Diversity. What does it mean for New Zealand workplaces?
New Zealand’s first Diversity Summit was held last week in Auckland and it was interesting to reflect on this question in the context of New Zealand workplaces and in particular the connection to the workplace literacy programmes that Upskills facilitates.
As Diversity Works (the organisation charged with supporting and advising New Zealand organisations on their diversity journey) points out, diversity goes well beyond ethnicity. It is ‘inclusive’ and embraces differences in gender, sexuality, spirituality, ethnicity and age. Beyond this, diversity of thought was a hot topic of discussion at the summit. As one speaker asked, how do businesses give all employees a real voice which is heard and acknowledged in the business? Workplace literacy programmes can provide a vehicle for this voice to be heard. Throughout our programmes, we weave together problem solving tools and develop critical thinking skills. This project process results in employees presenting improvement ideas to their supervisors and managers, providing innovations to the business and delivering big confidence boosts to employees who participate.
Does your business have a process for capturing people’s ideas at all levels of the business? Or are you missing out on a whole range of diverse and innovative thinking that could be changing the way you operate for the better?