How to Create a Culture of Diversity
We are building products that people with very diverse backgrounds use, and I think we all want our company makeup to reflect the makeup of the people who use our products.”
Facebook isn’t the only company that holds this viewpoint. According to a report from LinkedIn Talent Solutions, workplace diversity is one of the top trends impacting hiring this year. Why are more and more companies deciding to prioritize this?
Research consistently proves that more diverse teams get better results
McKinsey found that ethnically and culturally diverse companies are 33% more likely to outperform others in their industry. Diverse teams can pull from a range of backgrounds, perspectives, and interests to solve problems and come up with new ideas. And as Sandberg mentioned, a diverse group better represents and understands your customer base.
It’s also important to remember that “diversity” doesn’t just refer to ethnicity, culture, or gender. Employees of various ages and generations can bring different perspectives. So can those with diverse work experience.
Creating a culture of diversity
Our backgrounds and cultures impact how we work and communicate. Developing presence and communication agility can help you and your team bridge communication gaps.
- Presence includes the self-awareness, mindset, and skills you bring to communication, from your vocal energy to your ability to listen.
- Communication agility is the ability to communicate impactfully and appropriately and respond with confidence in any situation.
These skills create “true influence”—the ability to lead and communicate effectively and authentically. With influence, you can connect, motivate, and inspire action.
Here’s how you can develop these skills:
As an individual
- Build relationships by listening to what others say and looking for common ground. Storytelling is a great way to connect with others, bridge gaps, and get your point across.
- Work to create a culture of feedback. Make it known that you welcome thoughts and opinions other than your own, and be sure to share feedback with others.
- Seek ways to overcome cross-cultural barriers. Learn the proper business etiquette of other cultures, and work on strengthening your emotional intelligence.
As a team
- Use exercises like the DISC assessment to reveal how you like to interact with others, how you give and respond to feedback, and more.
- Consider a mentor program to connect individuals with their peers. This is particularly effective if you can pair individuals who work in different departments. This allows everyone to have an unbiased third party they can go to in a given situation.
Every member of an organization has the responsibility to help create a culture of diversity. Hiring managers should seek to find a diverse pool of job candidates. Team members should take pride in contributing to company culture that benefits all employees. Leaders should create a work environment where employee differences foster creativity and innovative thinking rather than tension or misunderstanding.
Ready to apply this in your organization? Get in touch today.