Diversity is Beautiful! Why Is It Important?
What is the first thing that will pop up into our head whenever we hear the so-called “diversity in the workplace”? The answers will most likely be somewhere around culture, race, religion, and gender. However, in fact, diversity is something that is much more complex than that. Winston Utomo, Founder and CEO of IDN Media, stated 3 other types of diversity we can find in the workplace.
1. Life experience and open leadership
Living a different life, each individual must naturally have different experiences, opportunities, and choices. Interestingly, the fact that each of us has different life lessons is also exactly the thing that can bring a positive synergy for the company where we work. To make this really happen in the workplace, Winston believes that open leadership is, indeed, something to consider.
A fresh graduate, for example, can give us an insight into the trends that Millennials and Gen Z are now enjoying. On the other side, an employed mom is more experienced in setting priorities and time management. Winston agreed and said, “Just like a piano. As long as we work together, complete each other, we’ll ultimately result in a beautiful symphony even though we come from different tones in the first place.”
2. Recognizing and considering Timmys’ perspectives
Organizational members will certainly and naturally spawn varied perspectives. If this situation is handled well, these different perspectives can drive organizations to reap the real and full benefits of a healthy diverse workforce, where a lot of innovative and creative ideas coalesce. To avoid any conflicts, each member is expected to be a good listener with a big heart.
According to Winston, a good listener usually tends to see something from various perspectives excitedly. That person is open-minded and does not limit herself to just one single perspective. Winston emphasized, “The same thing goes to our people management: we need to identify a not-so-new-but-always-relevant approach to this complex management issue: the understanding that every perspective matters and if we don’t listen to Timmys’ perspectives (IDN Media employees), they will surely feel small and even unconfident about their own perspectives.”
Different perspectives are actually not an extraordinary thing: it’s the sense of inclusion that makes it very special. When employees’ points of view and notions are heard, that’s exactly when they feel appreciated and recognized as part of an organization. It’s why, said Winston, listening to and considering employees’ perspectives is one of the fundamentals any companies should keep in mind.
3. Acknowledging aspirations, creating a culture that is flexible and humanist
Aspiration is a strong desire to achieve something great such as success in the future. In the scope of work, employees, as one of the company’s assets, have the potential to support the company’s development through their aspirations, so the company is eventually able to reap its full rewards.
Responding to this, Winston said, “Company management must consider their employees’ aspirations by always putting them at the center of any discussions, whatever that may be. It should be noted that managing employee aspirations is not an easy thing to do: an organization must create a culture that is flexible and humanist.”
Diversity in the workplace is not limited to race, religion, and language. From now on, companies should start thinking about diversity in a more holistic way and stop assuming that diversity only relates solely to how a person looks or where she comes from. Realizing how a company defines diversity — and what it does with the experiences of being a diverse organization — IDN Media, specifically, intends to deliver on the promise.