I’ve often heard that variety is the spice of life. Our closets, food, and even our homes are now reflections of diverse cultures around the world. Diversity is penetrating deep in our lives, yet some of us are still shying away from embracing a diverse workplace. Seeing the world come together to celebrate Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development Day last month got me thinking: “are we doing enough to make our organization a diverse and inclusive workplace?”
Our strength lies in our uniqueness.
The world around us is changing. Businesses have moved from the confines of brick and mortar into a digital space. We are constantly innovating our products and services to match the progressing customer base. Employees being our first customers—why aren’t we upgrading our workplace, too? If everyone in your team is from the same background, the same gender, and of similar age, they may end up thinking similarly too. A diverse workforce brings a lot more to the table. Rich experiences comprise different cultures, backgrounds, languages, nationalities, and much more. An environment that encourages an accumulation of all these helps employees develop a greater understanding of the customer’s pain points, and isn’t this every business’ dream—to be loved by our consumers?
Diversity = Productivity = Profitability
Diversity allows business leaders to not only maximize employee strength which in turn enhances productivity, but to also create an inclusive culture that promotes happiness, ultimately resulting in profitability. Yes, it’s true! McKinsey and Co’s “Why Diversity Matters” research showed that companies in the top quarter for gender or racial and ethnic diversity financially outperform those in the bottom quarter. Additionally, the report suggests that a diverse business delivers 30% better financial results. In short, diversity is beneficial for your bottom line and leads to a virtuous cycle of increasing returns. The business case of diversity is overwhelming; it is not a CSR initiative but a business priority that directly affects a company’s P and L statement.
How can we do more?
I created Teleperformance in 1978 with just 10 telephone lines in Paris. Today, Teleperformance is in 80 countries, serving 170+ markets, and catering to 265 languages and dialects. My TP family now houses more than 300,000 employees, and this number is growing. What started as a project with 10 lines in an office 40 years ago is now a #1 global market leader in omnichannel solutions. This has been possible due to our non-linear approach and a strong dedication to culture change. Like TP, other global leading organizations have grown leaps and bounds by opening their doors and minds to diversity. Our recipe for success is excellence through a diverse workforce; we truly believe that we are stronger because of our differences.
Organizations can no longer afford to consider diversity as a marketing gimmick, they have to step up and advocate diversity and inclusion. Just like biodiversity is important to maintain balance in the ecosystem—diversity in the workplace is as essential for society and the business world.