Are There Negative Effects of Having Workplace Diversity?

workplace diversity

Stigmas and misconceptions regarding particular groups in our society have died down in recent years, and companies today are hiring more diverse candidates than ever, in an attempt to create a more complete organization in an increasingly globalized world. This means that people from all cultures, ethnicities, religions, genders, and races are welcomed at most organizations today.

And the benefits are profound.

Companies have access to a much larger talent pool, they are able to target different consumer markets, and a more diverse workforce enables them to formulate multiple strategies from different perspectives for business ventures.

However, these benefits only result in companies which are effectively managing their diversity. Having a diverse workplace is not always a good thing, especially when it’s not managed properly. Here are a few ways in which workplace diversity can negatively impact an organization.

Widespread Miscommunication

In some cases, you may be dealing with an employee whose first language isn’t English, and having effective communication with them becomes problematic.

Work is much smoother when employees are able to easily understand each other and communicate effectively. Without effective communication, business will be slow, and this causes a negative impact on workplace collaboration. Even when two employees speak the same language, the words they use and their style of speaking may differ and this could result in miscommunication.

Resistance to Change

When companies integrate diverse groups of people into their workforce, the transition isn’t always smooth. Some employees may be resistant to changes that occur in the organization when new, diverse workers are employed. This discomfort could lead to dissatisfaction and drops in productivity.

Your employees need to be aware of any changes in their roles or workplace policies when a new, diverse worker is hired, as this will allow them to adapt more easily and continue to perform their jobs effectively.

Downright Discrimination

Yes, even today, many employees, managers, and supervisors are not above discriminating against their fellow workers. And the highest incidences of discrimination are reported by employees with diverse backgrounds.

Singling out a particular employee due to their ethnic or cultural differences can be highly demoralizing. It makes new workers extremely uncomfortable, and they will be likely to leave the company.

Increased Costs

Even if your organization is tolerant and wants to have a diverse workforce, you’ll need to spend a significant amount of money to ensure that the hiring of diverse candidates is worthwhile.

First, you’ll need to provide your current employees and managers with training programs and make them aware of unconscious biases they might have against specific groups of people. In some cases, when hiring a disabled worker, you may need to provide them with accommodations to aid them with their tasks.

Besides this, you’ll also need to train your hiring managers and interviewers, and teach them how to communicate with diverse candidates without offending them. All of these procedures take some time to implement and will cost your organization a large amount of money.

Of course, the positive results of having a more diverse workplace far outweigh the negatives. With the help of a more diverse workforce, your company can target different consumer markets and maximize sales. Only at the beginning, you may need to bear a few costs in order to effectively promote diversity.

So, you will need to put policies and procedures into place to help new, diverse workers integrate more smoothly into your company. With the right management practices, you can turn diversity into a helpful boost that will take your organization to the next level!