the spice of
Why diverse workforces are more innovative.
Day and night. Fire and water. Light and dark. In language there are often pairs of opposites for which it is not always easy to decide which one applies. That’s not the case with diversity and uniformity. The latter can in some cases be a good thing, but when it comes to a workforce, it can lead to naivety, imprudence and poor judgement. Diversity, on the other hand, opens up possibilities; it’s colourful and varied. Diversity among a company’s employees expands the horizons of the entire organisation.
Annette Widmann-Mauz, the German government’s Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration, said back in 2018:
“The opposite of diversity is uniformity, which doesn’t sound very innovative. Different points of view, experiences and skills can be advantageous when it comes to solving problems.”
Diverse solutions for diverse challenges.
And the problems or challenges companies face are huge: Globalisation, digitisation and climate change are the defining influencing factors of our time. These challenges are best tackled in a variety of ways.
On the one hand, there are the people who make up the company: employees of all genders with as broad a range as possible of skills, nationalities, qualifications and cultural imprints. On the other hand, there is the company culture, which fosters openness, creativity and tolerance in cooperation. In these kinds of progressively run companies, cohesion grows and fluctuation falls. Productivity and the chances of innovation increase. Loyalty to the employer likewise grows. These are findings from surveys among companies and institutions of all sizes.
Diversity in practice thus benefits the company as a whole, but also each individual employee. These days, people want to work in a company that gives them scope for personal realisation. They want to be their real selves – and not to have to pretend. And they want to be appreciated for their qualifications, ability to work in a team, and readiness for innovation, and not judged for their religious beliefs, gender, age or sexual orientation.
Diversity fuels innovative strength.
In 2018 the Bertelsmann Foundation carried out a study into the role of cultural diversity for innovation in Germany. Their findings? The more diverse the composition of a team with regard to origin and culture, the greater the positive impact on its innovative strength. The study states that creativity thus arises primarily where different points of view, different thought patterns and different experiences come together.
In the analysis of different group studies, the researchers identified that diverse teams come up with better solutions to complex problems than homogeneous groups. It stands to reason, therefore, that heterogeneity of perspectives makes innovative solutions more likely. In diversely assembled teams, the members also tend to prepare their arguments better and to think through alternative points of view, since they cannot expect the immediate agreement of all the other team members. So diversity in working groups forces the individuals to improve their communication behaviour. Good for creativity, innovations – and the mood within the team.
New ideas from Essen.
At OGE, a successful future depends on innovative ideas and a creative approach to the challenges of the energy transition. Ideas are developed by employees. Each one of them brings their own imprint and their own ways of thinking and working to the company.
Our diverse workforce brings us new perspectives, re-thinks challenges and how to tackle them, and quite simply enriches the entire company. With our corporate culture, we foster this diversity within our teams. That’s why we at OGE are committed to diversity. Because we know that everyone benefits from it: our employees, our stakeholders – and all of us together as OGE.
In our communication, we address people across the entire diverse spectrum. We demonstrate this, among other things, by ensuring our language is gender-inclusive. Our entire website is currently being reviewed and linguistically adapted to precisely this end.