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How Sustainability and Diversity Help Drive Innovation 06.20.2022 | Laura Levenson

An important part of our brand message, “Let’s Make Work Happen”, is sharing our stories and commitments behind the “how.” In regard to sustainability, that means showing clients, colleagues and partners how we are conducting business in a way that limits the impact on the planet to ensure that future generations can make work happen.  And how we are working toward eliminating barriers for marginalized talent to make work happen for everyone. Our latest Corporate Social Responsibility Report provides these details, and so much more!

The development of this report was a valuable exercise for us to measure the effectiveness of our CSR efforts to date, identify any gaps in our strategy, and set new targets in our journey to driving positive change. Highlights from this year’s report touch on our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (across our organization and among the mobile talent we serve); fostering a culture of charitable giving and volunteerism; and environmental sustainability.

Click here to read the full report.

Bringing Our Commitments to Life

We recognize that our influence as a company is contingent upon the well-being of our own people, which is why we’ve maintained a steadfast focus on fostering a culture where differences are valued, biases are overcome, and everyone feels heard.

To bring this focus into action, our Corporate Social Responsibility Task Force has launched two new colleague groups – an LGBTQIA+ Network and The Inclusion Alliance – to provide opportunities for colleagues to meet and share their voices and exchange ideas with other like-minded individuals and teams across continents who might otherwise never cross paths.

These initiatives bring us closer to our goal of increasing engagement by fostering well-being of our colleagues, which in turn elevates innovation in how we do business and achieve success for our clients and customers.

The power of diversity to drive innovation is not a new concept.

In fact, an HBR report from nearly a decade ago provides compelling evidence that diversity unlocks innovation and drives market growth—a finding that should intensify efforts to ensure that executive ranks both embody and embrace the power of differences.

According to authors Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Melinda Marshall, and Laura Sherbin, these six behaviors unlock innovation across the board:

  • Ensuring that everyone is heard;
  • Making it safe to propose novel ideas;
  • Giving team members decision-making authority;
  • Sharing credit for success;
  • Giving actionable feedback; and
  • Implementing feedback from the team.

Leaders who give diverse voices equal airtime are nearly twice as likely as others to unleash value-driving insights, and employees in a “speak up” culture are 3.5 times as likely to contribute their full innovative potential!

These findings constitute a powerful new dimension of the business case for diversity.

More recently, reports on the correlation between a team’s cultural diversity and higher innovation performance (BCG, 2018; Bertelsmann, 2018; Kaasa and Vadi, 2010) are intriguing and are readily relatable as so many other organizations elevate their DE&I strategies. Teams composed of members from diverse backgrounds may approach problems from different perspectives and have different tolerances for risk-taking, both of which are essential attributes needed in creative, innovative teams.

With the steady globalization of industries and an increasingly diverse workforce, studies like this can play an important role in the success of innovation programs. In the global mobility industry, teams are inevitably working virtually, and so it is a business imperative that we learn to effectively understand intra- and inter-team dynamics as we continue to leverage diversity for all our efforts, not only to drive innovation.

Our hope is that these colleague resource networks will be the vehicle for breaking barriers and defying convention —challenging how we have traditionally made work happen for our teams, clients and mobile talent and living true to our belief of Open Doors and Open Minds.

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Written by Laura Levenson

Weichert_Laura_Levenson

Laura Levenson is a Practice Leader in Weichert Workforce Mobility’s Advisory Services group. She has worked in management capacities for workforce mobility and Big Four firms, and is well-versed in bringing clarity to the most pressing global talent deployment challenges. She brings over 25 years of experience to her role and is a frequent speaker on the mobility conference circuit.

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