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Diversity of thought deserves thinking about


Updated: 10 Aug 2016

Is your voice respected at work? Are differences valued? Is there a sense of inclusion? If so, according to recruiting experts Hays you’re the envy of 93% of New Zealanders who want to be part of a workplace where there is diversity of thought.

According to Hays’ Staff Engagement: Ideas for action report, which is based on a survey of 1,196 employers and employees, 93% of employees want a ‘voice’ and the ability to share their opinions at work, while the same percentage want to work in an inclusive culture where differences are valued.

For their part, 87% of employers said making sure staff feel like they have a ‘voice’ and can share their opinions at work is ‘very important’ or ‘important’ in engaging their workforce. But 45% admit that they need to work on this.

In addition, 84% said a feeling amongst staff of inclusion, where differences are valued, is ‘very important’ or ‘important’. Yet 38% need to address this issue.

“Diversity of thought is starting to gain a lot of attention since a workplace that respects and encourages different ways of thinking works more innovatively to bring new ideas to the table,” says Jason Walker, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand.

“Each individual possesses a range of qualities, traits and backgrounds that influence the way that they think. While some people are creative and driven by opportunities to innovate, others are more analytical. There are people who thrive on spontaneity, and those who are natural planners.

“Recognising the value that each person offers can lead to greater creativity and improved business productivity. It also helps avoid ‘group think’, where a focus on group conformity and consensus can compromise thorough and well-considered decision making.

“So a culture that encourages diversity of thought should result in improved problem solving capability and a wider range of solutions.”

There are also benefits for employees. As Jason explains, “In a workplace that embraces diversity of thought, employees can be themselves, know that differences are valued, feel they can share different perspectives, are more willing to provide an honest opinion, and will contribute to new ways to solve problems. This leads to new approaches and creates an environment where all employees can thrive and perform at their peak.”

Hays explores this idea further in its latest Hays Journal, in which it says line managers have a key role to play. According to the Journal, “Each employee has their own unique way of being able to contribute to the company and it is the responsibility of their line managers to know the strengths and weaknesses of their own team.”

Hays’ report Staff Engagement: Ideas for action can be viewed at hays.com.au/staff-engagement. The latest Hays Journal is available at hays-journal.com

About Hays

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

For further information please contact Adam Shapley, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand, on adam.shapley@hays.net.nz or +64 (0) 9 375 9424.

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