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Individuality and Diversity Bringing a Positive Culture to the Workplace [Blog]

business people performing yoga“We want to employ all of you, not just the ‘work version’ of you”– a phrase that some organisations say to their people, and hopefully one said by many more in the future.

How many organisations today really embrace the ‘human’ side of their business, the individuality of their people, their diversity, and their overall happiness at work? In a time where change is the only constant (thanks Heraclitus), investing in creating a culture where change is embraced, morale is high and people are prioritised is so important, and I believe this starts with paying attention to the individuality and diversity of people in organisations.
We talk about gender diversity but what about diversity in background, hobbies, goals and interests? Just as balanced personality type indicators and communication preferences are valuable, so are teams made up of people with a diverse group of perspectives.

Effective and productive team environments can be achieved if team members have a good understanding of the interests, passions, and challenges being faced by their fellow team mates. Bringing these to the workplace gives colleagues that extra piece of information about one another, allowing them to easily communicate and therefore build a connection and relationship. Informal interactions, often away from the workplace and daily routines, can build relationships much faster than sitting beside a colleague Monday to Friday for the daily grind.

Creating work environments to encourage these interactions and make the workplace feel more like a ‘home’ can also help. For example, regular informal team meetings which start with each person sharing how they are feeling at the time can give people an insight into what is going on in each person’s day at the time – personally or work-related. Office break out areas with breakfast ingredients encourage people to share a meal together. Lunchtime stretching or meditation, flexible work hours and regular team days with team building activities can all contribute to integrating a person’s personal life with their work environment – ultimately encouraging them to bring their uniqueness to the workplace.

If we continually remember that organisations are made up of humans, and not robots, we will be sure to get more out of our people, and therefore be more effective in what we do.

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