Diversity in the workplace has been shown to improve employee morale, productivity, and retention. It also helps companies attract top talent by providing an environment that reflects the diverse backgrounds of employees.

While many people associate workforce diversity with customer-facing employees and upper level management, a truly diverse workforce also means strong supplier diversity and working with a wide range of partners, contractors, vendors, and consultants. 

Here are five benefits of a diverse workforce:

More Productivity

Studies have found that people who work with others who are different from them perform better than those who work with only other similar people. This is partly because having a variety of perspectives allows us to see things differently and harness the power of unique skill sets. There have been direct correlations found between the diversity of a workforce and that workforce’s productivity. 

Stronger Relationships

Diverse workforces can foster higher levels of trust and mutual respect among coworkers. One study found that diversity in the workforce leads to stronger relationships between coworkers. The researchers surveyed 1,000 people from different industries and ethnicities and discovered that those who worked at organizations with greater racial and gender diversity reported higher levels of trust among coworkers than did those who worked at less diverse workplaces.

More Innovation

It’s easy to fall into patterns when you’re surrounded by people who think the same way as you do. However, if you surround yourself with people who are different from you, you will learn new ways of thinking and doing things. A diverse workforce is important because it allows people from different backgrounds to learn from each other. When employees come from different cultures, they bring new perspectives to the table. 

Better Performance

A diverse workforce can help businesses thrive in today’s competitive marketplace. In fact, one study found that diverse management teams see 19 percent more innovation revenue. The research showed that companies with at least one minority executive had higher profits and lower turnover rates than companies without minorities in leadership positions.

Higher Job Satisfaction

Surveys have found that those who reported feeling less comfortable working with others were more likely to report lower levels of job satisfaction and higher levels of turnover intentions. In addition, workers who felt more comfortable working with others were significantly more productive than those who did not feel comfortable working with others. If you feel your workplace is accepting and supportive of different backgrounds and ideas, you are more likely to feel valued and content as an employee.