The benefits of having diverse workplaces are clear. They are more innovative, have higher productivity and greater cohesion. But hiring a wide range of people is only the start. You need to understand how people from all backgrounds can work effectively together and build a culturally safe environment.
In order to start building diversity, you need to know where your organisation stands. Start asking yourself the following questions:
- Is your organisation hierarchical or flat in structure?
- How do you communicate? Is your communication style direct or indirect?
- What is your decision-making process? Your problem-solving process?
It's only through knowing yourself and your organisation that you can identify potential clashes or blockers for genuine diversity.
"If I do something where you feel like your idea isn't being heard, why would you speak up?" asks Sunaina Vij, our cultural intelligence coach. "Maybe you come from a culture where you wouldn't say something in front of ten people. If I recognise that, I might meet you one on one, instead."