DeVaughn Narratives

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Category: Diversity and Inclusion

The Importance of Well-Traveled Employees

Well-Traveled

The Importance of Well-Traveled Employees

There are some people who never feel the urge to leave their home. They’re content to stay in the city they came from. Then there’s the rest of us: the people who can’t sit still. Having an incurable case of wanderlust, we returned home from our latest vacation in pursuit of our next big adventure.

In today’s competitive market, you must find ways to differentiate yourself from your peers. The skills and experience gained from traveling abroad can give you a competitive advantage and enhance your career. When traveling abroad you are likely to possess the skills needed in the global economy – economic and geographical knowledge, cross-cultural communication skills, analytical skills, flexibility, an understanding of and familiarity with local customs, an ability to adapt to new circumstances, and may be proficient in multiple languages.

Traveling Improves our Communication Skills

When trying to converse in foreign cultures, verbal and non-verbal communication is necessary to overcome language and cultural barriers. Being able to communicate with other people from diverse cultures and backgrounds is an important skill in any job.

Traveling Improves Negotiation Skills

Whether you’re haggling at a market or negotiating a fare with a taxi driver, bargaining is a regular part of traveling abroad and is an important skill to hone. Employers want people who are savvy negotiators.

Understanding Cross-cultural Sensitivity

Today companies both large and small are effectively competing on the global stage in order to survive and prosper. Living among people as you travel abroad, talking with them and learning their stories and culture gives you a competitive advantage in the workplace.

Becoming Self-sufficient and Confident

When you’re traveling abroad, you don’t have anyone to call for help. As you figure out how to get around in a foreign country, you build confidence and adaptability in foreign situations. Things can go awry and plans change. As a traveler you are forced to change plans constantly.

While in Turkey, we were suddenly left without travel arrangements to Greece. Without internet service in our hostel, we found a nearby internet café and had to research a new flight to Greece within time frame and budget. This turned out to be no easy feat.

The ability to adapt is important and appealing to employers.

Learning to Budget and Plan

Prior to traveling, I had to plan and save for each of my vacations abroad. In addition, I had to continue to monitor my budget once we arrived.

In conclusion, employers are looking for people who are versatile and adaptable. By embracing your travel experience on your resume, you are demonstrating your willingness to seek out new experiences. Having relevant global experience on your resume can be an advantage.

Creating a Workplace that Embraces Diversity and Inclusion

Creating a Workplace that Embraces Diversity and Inclusion

The demographics of the workplace are changing and will continue to do so in the coming years. Demographically, many organizations look different than it did a decade ago as the U.S. population is becoming more heterogeneous, with minority groups making up larger portions of the populace.

Diversity can be defined in many ways. One such example is that diversity includes Diversity and inclusionall the ways in which people differ and is an awareness of and respect for individuals with unique perspectives, backgrounds, and their attributes working towards a common goal. It’s about people.

Inclusion, on the other hand, is about the organization and involves putting the practice of diversity into action by creating an environment of respect, and where everyone is valued and included. Inclusion should be reflected in an organization’s culture, practices, business strategies, mission, and relationships.

One of the most important things leaders can do is create a culture of diversity and inclusion in the workplace for their employees. This is key to building a successful business with today’s workforce.

Workforce diversity can bring about an increase in productivity and competitive advantage. Organizations can offer more solutions to their stakeholders because of new ideas and processes brought into the organizations. Moreover, diversity gives access to a greater talent pool which can improve a company’s reputation and image.

Communicating with a diverse workforce does have its advantages. Research suggests that one of the advantages of communicating with a diverse workforce is the increase in creativity. Employees from different backgrounds can bring in a variety of solutions on how to achieve a common goal. When team members are culturally diverse, more ideas are formed because they may approach a problem totally different.

One disadvantage is the implementation and successful management of diversity programs in the workplace, which can be challenging.

Following are a variety of strategies that employers can implement that can make great strides toward promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace:

  • Diversity training
  • Mentoring programs
  • Employee resource groups
  • Diversity task forces, committees, and advisory boards
  • Employee network support groups

Research has shown that nothing drives home the message of inclusion than exposing diverse groups to one another. That is exactly what one company did when they were facing a demographic problem of epic proportions. Here’s their story.

Lockheed Martin, one of the world’s leading global aerospace, defense, and advanced technology companies, needed to replenish a large majority of their engineers who were expected to retire. To create a more diverse and inclusive workforce, Lockheed Martin’s MS2 employee communications and design team developed an “Embrace Diversity” print postcard campaign that helped employees understand the beliefs and backgrounds of all the workers who comprised the organization. The team created innovative, vibrant, eye-catching postcards as a communications tool to get employees to think about their own reactions and beliefs. This campaign involved a series of different postcards that explored topics such as generational differences, cultural and religious traditions, teamwork, as well as company loyalty. The communications team designed the postcards with the diversity messages to spark discussion among employees.

In conclusion, diversity and inclusion is relevant to successful business strategies that increase quality performance and better productivity.

 

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