As is the case with diversity's impact on team performance and creativity & innovation, there are no simple answers when it comes to assessing diversity's impact on business performance. A lot depends on context.
Although there's compelling evidence that diversity can positively impact business financial performance, there's no simple direct relationship between diversity and better business performance. But based on the research, there are a combination of factors that can help organizations link the two:
1. Adopt an organizational perspective that treats diversity as a key learning resource for improving individual, team, and organizational performance.
2. Build strong skills in inclusive leadership, diversity management, and teaming to foster collaboration across differences and minimize factors that can cause diversity to hinder group performance.
3. Understand the ways in which organizational context can impact diversity across multiple variables under different performance scenarios (including the potential impact of unconscious bias).
4. Experiment with and test the impact of various diversity and inclusion practices on business performance over time.
Combining these factors can help organizations build a foundation for diversity to thrive, helping business to thrive.
Given the evidence of the positive impact diversity can have on business performance, creativity & innovation, team performance, and employee engagement, and in light of the changing demographics that are ushering in more diverse labor and customer markets, taking steps to gain the most value from workplace diversity is smart business.
Investing in learning through diversity, applying what works, and building new insight from learning and application becomes increasingly important in an increasingly diverse and interconnected world.
Let's work together in mixing the power of inclusive leadership, effective diversity management, and teaming to help your organization successfully link diversity and business performance.