Explaining to Staff Why Diversity Is Important



By Wim Dodson


The world is a wonderfully varied place and so our workplaces need to reflect that reality. Diversity is increasingly a financial and legal priority in companies. Diversity adds to the bottom line, shapes innovation and keeps companies from legal jeopardy. Managers, supervisors and workers at every level of a business should find ways to adopt and promote diversity in their departments and the businesses as a whole.


What You Can Do to Understand Diversity


Take a moment to write down everything you believe your biased against.  In a separate column identify how you believe the biases are keeping you from realizing your goals in the organization. Then, in a third column, list how you can surmount the biases to help you realize your objectives. The tactics in the third column may become part of a larger annual plan you have for yourself.

For instance, a lot of organizations respect Christian vacations; however, the office is way more than simply Christian. Find someone with a different religion or spiritual belief who shares the same business goals with you and invite them to share a beverage with you. Be open and curious, not close-minded and proselytizing.  

In some instances your plan may include taking a real interest in someone with a different orientation than your own. Engage that individual. Make certain your discussions find common ground in a place that it does not violate cultural sensibilities.

Further, in meetings, invite input from others with various perspectives. Create No-Blame zones to make participants feel comfortable with voicing their ideas.


Diversity and Innovation


Incorporating an array of views displays respect, sure. But it can also make financial sense to the company to gather and weave different perspectives. Inviting as many cultures and backgrounds as possible increases the pace of innovation and imagination involved in project deliveries. Businesses that don't innovate during these dynamic times face becoming irrelevant. A diverse resource pool is one of an organization's most precious resources in this region.


Diversity When You’re the Boss


Find out about the skills, experience and knowledge of everybody in your departments. This may boost your appreciation for what they bring to the office. Invite a diversity professional to lunch or frequently change your venue to sit with individuals.

And don’t demean any group of people through your words or gestures, even in jest. For example, steer clear of calling women “girls.” Also, know that it’s not ok to tell jokes that have religious or cultural slights.

Stick to the skills and experiences of candidates when hiring or promoting people: insist that the HR department delete gender-, name-, and age-specific information from resumes. Skills, capabilities, knowledge, and results ought to be the only factors involved with your decisions.

Don't let biases or stereotypes interfere with promoting and growing the business. Embrace diversity in your company to help assure a fulfilling and productive organization. The planet is an amazing kaleidoscope of differences, and companies should be as well. Showing respect to coworkers because of their professional contributions and the different world views they offer is essential to tapping one of the most precious resources in your business: its diversity.