Embracing diversity enables organizations to tap into a variety of viewpoints while addressing issues and seeking targeted solutions. In other words, the cultural differences become a means for adaptation, flexibility, and innovation.
When individuals from different cultures feel understood, recognized, and embraced, they're more open and eager to produce high-quality work. Diversity encourages a workplace that supports creative solutions to problems and makes everyone involved more successful--or at least that's what research is showing.
In order to achieve this high level of productivity and innovation, your entire company needs to embrace diversity. By limiting insights to select perspectives rather than opening up to total inclusiveness, you'll inevitably miss cultural nuances, and that will ultimately fracture your outcomes.
So how exactly do you create an environment where diversity can thrive? Here are four ways:
1. Keep tabs on the ever-changing workplace environment. It's always best to hear directly from your employees about what matters most to them. Anonymous surveys are a great starting point. They provide a safe channel for your staff to share opinions without worrying about repercussions. Consider checking in through a survey biannually to get everyone on the same page.
2. Institute diversity training. Cultural diversity isn't always embraced in ways that can benefit both the organization and those working in it. But by incorporating material that sheds light on different and unique perspectives and backgrounds into your training and development efforts, you open doors for greater insights and heightened levels of production from staff.
3. Include diversity in leadership. Leading by example can demonstrate for those in an organization that they're part of a company that embraces differences and considers everyone equal.
4. Support open discussions for improvements. Leaders who support equality, feedback, and differing opinions often are able to take a company to the next level. Encourage staff to share ideas and champion diverse perspectives to broaden opportunities for your organization as a whole.
Regardless of how you approach diversity, workplaces will forever be virtual melting pots of multicultural talents. By embracing these differences, your company will instinctually understand trends in niche markets and industries, and this understanding can go a long way to benefiting your clients--and your business, of course.
This article is coauthored by Jessica Gatti, VP of Client Services at Gravity.