What does diversity really mean? What does diversity have to do with businesses? Does the meaning of diversity change when you move from your domestic market to the international market? To begin with, let us first understand what diversity stands for in business context. It is the art of continuous innovation – the art of evolution, if you like. And businesses need to realize that innovation is not just renewing or introducing something new in your product or service line, it has far greater significance than most businesses are able to perceive. Innovation is also using newer and innovative methods to make better use of your workforce, in order to gain competitive advantage. As more and more companies go global, the meaning of diversity and inclusion also undergoes frequent changes, as this phrase has a different meaning in different cultures and global markets. Today, companies have started to understand the importance of diversity and inclusion and what role they play in enforcing company values. Businesses understand that they cannot be successful if they cannot move along with this changing workplace culture.
You might also be interested to read: Want Diversity And Inclusiveness? Employee Clubs Is The Way Forward
Why is it important to have a diverse and inclusive culture?
Diversity in the workplace is needed for a number of reasons. It helps in fostering creativity, driving business innovation, and guiding business strategies. Having multiple voices, sharing unique ideas, collaborating to build new products and services, and brainstorming to bring out-of-the-box ideas, won’t harm anyone. It would instead create a work environment where every employee knows that their opinion matters and that they have every right to come out and object to or support ideas or strategies. Companies no longer view the process of managing diversity in the workplace too differently from other business practices. They have realized that a diverse workforce is capable of helping them stand out from the crowd and making the most of new business opportunities.
How to make diversity and inclusion work for you?
You need to make your employees an important part of this innovation. They are your most productive assets, so they should be involved in all those endeavors that are being brought in to make the company more successful. You need to encourage them to be more innovative in their thinking and actions. You need to lead by example when it comes to sharing experiences, knowledge, suggestions, and skills. A successful company is built on how smartly the employers work with their employees. If you do not value your employees, it is highly likely that your employees will not willingly contribute to the growth and success of your business. Here are a few things you can do to encourage innovation in your diverse workforce:
- Encourage innovation across the company
- Hire people with different opinions
- Have a process ready to acknowledge new ideas
- Ensure that the right ideas are implemented
- Reward those who have made a difference
- Welcome initiatives and create opportunities to learn
- Ensure collaboration between different teams
- Upskill your employees
A culture of innovation could be anything from gender diversity in the workplace to diversity of religion or language. You just need to make sure that you implement this culture the right way and make your employees an important part of the process.
You might also be interested to read: Diversity And Inclusion Produce A Better Workplace Culture
- “Reimagining Diversity and Inclusion for 2020 Workforce” by Indranil Deb on 24th December 2018
- “Innovation culture: How small gestures make a big impact on employee motivation” by Julian Eberling on 3rd October 2018