Today, successful organizations take advantage of diversity and inclusion as a means of competitive advantage in the global marketplace. Organizations’ target markets are not homogeneous. Similarly, the workforce is comprised of a variety of skills, behaviors, and abilities. While diversity is far from being a challenge, far from being a test, diversity can have a competitive advantage by increasing acceptance, innovation, and critical thinking skills.
Whether large or small, all organizations operate internationally. Across the world, organizations are experiencing demographic changes because of shifting nationality, language, race, and religion. Therefore, customer expectations of how a company operates and their needs are changing, and the best way to achieve customer acceptance is to acknowledge the diversity of the customer base. As an example, providing multilingual support and service will improve customer satisfaction and provide a variety of opportunities on the market.
Diversity does not simply refer to a diverse workforce. Businesses should apply this concept to the development of new products, services, and business concepts. Increasingly, managers and leaders are realizing that differences in opinion, experience, and background contribute to new ideas. To gain a competitive advantage, innovative products and services must be created and commercialized.
Groupthink is the act of team members in a small, cohesive group of members adhering too firmly to the mentality and values of the group that they ignore the realistic views of members from outside the group. While groupthink may bring all team members on the same page, it may not be the best decision to make. Therefore, it is something very disastrous in the current competitive marketplace that is faced with a variety of problems and challenges. Inclusion and diversity can prevent this from occurring by providing new ideas and opinions.
Developing a competitive advantage based on diversity demands that the concept permeates all aspects of the organization’s processes and operations. Diversity is not only relevant in recruitment processes, but also in decision-making, advancement, product development, and other company processes. Managers can also develop diversity goals in the organization and conduct a gap analysis to determine where a company stands today relative to the desired progress and state.
Diversity and inclusion are important today since they have become more important for businesses otherwise, they may lag and not be able to meet their customers’ needs. To implement diversity and inclusion in your organization, it is more than just a tick box exercise. Diversity and Inclusion must be practiced every day in the workplace, rather than just passing policies and strategies. Diverse and inclusive work environments have many benefits. Today, it is vital to include Diversity from the beginning, for the future of the organization, and all employees must be equally involved in implementing the policies.