Companies Should Not Shy Away From Embracing Differences

By Alison Johnson

By Alison Johnson

It is not enough to simple acknowledge those that have different views or come from different places; welcoming and acceptance are high values, values which allow all employees to come together in a spirit of common purpose, trust and shared reliance. If your organization has committed to leading the way toward an environment which embraces differences in culture, gender, age, experience and perspective, then the next most important decision is how best to encourage and celebrate those expressions of rituals, artifacts, heroes and values that signify our uniqueness and demonstrate our commonality.

Navigating a potential minefield of politically incorrect missteps is one reason why most companies only offer token acknowledgement of diversity. One person’s values may be completely misunderstood or even found to be offensive to another. It is perfectly understandable why some leaders would prefer to remain as generic and neutral as possible. If real values are going to be a priority, the only real defense against bias and misunderstandings is education and communication. Positive relationships are established and honed as much through the trials of disagreement as mutual interest; certainly much more than generalized pleasantries.

The real gem to be found in embracing differences is that your employees will begin to feel as if your organization is where they belong. It is not necessary that the process be perfect, because your employees will feel the integrity of your efforts, providing that integrity actually exists. This may require a shift in perception of what your office, your employees and even your company image should look like. This is a huge step for leaders, I get that; nothing is more difficult for those who are used to being in control than relinquishing even a small part. Whether yours is a company that has many years in the market, or just starting out; when considering corporate values, it is not only the corporation’s which must be considered. Understanding the values of all your employees and embracing them will create a workforce whose dedication runs deeper than the temporary comfort of a salary.

~ Richard

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About Richard
I have spent my entire life learning to be a better communicator in in all facets of my life. I have learned as much from my failures as I have from success; laughing, crying and loving along the way. After earning a B.S. in Communications I decided to share what I have learned while continuing my own personal growth. I believe that the better we are to each other, the richer our lives will become.

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