Are High Performing Cultures Diverse?
With the increase of diversity and inclusion initiatives in Silicon Valley, more leaders want to know “Are High Performing Cultures Diverse?” Thank goodness no parade of employees looks as uniform and homogeneous as the above line-up of cartoon workers!
Diversity and Culture
The best leaders have come to appreciate the value of diversity. They seek employees who come from different backgrounds, who bring a variety of work experience and skills, and who contribute their diverse perspectives as they work together to solve important business problems.
Our experience is that done right, corporate diversity does not weaken organizations; it enriches them.
How Much Diversity Makes Sense?
There are however, some values that you most likely want to find in all your employees. These are the underpinning corporate values that help define and support your desired organizational culture. However you choose to define what it is that your organization cares most about, what your purpose is, and how you want to conduct business, you want a certain “sameness” or uniformity in your organizational culture.
For example, if customer service is your linchpin, you want each and every employee to feel (and act upon) the same binding commitment to satisfying your customers. The diversity can be revealed in the HOW – the ways they find to achieve the same goal of superior and unsurpassed customer service.
Our organizational alignment research found that cultural factors account for 40% of the difference between high and low growth companies. As you seek to build your corporate culture, keep in mind that your culture can become a competitive advantage as your compete to attract, engage, and retain top talent.
The better you can articulate what it is truly like to work at your company (not just what you espouse on your website), the better you will be able to attract and retain employees that actually fit. And when you have a distinctive corporate culture, you can better target candidates who easily and enthusiastically become part of your success.
Some say there are different types of employees; from those for who work is simply a way to earn a living to those who look to work as a way to make a difference in others’ lives. If you know which suits your culture best, you can figure out how best to represent your company.
If, for instance, you have created a culture that values teamwork above all else, you will want to hire and keep employees who look at a job as an opportunity to be a contributing member of a high performing and collaborative team.
You should then look to job candidates who seek a company where collaboration is appreciated and facilitated, where employees enjoy one another, where teams provide the structure and stability of the workforce, and where there is ample opportunity to use one’s strengths for the benefit of the overall enterprise.
The Bottom Line
Are High Performing Cultures Diverse? Yes. But not all workers want or need the same thing. Nor do all companies have the same culture. The magic in taking advantage of employee diversity is in matching your people strategy to your unique company culture and strategic direction. The alignment of talent, culture and strategy creates winning companies.
To learn more about aligning your talent and business strategies, download Alignment – The Missing Ingredient for Success
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