EMBRACING DIFFERENCES IN THE WORKPLACE: THE DIVERSITY OF THOUGHT
Arguments have gone back and forth as to whether “showing personality” at work is good for employee morale. Some studies suggest “being yourself” has no positive impacts on life satisfaction or well-being, while others point out the high turnover rates that result from employees hiding aspects of themselves. As our workplaces continue to diversify, some companies are focusing on what makes us different from each other, and using those differences to improve efficiency and productivity. Deloitte has been a pioneer in traditional diversity and inclusion initiatives, and now they are expanding into a new form of diversity – diversity of thought. In their study, “Diversity’s New Frontier” Deloitte puts forth the idea that the continuing demographic transformation of their employee pool provides them with the opportunity to examine what diversity should mean in the 21st century. The idea behind diversity of thought is that each person’s unique way of thinking has potential promise, and employers should acknowledge and appreciate that.
What would this mean for the modern workplace? Instead of maintaining the status quo, workplaces should foster communities where all feel able to share their input, thoughts, and experiences. The authors of the study say that “more ideas lead to a culture of greater creativity and innovation in services and products as well as more informed discussions around risk management.” One thing to keep in mind is that this new field of diversity should not interfere with current diversity efforts – companies should still endeavor to increase the participation of women and ethnic minorities at the executive level. Rather, diversity of thought should work with current programs, and encourage companies to think past the norm.
To learn more about diversity of thought, read the full Huffington Post article here.
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