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By: Lauren Collinson, Senior Communications Specialist
When you think of effective workplace diversity, you probably think of people of different genders, races, and cultures putting their diverse backgrounds to good use. You may also think about legal requirements and ensuring compliance. These thoughts are correct, but there's another way to "think" about diversity.
There's a growing trend when it comes to diversity at work, and it's called "thought diversity." Employees all have unique backgrounds, and those backgrounds impact the way they think. Having a work environment with a diverse collection of thinkers will help your company push the envelope and grow in ways it normally wouldn't. According to a study by consulting and professional services company Deloitte, cultivating "diversity of thought" at your business can boost innovation and creative problem-solving.
There are many different types of thinkers. Some people are creative, some are analytical, some are relaxed, and some are strategists. By putting together a group of people who "think" differently, Deloitte believes companies can stimulate creativity, spur insight, and increase efficiency.
Deloitte's study suggests thought diversity can benefit an organization by reducing groupthink, increasing the scale of new insights, and identifying the right employees who can best tackle their most pressing problems. According to Deloitte, "The implication of this new frontier in diversity is that leaders and organizations must let go of the idea that there is one right way and instead focus on creating a learning culture where people feel accepted, are comfortable contributing ideas, and actively seek to learn from each other."
To implement thought diversity in your workforce, there are three steps Deloitte recommends managers follow:
...enact sponsorship programs directed at individuals who represent different thinking styles. Moving to a team-based performance evaluation framework can allow an organization to create and foster a culture of inclusion that empowers its people, spurs collaboration, and inspires more innovation."
Having employees who think in diverse ways makes sense, much like having employees with diverse backgrounds. More organizations are recognizing the benefits of thought diversity, and making it a priority in their hiring management processes.
To learn more, read Deloitte's entire study here.
For information on implementing effective diversity practices in your organization, and ensuring compliance with the latest requirements, please contact Berkshire Associates at 800.882.8904.
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