We All Represent Diversity – Are You Making The Most of Yours?

‘’Employees who are able to bring their whole selves to work are 42% less likely to say they intend to leave their job within a year.’’  HBR 2017

The world of business is awash with a drive for Diversity & Inclusion.  Whoop Whoop we cheer!  For over a decade we have been encouraging society and people at work to be themselves.  We are all so different – although often forget this as we conform to workplace persona and mould ourselves to fit.

This new age gives all of us permission to get out there in all of our glory (clothes on please!).  Look at what these companies are saying about Diversity & Inclusion;

PWC:   “Creating value through diversity. Be yourself”.
Accenture: “We put inclusion and diversity at the very heart of the way we work, think, and run our business because we believe that only if you bring your true self to work will Accenture benefit from the best you can be”.
Ikea:  ”Everyone plays a part in making IKEA a great place to work, which means that you can be yourself and contribute…’’
Johnson & Johnson:  ”Be yourself, change the world. … Diversity & Inclusion at Johnson & Johnson is not just a commitment — it is the reality of how we live and work…’’

Being yourself at work is true diversity and brings inclusion as you disarm those around you.  I love this excerpt from a Finextra series of articles Imaging Workplace 2020 (from 2014),  ‘’Imagine a world one step further, with metaphorical mirrors held up for people to understand better how they land in certain situations, and to learn from that. A world where it is normal to talk about the impact people have on you, where it’s OK to call something out and discuss alternative means of delivering the same message. And where the person being challenged has space to respond, reflect and effectively challenge back. This sort of world embodies true diversity, equality and inclusion. It fosters potential for creativity, innovation, engagement and commitment – key ingredients for business success as well as attracting and retaining talent and staying ahead of the competition.’’
HBR article in Jan ‘18
There is even research this year that self-awareness can help leaders more than an MBA can.  So your business may have the policies, the awareness training but are you really encouraging people to be themselves, how do you do this and as individuals do you know who you are – after all if you are going to be yourself – you have to know who that is!

Some tips to find out and really nail your diversity at work;

  • You are not your profile (pigeon holing), label you’ve been given (job role) or category (division or skill).  You can’t be categorised so don’t hang on to this stuff.
  • You are also not your religion, gender, nationality, ethnicity or sexual orientation.
  • All of us have the real us inside.  When you ask people who they are they say – my name, my role, my history, my perspectives – this is all in your head.  Who you really are is in your heart and you’ll feel the same in essence as you do now, when you are in your 90’s!

So who are you?
Here are some questions to get you thinking, or talk to us about iAM or joining one of our free Experience days.

  • Who is the inner you that you show to your friends and family, what is this person like?  Are you this person to work – especially when things get tricky?
  • Be conscious of dampening the natural you and conforming in meetings. Do you change when you enter the building at work?  What would you be like if you didn’t?
  • If someone really knew the real you, what is it they would know about you? Have you shared this with your work colleagues?
  • When you are ‘in flow’ at work and loving it, how would you describe the energy that’s making it feel so great?
  • When you think about your perfect day, what does it tell you about who you are at heart?

Are you being this person, bringing the whole you, everywhere?

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