Diversity, inclusion and accelerated productivity, By Adeoye Abodunrin

Diversity, inclusion and accelerated productivity, By Adeoye Abodunrin

12/1/2021 10:56:00 PM

Diversity, inclusion and accelerated productivity, By Adeoye Abodunrin

Diversity is the characteristic that makes people unique; inclusion refers to the cultural norms that make people feel welcome and belong.

Workplace diversity has become an axiom in modern day business, as more organisations are beginning to think diversity and inclusion (D&I) as part of their corporate strategy. For an organisation aspiring to thrive in the future, D&I is not something to be done, but the basis on which such organisations should exist; its mission, vision and core values should already integrate diversity and inclusion by design at the core.

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As we ponder on the deeper complexities of the emergent workplace, post the global pandemic across continents, countries, companies and communities, clarity dawns on how much changed we have become in a very short time; the multifaceted and multivariate impacts of such changes in the workplace also having very significant profit and loss (P&L) and operational implications.

The undeniable imperative arises therefore that we must find accelerated productivity factors that will ensure profitability recovery at speeds faster than the markets, and higher above the curves within the economies in which we operate. As the world recovers, we must have answers beyond questions, creativity beyond chaos levels, and insights that birth new intelligence. All the parts and functionalities of our enterprise and attendant architectures, our operations, processes, projects, people, strategy, supply chains, technologies data, leadership, talent management frameworks etc., must embrace the forces and powers only available by the energy that is available by synergy. headtopics.com

Such is the energy of synergies only available in communities and clusters driven by diversity and inclusion. Workplace diversity has become an axiom in modern day business, as more organisations are beginning to think diversity and inclusion (D&I) as part of their corporate strategy. For an organisation aspiring to thrive in the future, D&I is not something to be done, but the basis on which such organisations should exist; its mission, vision and core values should already integrate diversity and inclusion by design at the core.

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Although diversity and inclusion go hand in hand, they are entirely different. Diversity deals with the differences in human demographics – race, gender, sex, religion, age, level of education, personality, attitude, and skills sets. Inclusion, on the other hand, is a way of creating a feeling of value and belonging for individuals.

Amanda L. Bonilla, co-founder and lead education developer, also explains diversity as difference; different social identities, different ways of problem solving and different styles of communication.Bonilla points out that inclusion is spending time understanding those differences and being intentional about creating policies, procedures, processes, and practices that embrace diversity. It is also being willing to listen to diverse perspectives and change the way a company does things, especially in the mid to longer terms, based on strategic market directions and insights.

D&I gives room for increased flexibility, such that employees with various skills sets have the opportunity of responding to situations, resulting in more consistent performance – each person’s strength(s) covers another’s weakness(es). On the other hand, when a team is composed of people with similar skills, they become vulnerable to change and are unable to handle unexpected situations… headtopics.com

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Historically, discrimination and stereotyping have barred capable talent from pursuing opportunities; but today, organisations are learning to be more inclusive, as every organisation needs a group of people working together to achieve its goals and these groups of people can only perform better when they are diverse.

Workplace productivity is in the effectiveness and efficiency of the minds within an organisation. Productivity is higher in organisations where employees are engaged, recognised and appreciated. Employees with ideas and skills from different walks of life provide room for more creativity and the critical examination of tasks at diverse levels, which further results in better decisions and higher efficiency and effectiveness.

Blind hiring, another means of fostering diversity, entails hiring a wide range of employees from different cultural backgrounds to help cut down on bias, which most times is a factor that hinders recruiters from hiring the right people, depriving organisations of a higher chance at innovation.

Similarly, experience has shown that when employees feel included, they go the extra mile for the organisation, because trust in the company has been instilled. This higher engagement creates a positive effect on the company’s profitability. This enhanced employee experience in turn improves customer experience and the organisation’s return on investment (ROI) in the long run. headtopics.com

D&I gives room for increased flexibility, such that employees with various skills sets have the opportunity of responding to situations, resulting in more consistent performance – each person’s strength(s) covers another’s weakness(es). On the other hand, when a team is composed of people with similar skills, they become vulnerable to change and are unable to handle unexpected situations, which, of course, affects the organisation negatively.

When you really think about it, the need to belong is universal and fundamental within our souls. It is a moment of truth at the core of the human soul. Many organisations pursue diverse representations in their workplace, but this does not necessarily ensure that employees feel a sense of belonging. Belonging is a key component of inclusion; put simply, inclusion and belonging make diversity work.

In all, D&I is vital to businesses that want to be profitable, robust and evolutionary; therefore, every business should embrace this mantra of Stephen Covey – “strength lies in differences, not in similarities.”Of course, some argue that since we are all human and humane, should we even promote diversity by accentuating our differences in the workplace? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments, as we consider the cultural agglutination

catalyst and amplifier know as a sense of belonging that is pivotal for optimum sustained productivity.Sense of Belonging, the Culture AmplifierPlease pause; consider these as you pause and take a deep breath for a moment –Do you feel accepted at your workplace?

Does your workplace feel like home away from home?Do you feel valued; cherished and motivated at work?Do you look forward to Monday mornings?Are you very excited as Friday approaches?These questions and more aim to unveil the reality of any organisation’s corporate culture and climatic experience.

When you really think about it, the need to belong is universal and fundamental within our souls. It is a moment of truth at the core of the human soul. Many organisations pursue diverse representations in their workplace, but this does not necessarily ensure that employees feel a sense of belonging. Belonging is a key component of inclusion; put simply, inclusion and belonging make diversity work.

In conclusion, diversity, inclusion and belonging are pieces of a puzzle that are incomplete without each other –

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