Blog / 7 September 2017

Foster diversity of talent and thought

In the ninth of 10 tips inspired by our Future of Work report Mapping the Digital Future, we look at the benefits of fostering diversity and encouraging empathy.

We have long known that diversity of race, gender and culture has been beneficial to the workplace. But a new kind of diversity, a diversity of thought, can bring even more benefits to your company.

A 2013 survey from Deloitte told how diversity of thought could help guard against groupthink, increase the scale of new insights and help organisations identify the right employees to best tackle their most pressing problems.

Eric Mosley, co-founder and CEO of Globoforce, agrees and believes it has never been more important to create an inclusive work environment where personality and diversity of thought are respected. He told Silicon Republic that organisations must cater to the employee as a whole person understanding their life outside of work or risk that employee feeling disengaged and disenchanted.

Separate to a diversity of thought, experts including our own founder Gi Fernando MBE say everyone in the workforce should think empathetically. With greater empathy, there is an increase in dialogue between colleagues, which encourages people to openly share work and ideas with others.

Mutual understanding between employer and employee is crucial for keeping people in your company, says Lizzie Penny, Co-founder and Joint CEO at Huckleberry Partners and Futureproof.

“Failure to do so,” says Lizzie in an article for the Guardian, “may encourage the employee to seek out a more ‘caring’ work environment, or follow the growing trend towards self-employment.”

This is a subject that should make all employers stop and think.

If they can act more empathetically and foster a diverse team that feels comfortable using and sharing their skillsets together — without intense competition — then surely this renewed company purpose and value-driven mindset will help retain talent and increase productivity and profit.

Learn even more about digital and workforce transformation by catching up with previous articles from the Freeformers Changing the Future of Work Mindset Top 10 Tips:

  1. Why you must start at the top to change the Future of Work mindset
  2. Create a collaborative culture to embrace digital transformation together
  3. Your company’s survival depends on digital transformation
  4. Encourage reverse mentoring between different sets of skills and knowledge
  5. Reward people with a digital mindset
  6. Develop physical spaces that are open and collaborative to work and relax
  7. Experiment with digital team days
  8. Allocate a training budget to each employee

To read more from the Mapping the Digital Future report, download it here. We’d love to hear what you think about fostering diversity of talent and thought. To find out more about Freeformers or give us your opinions, email futureofwork@freeformers.com or leave a comment below.