All the same?

I have read a number of articles over this long Easter bank holiday weekend that have caused me some concern. Each of them were about very different subjects but at the heart was one thing – developing a process or system that everyone has to adhere to. In one it was about senior managers only being promoted to the top job if they had worked in other businesses. My initial thoughts were that it was an attempt to grab headlines which is why I am not going to give that particular story any more publicity.

The thing that most organisations really struggle with is valuing what people bring as individuals. It is easy to develop a system or put in place a set of criteria and to achieve the required outcome people will adhere to it. However, in doing that we fail to accept different ways of doing things and that can only be damaging to the diversity of an organisation.

I accept that in any job role there have to be certain requirements and skills that people can demonstrate they have. But we must do away with incredibly restrictive requirements that put a straight-jacket on us and prevent many people moving into certain positions. For many years discrimination has been rightly tackled through legislation. Now we need to ensure we have an open mind to view people’s experiences on an individual basis.

People are not all the same, thankfully. We all have our own story to tell and our own experiences that have shaped us. It is that difference we should value within organisations as if we can do that then we could harness what we each bring to work every day. Few companies have managed to do it opting instead to demand you have done X and Y before you can join or get promotion. We need a more intelligent way to recruit and retain a diverse workforce.

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