Of the many shifts in the workforce lately, we have moved from a culture of independent and/or siloed working environments to that of universal collaboration. To have successful team collaboration, diversity and inclusion (D&I) are a must.

Diversity in the workplace used to be an uncomfortable thing for most. Working with someone with a different background, who has a different way of thinking, who lives a different lifestyle was somewhat intimidating to business owners and employees. There was a false sense of safety in numbers when management thought everybody believed similarly. This sense of security is not only false, it can be very damaging to your business.

Having diversity in the workplace is extremely important, however, diversity cannot stand alone. If it isn’t accepted by all, it has the ability to cause misunderstandings, communication issues and friction. Having inclusion among the team is just as important. Diversity and inclusion must go hand-in-hand.

Respecting and appreciating what makes people different can empower a team, keep employees actively engaged knowing they are working for a company that values their employees as important people, welcomes their input, and provides and environment that is set on the foundation of authentic desire for the greater good and success for all on an individual level as well as the overall business level.

Including D&I into the business culture brings owners and managers a broader spectrum of experience, ideas, creativity, problem solving and more. Having the ability to draw from a wide variety of input provides more flexibility and agility in making important business decisions or problem solving during challenging times.

Welcoming and nurturing a business culture where the entire team is embraced, for their different perspectives and experiences allows employees a safe place where they can provide valuable input without scrutiny.  This type of open communication creates productive collaboration and can be very powerful in propelling a business forward.