Workplace Diversity Study Released by HR West 2017 and Waggl
Waggl conducted its Voice of the Workplace pulse about diversity with the Northern California Human Resources Association (NCHRA), one of the nation’s largest HR associations. The pulse was sent by NCHRA to thousands of HR professionals using Waggl’s crowdsourced listening platform from February 3-March 8, 2017, including the attendees of the HR West 2017 conference at the Oakland Convention Center March 6-8, 2017.
An overwhelming 96% percent responded that they believe cultivating diversity in the workplace is essential for driving innovation. Responses were relatively consistent across various demographics including age, gender, region, and size of the organization. In addition, 71% percent of the participants said that they feel their organization is strongly committed to fostering diversity.
Among respondents under the ages of 31, 100% felt that diversity is essential and believed that their organizations are strongly committed to fostering it.
“Despite the current politics of borders and immigration, it is generally accepted that companies benefit from cultivating a diverse workforce, but it can be difficult to measure or quantify the impact of diversity on an organization’s ability to innovate,” said Greg Morton, CEO, NCHRA. “However, as this pulse indicates, we’ve all witnessed cases in which diversity has directly driven innovation by creating an environment where ‘out of the box’ ideas are heard and encouraged. We’ve also seen situations where, without sufficient knowledge or training about culture diversity, managers can inadvertently fail to cultivate trust and respect in the workplace without even being aware of the consequences. It appears organizations that continue to actively commit to cultivating ‘cultural intelligence’ will be generally better equipped to innovate.”
In this pulse, HR West and Waggl also posed the question, “What is the biggest advantage of building a diverse workforce?” and distilled crowdsourced responses into a ranked list. The top 3 answers were:
- “With a diverse workforce (age, gender, ethnicity, ability, etc.) one brings together a multitude of thoughts, ideas, experience levels that has a greater potential to drive innovation, and promote constructive debate to move an organization forward.”
- “Having multiple perspectives encourages management to see things differently, and can help enormously with problem-solving. It also helps us to avoid ‘group think.’”
- “It takes diverse thoughts and opinions to create exceptional products & services but more importantly it takes a diverse & inclusive workforce to build the foundational values of trust & respect which are the bedrocks of amazing and enduring cultures.”