the collective. It is about creating a culture that strives for equity and embraces, respects, accepts and values differences.

In combination, they create an environment that values and respects individuals for their talents, skills and abilities to benefit everyone.

 

4 reasons why a diverse workplace will help your business

The link between diversity, inclusion, and success in business is becoming clearer. Companies that stay committed to a diverse and welcoming workplace are being rewarded with top job applicants, greater employee retention, better work process and results, and higher profits. Here are 4 key reasons for why a focus on diversity in the workplace can help you gain a competitive edge by being more agile, dynamic, productive, and profitable.

1. Boost creativity and innovation

Not every business is in the business of constant innovation but that doesn’t mean you don't need a fresh supply of ideas on how to work more effectively, do things smarter, and serve your customers better.

A diverse group of people coming from different backgrounds with various life experiences can provide out-of-the-box thinking because they see things from various perspectives. Consider it the antidote to the kind of “group think” that settles into companies that rely on too few opinions.

2. Solve problems faster

Business success comes down to making good decisions. Every day, many people have to make little decisions on the spot about how to do their job or serve customers. And throughout the year, bigger decisions have to be made about what to manufacture or sell, how to staff your team, how to pay for everything, and what to charge. The bigger the decision, the more you benefit from diverse views.

But don’t take our word for it. Research shows that having a diverse workforce leads to better decisions and improved productivity. A recent study that analyzed approximately 600 business decisions made by 200 different business teams in a wide variety of companies over two years, found2:

  • Inclusive teams make better business decisions about 85% of the time.
  • Teams that follow an inclusive process make decisions twice as fast with half the meetings.
  • Decisions made and executed by diverse teams delivered 60% better results.

3. Attract and retain top talent

Word spreads quickly when companies earn a reputation for creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. Employees are more likely to recommend friends and colleagues for positions and less likely to walk out the door for marginally better pay. Recruiting, retaining, and advancing diverse top talent is critical to remaining competitive because it leads to higher productivity and profits3.

4. Improve financial performance

There is a proven correlation between diversity at the leadership level and financial performance. A Boston Consulting Group study suggests that increasing the diversity of leadership teams “leads to more and better innovation and improved financial performance. In both developing and developed economies, companies with above-average diversity [in] their leadership teams report a greater payoff from innovation and higher margins.” This is great news for anyone who wants to build a better workplace through diversity and boost profits.

 

Keep up the great work

A diversity and inclusion strategy is a long-term commitment that can pay off in the form of employee engagement, better decision making and financial results. And there’s no better place to find a talented, motivated workforce than right here in Canada.

As a member-based organization, Meridian has the privilege of serving all Ontarians and working alongside a diverse team of people whose only job is to help every business succeed. For inspiration, learn more about the finalists and winner of this year’s Small Business Big Impact Award.

1 December 2022. The Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion.
2 2017. Cloverpop research. Viewed 2022.
3 Copyright © 2018 Deloitte Development LLC. All rights reserved. Inclusive Mobility: How Mobilizing a Diverse Workforce Can Drive Business Performance.

 

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Meridian Credit Union communications are intended for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial advice or an opinion on any issue. We would be pleased to provide additional details or advice about specific situations if desired.

For permission to republish this content, please contact the Meridian Credit Union Marketing Department at communications@meridiancu.ca. ©️ 2023 Meridian Credit Union