Diversity and inclusion are so important to Human Resources departments. But finding ways to actively engage with those ideas is quite a bit harder. We’ve compiled some relevant articles, blogs, and more to help you expand your perspective on what diversity and inclusion can mean for human resource professionals.
Previously, we tackled how diverse perspectives help at work with articles highlighting the importance of diverse ideas in successful campaigns and the role that empathy can play in a business, too. Both diversity and empathy are key components to long-term success (one might say in life AND work) because they bring about creativity, community, and so much more.
If you haven’t checked out that blog post yet, it’s definitely worth reviewing. For now, we want to highlight why diversity and inclusion is good and how it can be talked about in HR.
The Reasons Why Inclusion and Diversity Matter
Forbes published an excellent opinion piece titled “Why Understanding Other Perspectives Is A Key Leadership Skill” and the author, Steffan Surdek, explains: “there’s great value in recognizing different perspectives in conversations because these enable us to hear and react to things very differently. One of my close friends often says: ‘Change how a situation occurs to you, change how you will respond to the situation.’”
Surdek continues on to explain how our perspectives are not always reality and that it’s important to realize that each individual has their own perspective. Once you begin to consider how others may see a situation or problem, you can then more creatively engage a solution or a problem and come to a conclusion that works for everyone.
If you are in HR, how does that translate in your office? Do you engage with diverse perspectives and make sure to listen to all of them? Do you feel like your corporation or business is open to a wide variety of ideas and voices? These are some important questions to keep in mind.
Leaders and Diversity
Another opinion piece from Yale Insights considers a similar question: What do leaders need to understand about diversity? Here the author, Victoria Brescoll, explains that diversity can’t be a separate program to be successful. Instead, diversity (at all levels) must be integrated everywhere. It should be a “lens for looking at, identifying, developing, and advancing talent.” So the key for successful leadership is to implement respect for and consideration of diverse thoughts and ideas from the start (the hiring process) all the way to the top (big decision making).
For human resource professionals, that means making sure that questions and considerations about diversity and inclusion start early in the process (hiring) and are part of every job–whether it’s entry level or an executive position. Making sure that the discussions around job postings, and the language in them, engages with diversity is a great first step.
Engaging Employees in Diversity Talk
This great blog explains that, “Without diversity of thought, innovation is thwarted, initiatives may stall, and you alone cannot save your organization. You need to approach issues with a number of perspectives to be able to see the whole truth.” Most people in HR know the importance of diverse thought, especially when it comes to creative ideas. But how do you engage current employees? Where can diversity start and how can you start it in a safe, accessible space?
This article has a few easy tips for questions to ask yourself and your team to initiative deeper conversations and better diversity of thought right away. But we also encourage people in HR to consider focusing on ice breakers that include talking about diverse ideas. Most ice breaker games are about learning a little factoid about employees, but it can go so much further.
Try bringing some cards from How Do You See The World? to your next HR-sponsored ice breaker and get employees to start thinking about AND talking about things in a more creative way. Designed to encourage honesty, openness, and big thinking, How Do You See The World? creates safe spaces for people to express their ideas and for others to listen with intent.
If you are an HR professional and you use either of our games as an ice breaker, we’d love to hear from you!