"Diversity is good for business" | Outlook Business
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Soumik Kar

HIGH FIVE

"Diversity is good for business"
Amar Babu, managing director, Lenovo India, shares his mantra for managing diversity in the workplace

Understand: Diversity could be gender-specific, cultural, age-specific, attitude-specific and racial. But the most important aspect of diversity is the varied perspectives and beliefs that members of different identity groups bring with them. And, the first step towards managing diversity in the organisation is understanding this fact.

Listen: Employees have a lot to say, in words and actions — listen to them and appreciate their differences. A diverse workplace can have multiple such messages being thrown around — managers need to use them in a way that encourages ideation and creative thinking. 

Communicate: An open, two-way communication stream can go a long way in creating a workplace that is diverse, agile and creative. Communicate with team members not only through meetings but also via blogs, websites and Twitter.

Adapt: The day will soon arrive when a job could hinge on a tweet. Millennials, baby boomers and Gen X — they all come with different ideas. It is the leader’s responsibility to adapt his style in a way that resonates with the ideas of his team members.

Embrace change: A diverse workforce is not easy to manage, but if successful, it can increase organisational effectiveness. It brings more creativity and can go a long way in lifting the morale of the workforce, as well as enhancing productivity. In short, diversity is good for business. So don’t be afraid of hiring people from different identity groups.

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