Diversity: The Recipe For Success

So what if you don't have any women over 30 within your organization! Who needs young millennial men's opinions- they don't understand the real world. No we don't hire people over 50, they are so out of touch with the digital age. We prefer people from Ivy League schools with a Masters. That's what a lot of companies sound like and it's a wasted opportunity.

Companies need a diverse workplace to survive in this day and age. No longer can a company have all its employees look the same, come from the same background, or even graduate from the same university. Visible, social, age, economic and ethnic diversity is critical to a companies survival in a U.S. and global marketplace. It is imperative for employers to realize that these types of diverse employees only enhance the ideas presented, the product offerings and even the internal considerations prior to taking a campaign or product to market. These employees provide a wider lens for the company to consider and valuable learning and insights that a homogeneous organization would have never brought forward.

The negatives to a lack of internal diversity can have a ripple effect throughout the organization. Employees who are not "the same" as others will feel "different"-either by accident or design. They may not want to stand out or speak their mind, they may not share new ideas or possibilities as freely as they should for fear of being seen as different. These employees will not thrive in an environment where they didn't feel they can be "part of the fabric" and thus will not help the organization achieve new heights. These employees will feel a lack of ownership in the companies successes and will have a negative relationship with the organization, therefore leading to their eventual search for a new job.

Take the advertising industry for instance. When an agency is working on an ad campaign the insights a diverse group of people can offer are imperative. Seeing how an idea may have a very different effect on age groups, or race, or gender and insights that can't be ignored. It's like having a mini focus group in your office ready to test all your concepts prior to pitching them to your client! Without having to set up the eternal focus group and eat mountains of candy from behind a one way mirror! The amount of learning and feedback a diverse organization can provide early in the idea phase is invaluable to your clients. Once considered they can be the key to your campaigns success or failure.

Even in the digital marketing world, the older generation should should not be discarded that quickly. The fundamental principles of marketing to a client are still the same. It's the activations that have changed. But what younger people often miss when trying to be cool, is that building a relationship with your consumer is still paramount.

There is good, bad, complexity and opportunity in having diverse groups of people together day in and day out. Yet, what will eventually start to happen, is that each will learn from the others point of view and begin to see greater opportunity, possibility and creativity. As an employer, does it get any better than that?