Enabling a diversified workplace culture is not enough

Enabling a diversified workplace culture is not enough

Short Url

Individuals and organizations globally are working toward being inclusive, mandated by governments, corporations and a demand by employees for diversity in the workplace.

While individuals are embracing and campaigning for diversity, organizations around the world, if not already, are revisiting their vision and company values in a bid to redefine their strategies to include diversity awareness, programs and initiatives. 

The onus is now with organizations to review policies, measure impact and navigate a way forward to not only achieve, but sustain, a truly diverse workplace. In recognizing the positive impact on economies, governments across the region have embraced this phenomenon as a key cornerstone, building strategies to attract and retain diverse talent. 

The Middle East is an illustrious hub for diversity, known for welcoming people from all over the world and creating a unique cultural mix, a key contributory factor to diversifying the region and strengthening the overall economy. Diversity is not only dominated by geographical location but extends to more subtle cultural nuances of local and regional communities.

While an increasing number of organizations focus on diverse workplace in terms of nationality and gender, ways of thinking and mindsets are also areas for consideration. Diversity of thought is essential, not only to the growth of an organization but also of an individual, and having a diversified workplace and healthy culture can strengthen the overall working experience and performance of an employee. A diversified workplace brings new perspectives, a wider talent pool, more innovation and enhanced employee and company performance.

It is imperative for employees to embrace the concept of inclusivity. By understanding the relevance of this concept and practically applying it to their working relationships, every employee can play a leading role in nourishing a sense of belonging across the organization. This is in line with the Kingdom’s efforts in upskilling citizens by providing learning opportunities through supporting innovation, entrepreneurship culture and the Saudi workforce as part of Vision 2030.

Active team-building initiatives in the office, as well as the provision of a safe and casual space for employees to engage and exchange, can be beneficial in promoting a more diverse and inclusive culture.     

While employers continue to build on ensuring a healthy workplace for everyone, employees need to contribute to building a healthy environment. For employees to create a culture of tolerance, knowledge and accepting their colleagues regardless of their differences is instrumental. It could be as simple as building an encouraging environment that is likely to result in productivity and growth in an organization. Ultimately, this can lead to resonating benefits such as better problem-solving and increased productivity.

Looking ahead, organizations will need to adopt a more diligent and proactive approach driven by data and insights to deliver truly relevant and effective initiatives to drive measurable diversity and inclusion across organizations at every level and to the benefit of every individual. This will be a key catalyst and imperative factor in strengthening the future of an organization.

• Mohammed Al-Shammari is the chief operating officer of Alhokair Group.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News' point-of-view