The United States is an increasingly diverse place, and it’s valuable for that to be reflected in the workplace. Many immigrants come to the U.S. from around the world each year, and there are also people whose families have lived in the U.S. for generations but who maintain their unique cultural identity.
“In recent decades, the number of Philippines-born residents in the U.S. has quadrupled,” according to an article from Remitly. That puts them behind only Mexico, India and China regarding the number of immigrants in the U.S. These are only the main countries where people come from. There are many others as well.
Employers, including not only large companies but also small businesses, are increasingly understanding the value of diversity in the workplace.
The following are some specific ways a diverse workforce is important.
Businesses large and small are increasingly finding that they need to expand the scope of their marketing to diverse populations of people in the U.S. A few were named above—people from Mexico, India, China, and the Philippines for example. These can be untapped markets, but employers need people on their team who represent these markets and can help them create appealing marketing campaigns.
Being a leader in terms of marketing to diverse populations is essential for modern competitiveness.
If you employ people from different backgrounds, this is going to help you get a better idea of how to tailor your approach. It’s not only important regarding marketing current products and services, but also for the development of future products and services.
In an increasingly diverse marketplace and a globalized business environment, sometimes employers need employees with certain language skills.
Rather than trying to train employees to fully learn new languages, hiring native speakers who also speak English can be a more affordable and more realistic option.
When you have employees who can speak the native language of vendors, partners or customers, it can be incredibly helpful. There are certain nuances that only a native speaker may be able to grasp, and whether it’s negotiations or closing a deal, this can be extremely useful.
Research published in Harvard Business Review found that teams with people from diverse backgrounds tend to solve problems faster than teams that are more similar. One possible reason for this is because when people come from different backgrounds, they might be more likely to think outside of the box and come up with new ways of doing things rather than they would if they were all very similar and perhaps worried about conforming as a result.
Along with actual problem-solving, a unique and diverse workforce is more likely to be more innovative. This is because ideas are coming from people who have different experiences from one another and different perspectives.
Finally, talent gaps and shortages are one of the biggest issues a lot of businesses large and small are facing right now. If you have a diverse workforce and you embrace people from all different religions, ethnicities, sexualities, and genders, you’re more likely to be able to use that as part of your recruiting strategy. People want to work somewhere they will feel comfortable, and also somewhere they feel shares their values.