“You don’t get harmony when everyone sings the same note.” — Doug Floyd
Diversity and inclusion have been some of the hottest topics in business and leadership over the past decade. Employees all over the world are urging business leaders, from small businesses to large multinational corporations, to embrace diversity in the workplace. Researchers have also studied the many benefits of diversity in terms of the company brand, productivity, revenue, and growth.
Aside from all the business advantages it brings, I believe that diversity is also key to achieving harmony. And I am not just talking about the workplace, but even in our personal lives. Our potential to grow as leaders and individuals grows the more we open ourselves to experiencing diverse cultures and backgrounds. It enriches our way of seeing the world and provides both depth and breadth to our knowledge and principles, which affect our everyday lives.
Moreover, in the current world we live in, where digital transformation has made globalization accessible for business growth, embracing diversity is necessary. Most US businesses of all sizes are now outsourcing services and virtual assistants overseas, mainly in India and the Philippines.
As entrepreneurs, we know how crucial employees are in meeting our goals: We rely on our people to get the work done and get us closer to our mission and purpose. That is why topics such as company culture and employee engagement are pivotal topics in every business industry.
In order to embrace diversity and achieve a harmonious working relationship with people from all walks of life, we need to be aware of the differences in our upbringing, culture, and backgrounds. And I am not just talking about a global level—even within the US, there is a diversity of cultures and backgrounds that a lot of us still find challenging to bridge. A certain level of respect and curiosity is necessary to achieve that.
Once we do, there is beauty in the harmony it produces, when diverse people can come together and create something new out of their differences.
A culture that embraces and cultivates diversity of thought helps organizations become more creative, innovative, agile, and flexible. When different perspectives come together, you see a bigger picture that you wouldn’t have otherwise if you went for homogeneity. And when cultivated properly, it contributes to every individual actively participating and engaged in the process.
The more we put diversity into the heart of what and how we do things, the more we empower everyone in the team to take ownership of their work and contribute to the organization. Because everyone feels heard and valued, participation is something that is both extrinsically and intrinsically rewarding. They feel like they belong, and their work is helping them carve out a place for themselves in your team.
Business cultures that encourage this see a high level of employee engagement, which affects productivity, alignment, and, subsequently, revenue. They see higher employee retention because their people are happy to work in that place. And happy people produce great outcomes that can impact others outside the organization as well.
When things are working well internally within your team, it reflects on what you are bringing out to the general audience and your market. People will know whether a business is authentic and good, and they will want to do business with you because they feel good themselves by association.
This harmony at work carries over to your personal lives. You (consciously or subconsciously) apply the same level of respect, curiosity, and openness to your family, friends, and loved ones.
It may all sound very idealistic, and I know it is easier said than done, but when you make it a point to just be human and treat others as humans, the ripple effect kicks in. Remember the platinum rule: treat others the way they want to be treated. And who doesn’t want to be treated with respect and kindness?
We all benefit from spreading a little more kindness around.
Thank you for reading A Brilliant Tribe.