Diversity and Inclusion have taken a front seat for corporate efforts in recent years but having a diversity initiative in the corporate world is more than just promoting a diverse workplace. And that’s not only about physical characteristics. In fact, it’s just as much about creating an environment that values the diversity of thought and encourages collaboration between employees from different backgrounds and perspectives, which is essential for problem-solving, ideation, and innovation—making it an invaluable asset to any organization.
The Benefits of a Diverse Workforce
Similar but different than inclusion, a diverse workforce is one that includes individuals from different backgrounds, experiences, cultures, and perspectives. This diversity can have a range of positive benefits for companies, from improved creativity and problem-solving to greater organizational performance. Here’s how you may see diversity as a boon to your organization:
Increased Creativity and Innovation
When it comes to problem-solving, diversity can help spark new ideas and better solutions. Having a variety of perspectives encourages innovative thinking and out-of-the-box solutions to challenges. With a diverse workforce, there are more opportunities for team members to draw on their individual knowledge and experience to come up with creative solutions.
Diversity of thought can lead to improved decision-making. By having multiple perspectives on any given issue, teams are able to consider all sides and make decisions with more clarity and insight.
A diverse workforce can be more effective in solving complex problems. With a variety of viewpoints, teams can tackle problems from a variety of angles and come up with better solutions.
Increased Employee Engagement
A diverse workforce can create an atmosphere of inclusion and respect that encourages employees to feel valued and motivated in the workplace. This can lead to increased engagement, which in turn can lead to higher productivity.
Companies that have a diverse workforce tend to have higher financial returns than those without. This is due to the fact that companies with diverse employees are able to tap into larger markets and offer products and services that are tailored to the needs of their customers.
In short, there are many advantages to having a diverse workforce. From increased creativity and problem-solving to better decision-making and improved employee engagement, companies can benefit from embracing diversity of thought in the workplace.
The Importance of Inclusion
The corporate environment has changed dramatically in recent years, with diversity and inclusion becoming increasingly important aspects of any successful business. With a focus on ensuring that all employees feel welcome, respected, and valued regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age, or disability status, inclusion is critical to the success of any organization as it promotes collaboration, creativity, innovation, and ultimately, profitability.
The easiest way to look at this may be with an analogy: diversity is filling the board room with different people, inclusion is ensuring that all those in the board room feel comfortable to be there, regardless of their differences.
But inclusion isn’t just important for a company’s bottom line; it’s also vital to foster a culture of respect and understanding amongst colleagues. A diverse and inclusive workplace helps to create an environment where everyone can bring their unique skills and perspectives to the table, allowing for different ideas and perspectives to be shared. This, in turn, means that creative solutions and positive outcomes can more often be found.
What is Diversity of Thought?
You may have heard the statement, “If everybody at the table is thinking the same some of them are not needed.” Diversity of Thought, then, becomes the battle cry of the diverse organization—where you can leverage the different backgrounds and experiences to explore different ideas, thoughts and perspectives.
As such, diversity of thought is the formal idea that a business environment should encompass multiple perspectives and ideas. This concept encourages employees to think differently, embrace differences, and break down traditional barriers of groupthink. Diversity of thought focuses on including everyone’s ideas in the decision-making process—regardless of race, gender, background, or any other factor.
Alongside diversity and inclusion efforts, the concept of diversity of thought can help create an open and innovative atmosphere in the workplace by allowing for different opinions and views to be expressed without fear of judgment or criticism. By embracing different points of view, businesses can foster greater creativity and encourage their staff to think outside the box. This type of thinking can lead to more creative solutions to complex problems and improve overall productivity, and as a result, businesses are able to make better decisions, build stronger teams, and boost their bottom line.
How to Encourage Diversity of Thought
One of the best ways to foster a culture of diversity of thought in the corporate environment is to start with leadership. Leaders can set an example of open-mindedness by listening to different perspectives, embracing new ideas and engaging in conversations that encourage thoughtful dialogue. When leaders demonstrate the importance of recognizing diverse points of view, it helps create an atmosphere that encourages employees to be open to different ways of thinking.
Luckily, current D&I initiatives help foster a culture of diversity of thought by focusing on recruiting a variety of people with different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives, and bringing a richer, more comprehensive understanding of various topics, which can lead to better business decisions. This, when partnered with a culture that encourages and empowers employees to share their ideas can ensure that diverse perspectives are considered when making important decisions.
So, if your diversity initiatives end with the hiring and don’t follow through until you’re hearing all the voices in the room, you’re missing out. Fortunately, we at L.O.S.T. can help you find out what you’re missing and set a plan in action to recapture it. Get in touch with us today to chat more about how we can help you diversify every aspect of your company.