Inclusion means making room for everyone’s knowledge, outlook, thoughts, methods and preferences. Maintaining heterogeneity and fostering an inclusive work environment is imperative when it comes to extracting the best from today’s workforce.
It’s a Friday afternoon and everyone in the office is ready to put their feet up. Most of us have been on our toes for the better part of the week with multiple deadlines to meet and urgent client requests to work on. But Friday afternoon, we stick to the iarani way of working.
As one walks through the office it is quite normal to spot some of us enjoying a glass of chilled beer. There are a few who prefer unwinding with wine. Some are just happy relaxing with a steaming cup of tea. We also have the health conscious ones who can be seen drinking from flasks of kombucha or some weird concoction made of seemingly healthy ingredients. This tableau is a simplistic yet apt representation of the diversity of the employee base here at iarani. A colourful assortment of preferences, thoughts, ideas, and choices defines the work culture here.
Our ecosystem comprises hard core meat lovers but we also have staunch vegans. Some of us are night owls while others are early risers. Some of us are extremely productive when working from home while others need the orderly ambience of an office (and occasional pep talk) to get things done. Each individual has his or her own style of working, way of perceiving problems, and deriving solutions.
For those looking at us from the outside, it is often hard to believe that a mix of such myriad personalities can work well together and produce fantastic results. On the contrary, over the past few years, we as an organisation have realised that it is this very characteristic that helps us maintain high levels of creativity and innovation. Each person on deck brings a unique perspective to the table, making for some very stimulating brainstorming sessions.
Most companies like ours are staffed heavily by millennials today. This trend falls in line with a research published by Pew Research Center which states that Millennials are slated to outnumber Baby Boomers in the workforce this year. Very soon millennials are going to be the ones filling up most of the desks at any office and, therefore, it is essential to understand their psyche to be able to get them to operate at their maximum potential.
Our generation of employees have a very different genetic makeup as compared to those from the past. We are born with a need to connect and collaborate. We accept differences much more easily and enjoy working as part of diversely built teams. What’s more, millennials tend to seek not just ethnic and gender diversity, but also cognitive diversity. The command-and-control style of managing people does not work well with them. It is, therefore, no surprise that fledgling organisations spearheaded by young CEOs and their management teams, are not just looking at hiring a diverse crowd but are also keen on maintaining high levels of inclusiveness to embrace numerous viewpoints and encourage innovation.
Inclusion means making room for everyone’s knowledge, outlook, thoughts, methods, and preferences on a daily basis. Maintaining heterogeneity within the workforce is not sufficient when it comes to boosting innovation, creativity, and productivity. In today’s day and age, it is also imperative to foster an inclusive work environment.
As we move to a more open world in the wake of the new age of globalisation, the importance of having an open and inclusive philosophy at work becomes even more imperative. Even the smallest steps towards inclusion can help you reap rich dividends over time.