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Diverse Staffs Are Happier, More Productive


A diverse workforce helps businesses flourish and leads to a stronger staff of employees, a new study finds.

Led by Ryerson University professor Kristyn Scott, the study revealed that the more diverse a company’s workforce is, the more loyal, happy and productive its employees tend to be .

In order for the results to be seen, Scott said the commitment to diversity must be more than just superficial.

As opposed to a business that simply does what research and popular practice tells them to, such as showing pictures of diverse workers on their website, Scott believes businesses need to reinforce their commitment to diversity in every aspect of their corporate culture and practices to fully reap the rewards of a diverse staff .

"When you have an inclusive corporate culture, recruiting top talent becomes easier, group processes will be enhanced, which means employees are more likely to stay, which, in turn, increases the company’s bottom line," Scott said.

The study uses the Campbell Soup Company as an admirable example of a diverse organization. Some of the U.S.-based company's diversity efforts include programs for its women, gay, Hispanic and Asian employees; its mission to consistently reinforce inclusion throughout all levels, from senior management to frontline workers; and training for managers on inclusive leadership , diversity awareness and being aware of unconscious biases.

"By weaving diversity into the very fabric of the company, not only does this embrace its employees, it makes for a happier and more productive workforce," Scott said.

The research, which was co-authored by Joanna Heathcote, a professor at the University of Toronto at Scarborough and Jamie Gruman, a professor at the University of Guelph, was based on reviews of about 100 diversity case studies from businesses in the U.S. and Canada. The full study is published in the current issue of Human Resource Management.


Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.