Here at the HR Source, we talk a lot about diversity in the workplace and even offer tools to help organizations improve inclusion. Naturally, there is a wealth of benefits for organizations which adopt policies to create diversity, such as improved productivity and job satisfaction, and with general diversity comes the diversity of thought. Quite simply, welcoming many different types of thinkers to the table advances a company.
You can liken this to having left-brained and right-brained people. For example, if you ask employees how to increase profits, your left-brained thinkers may ask to see numbers and pitch ways to cut expenses or may run an analysis to see if rates can be increased. Your right-brained thinkers may suggest imaginative things, like starting a new product line or running a new marketing campaign. All these ideas are good, but imagine if you only had left-brained thinkers. One might pitch cutting specific expenses, everyone would agree, and you’d call it a day, leaving valuable opportunities untapped. The diversity of thought is like this, but it runs deeper. Here’s how to spot if your organization is missing it.
1. You Feel Comfortable
The less the people in your organization are challenged, the more comfortable they will be. That’s not to say you should create an uncomfortable work environment, but rather, when people are changing, adapting, and formulating new ideas, there is excitement, interest, and sometimes a bit of discomfort as we let go of the old ideals.
2. Departments Don’t Collaborate
One of the things Google has historically done well is the arrangement of their buildings. Departments are intermingled and people bump into one another in game rooms and at snack bars. This means employees of all types are constantly coming together for in micro-collaboration sessions as they talk about their workloads with coworkers, and that gets their creative juices flowing. In traditional offices, people work in silos. You’ll have your front-end developers in one section, the back-end developers in another, the networking team in yet another space. Or perhaps it’s accounting, marketing, and sales divided up. In any case, these silos kill collaboration, and thusly thwart diversity of thought.
3. Your Values Don’t Align with Reality
When we set company policies, we typically have the best interests of the organization and employees at heart. Our policies may say we strive to be forward-thinking or diverse, but if you can’t look around yourself and identify how you’re actually achieving those kinds of things, you don’t have the diversity of thought. Mission statements should be reflected in a myriad of ways throughout the organization, and you must not only have policies in place to ensure you meet your goals but also processes which cover them and checks to ensure they’re being met.
Work with the HR Source
If your organization is missing diversity of thought, we can help. Contact us online to book a free diversity and inclusion consultation today.