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Cultivating Diversity in the Workplace is Essential for Driving Innovation, Says Research

Posted By Laurie A. Pehar Borsh, Thursday, March 16, 2017
Updated: Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Northern California Human Resource Association (NCHRA), and Waggl—the most human way for organizations to crowdsource feedback—released new data from its joint “Voice of the Workplace” pulse on the subject of diversity in the workplace.

According to Voice of the Workplace, an overwhelming 96% responded that they believe cultivating diversity in the workplace is essential for driving innovation.  Responses were relatively consistent across various demographics including age, gender, region, and size of organization.  In addition, 71% of the participants said that they feel their organization is strongly committed to fostering diversity.  Among respondents under the ages of 31, 100% felt that diversity is essential and believed that their organizations are strongly committed to fostering it.

“Despite the current politics of borders and immigration, it is generally accepted that companies benefit from cultivating a diverse workforce, but it can be difficult to measure or quantify the impact of diversity on an organization’s ability to innovate,” said Greg Morton, CEO, NCHRA. “However, as this pulse indicates, we’ve all witnessed cases in which diversity has directly driven innovation by creating an environment where ‘out of the box’ ideas are
heard and encouraged.  We’ve also seen situations where, without sufficient knowledge or training about culture diversity, managers can inadvertently fail to cultivate trust
and respect in the workplace without even being aware of the consequences.  It appears organizations that continue to actively commit to cultivating ‘cultural intelligence’ will
be generally better equipped to innovate.”

In this pulse, HR West and Waggl also posed the question, “What is the biggest advantage of building a diverse workforce?” and distilled crowdsourced responses into a
ranked list. The top 3 answers were:

  1. “With a diverse workforce (age, gender, ethnicity, ability, etc.) one brings together a multitude of thoughts, ideas, [and] experience levels that has a greater potential
    to drive innovation, and promote constructive debate to move an organization forward.”
  2. “Having multiple perspectives encourages management to see things differently, and can help enormously with problem-solving. It also helps us to avoid ‘group think.’”
  3. “It takes diverse thoughts & opinions to create exceptional products and services, but more importantly it takes a diverse [and] inclusive workforce to build the
    foundational values of trust [and] respect which are the bedrocks of amazing and enduring cultures.”

Waggl is designed to help organizations to create a culture of innovation by creating real-time, two-way dialogue to be used to surface ideas, collect authentic feedback, and build consensus.  Unlike traditional survey and polling platforms, Waggl engages participants by asking open-ended questions where favorite responses can be “voted up.”
The platform enables fast, frequent, focused conversation on virtually any topic.

“Cultivating diversity is more important than ever, in our current era of business disruption and change,” said Michael Papay, Cofounder and CEO, Waggl. “The benefits of diversity become more evident as organizations start to open up lines of transparent communication and encourage authentic relationships between employees; creating an open forum to build connection, collaboration and alignment across the organization.”

 

Tags:  diversity  feedback  HR  innovation  leadership  Waggl 

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