Diversity and differing perspectives not only strengthen us as a nation but also strengthen our companies and us as professionals!
Diverse firms experience improved performance, innovation, and creativity; proving that diverse workforces drive profits. Study after study has shown that having greater social diversity is essential in ensuring corporate success.
One study conducted by an MIT economist showed that gender diversity in the workplace helps firms be more productive and increases profitability. Offices split evenly along gender lines, increase revenue by roughly 41 percent when compared to single-sex dominate workforces. The economists found that “having a greater social diversity implies a greater spread of experience, which could add to the collective knowledge of a group of office workers and make the unit perform more effectively.”
Teams comprised of diverse backgrounds are smarter and more efficient than homogeneous teams. According to a Harvard Business Review article, a compilation of recent studies has proven that team diversity can lead to improved groupthink and reduce errors. This is because diverse teams are more likely to reexamine facts, notice errors and challenge decisions.
As a business leader, enriching your employee pool with representatives of different genders, races, and nationalities are essential to advancing your company’s potential. Therefore, be sure to encourage diversity efforts and work to foster an appreciation for employees’ differing backgrounds and varying perspectives.
As an employee, working with people who are different from you, challenges you to think differently; ultimately enhancing your individual performance. Challenge yourself to appreciate the differences of others and see them as potential drivers of change. Value and appreciate your co-workers’ differences. Doing so will broaden your horizons, unchain your creativity and increase your performance; ultimately, strengthening you professionally.
So, the next time you are in a meeting, and someone offers up a different idea from the group be sure to encourage diversity of thought by using the 3-A's approach:
Acknowledge and celebrate the contribution of a new idea.
Allow yourself and the group time to process the idea fully and consider the potential wisdom within the idea.
Appreciate those individuals who bring varied perspectives, as well as, the intrinsic value of fostering a diverse and open-minded environment.
Be sure to encourage diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Not only is it is a necessary ingredient for your company to remain innovative but, more importantly, it enables you to develop yourself further, elevate your work and stay relevant.