If you work for a company that believes diversity may improve organizational performance and employee satisfaction, we have a secret to share with you: despite what is often touted about diversity, very few firms have truly realized benefits through existing diversity practices.
Diversity and accessibility in the workplace have undeniable benefit; diverse workplaces are more hospitable, productive, and successful at retaining employees.
Nevertheless, diversity is typically solely considered in terms of visual diversity (e.g., in terms of race, ethnicity, age, national origin, sexual orientation and cultural identity). Diversity extends far beyond this in reality.
A visible diversity-only strategy prevents organizations from achieving the full benefits of true diversity and can lead to a reduction in the diversity of attitudes and views within the organization. This is due to group polarization and group thinking, which can emerge when like-minded individuals make decisions together.
Numerous professions trend liberal (e.g., academia) or conservative (e.g., the military), and the work environment magnifies these biases, which may result in subpar decision-making.
In such groups, there are distinct, deeply held attitudes, ideas, and values that cannot be discarded without genuine critical thought and participation.
Groupthink and group polarization can be avoided in organizations populated by individuals with various personalities, values, and views.
Because these beliefs and attitudes are frequently challenged from inside the group, this makes it more difficult for the group to unify around them.
In addition, this process of deep critical thinking and participation increases creativity, innovation, and productivity by challenging and criticizing fundamental assumptions about work and organization.
Within organizations and groups with various personalities, values, and attitudes, the challenge for managers and human resource experts is to discover ways for the organization to effectively collaborate and reduce conflict. Here are three approaches to ensure your organization’s diversity is effective:
Organizations must foster an atmosphere where all voices are heard and everyone is encouraged to contribute and express themselves. This should begin as soon as new employees enter the organization.
The onboarding process should introduce new employees to an organization’s inclusive policies and willingness to engage their unique ideas and skills. It has been established that conflict resolution procedures have a good effect on team outcomes, hence these practices should be a part of the inclusive practices.
This is especially crucial for organizations with a variety of personalities, values, and attitudes. A diverse array of deeply held values and attitudes has the potential to cause strife and conflict.
In addition, inclusive leaders are required to foster workplaces that enable debate about diversity and promote employee authenticity.
Recent study indicates that inclusive leadership is more likely to produce workplaces where employees are receptive to modifying their work methods, policies, and tasks. We live in a rapidly changing, dynamic world in which enterprises require a workforce that is both competent and willing to adapt to constantly shifting circumstances.
It is essential for businesses to hire individuals who do not bring feelings of self-importance, vanity, or arrogance to the workplace.
First, organizations should urge individuals to check their egos at the door and concentrate on team objectives rather than individual achievements or pride. Research indicates that teams perform better when they establish group objectives.
Second, organizations should ensure that everyone can express their opinions in a manner that suits them. Introverted members, for instance, should have access to their preferred communication channels.
Third, organizations should encourage members to acquire new skills. Mastering a new skill induces feelings of uncertainty and frustration, prompting people to seek assistance or direction from others. It also leads to modesty.
Organizations should attempt to build a culture in which members feel comfortable working with people with diverse personalities and opinions in order to be productive. Members are encouraged to be candid about their skills and flaws in such an environment.
Recognizing our strengths and weaknesses, as well as recognizing the same in others, enables us to perceive them in their whole. A deeper awareness of one other’s skills and shortcomings enables group members to assign tasks and provide support where necessary.
Positive feedback increases the perception of individual group task ability and group membership, according to research. As groups learn to collaborate efficiently, organizations should emphasize the good facets of individual differences
When we embrace others with differing ideas and perspectives from our own, we are able to create the most significant and lasting changes. Leading innovation consulting firms have long recognized this fact. For instance, the success of the innovation consulting firm IDEO is based on the creation of ideas by multi-perspective teams.
This strategy has enabled IDEO to develop revolutionary products such as Apple’s first mouse, Steelcase’s Leap Chair, and the Palm V.
Intentionally incorporating varied personalities, values, and attitudes into the workplace is a difficult process. Working with people who have vastly different value systems can be quite difficult.
However, once we have a deeper understanding of what motivates these divergent viewpoints, we may begin to use the tremendous reservoir of knowledge that has resulted from the many individual experiences that surround us. With this riches, we may generate new thoughts, ideas, goods, and experiences that will enrich all of us.