Whether you’re aware of discriminatory practices within your business or not, their presence can have more of an impact than you might think. Beyond owing compensation to those affected by discrimination, many different factors could see your business lose money, staff, and standing in your community.
If you’re not yet convinced that equality and fair working conditions are worth your time to prioritize, here are a few of the many ways workplace discrimination can negatively impact your business:
A company’s reputation is everything, and yours can be torn to shreds if customers learn you don’t value inclusive employment. Any rumors that your company discriminates against people based on who they are, where they’re from, the battles they face, or the color of their skin can be devastating.
Employees who see and feel the discrimination will openly voice how they feel about it, and word can reach your community in a matter of days. Before long, once-loyal customers may vow to never use your services or purchase your products again.
Life would be pretty boring if we all looked the same, though the same, and acted the same. Diversity is crucial for any workplace as it allows you to benefit from different thought processes, opinions, and levels of experience.
If you hire one type of person, you may be limiting your company’s creativity and innovation potential. Studies have shown that businesses thrive when they make diversity their priority. Crucially, it allows you to get creative with new products and services and improve how you market them.
Not only does this new layer of innovation potentially make your products and services more attractive, but the diversity of your workplace may also lure in new customers once you’re seen as a corporation that puts people first.
A Reduction In Job Satisfaction
Generally, job satisfaction is at an all-time low, with just 7% of survey participants saying they have their dream job. While the daily tasks you do ultimately contributes to job satisfaction, the work environment itself and any discrimination within a workplace can also play a role.
If employees aren’t satisfied, they typically aren’t motivated, and this can lead to reduced productivity and decreased profits. Job satisfaction can also be reduced when bonuses and promotions appear to be based on gender, age, race, or any factors other than performance.
A study looking at racial discrimination in the workplace found that people turn to smoking and drinking as a coping mechanism. They may also be at an increased risk of obesity, depression, anxiety, and high blood pressure. These physical and mental health issues may result in increased absenteeism, affecting both morale and your bottom line.
There were 1,548 class action rulings on employment discrimination, wages, and other workplace lawsuits filed in 2020, up more than 5% from the year before. Lawsuits can cost workplaces millions of dollars, which can take a significant chunk out of your profits.
The financial loss from litigation can be significant, but it doesn’t end there. Once a lawsuit becomes public knowledge, potential customers will weigh in and take actions of their own. They may take their money elsewhere and encourage their friends and family to do the same.
Whether it’s overt or subtle, workplace discrimination can have a significant negative effect on your business. Your reputation may suffer, your workers may not be happy, and you may ultimately lose money. Now is the time to start looking at inclusive employment opportunities and seeing how you could make internal changes for the better.
Alex is fascinated with “understanding” people. It’s actually what drives everything he does. He believes in a thoughtful exploration of how you shape your thoughts, experience of the world.