Did you know that 2359 Media has talents from across 10 different nationalities? Diversity has always been of utmost importance to us as an organisation as we have first hand experienced the benefits it brings to our role as an innovation house. Through this article, we hope to showcase how diversity has benefited our culture, productivity and created a sense of belonging for our talents.
According to research by Instride, diverse teams outperform individual decision-makers up to 87% of the time when making a business decision. In addition, diversity in organisations has proven to be 70% more likely to capture new markets and lead to 19% higher revenue. This is largely evident in our company as we often engage in shared decision making, effectively leveraging on the broad range of skills, experiences and perspectives.
Amanda, our Senior Project Manager, shared that in her team, each team member brings their own perspectives to the table and freely contributes to discussions regardless of their roles on the team. Oftentimes, such input has helped to unblock the team when stuck, as they provide an alternative point of view to the issue at hand. As a result, this collaborative process often offers diverse solutions that lead to more innovative and informed decisions.
Both creativity and innovation are also key benefits that arise from diversity. In addition, with talents from various cultures and backgrounds working together, new and fresh ideas can be generated, resulting in more opportunity for creativity. Not only do we have talent from places like Vietnam and Indonesia, we also have staff hailing from places like Germany and Korea! With such a diverse team, it provides a wider range of knowledge from which to extract information and build upon ideas.
Dongyeon, our Head of Experience Strategy who is from South Korea, thinks that design itself is diversity. As a part of the design team, she would like to make an impact on diverse people’s lives in good ways and believes that having diversity on the team can bring different perspectives and increase empathy. This helps her understand a diverse range of users and create better products in turn.
From Pakistan, we have our VP in Engineering, Umair, who shared that during the course of a project, Bengali translation was required for a certain component but no one on the team knew the language. Fortunately, there was another Project Manager within 2359 who knew the language and managed to do the translation. This experience perfectly illustrates how having talents with different backgrounds allows us to tap into their skills and strengths and solve problems much more efficiently.
Diverse teams can also be professionally enriching as teammates are exposed to new skills and approaches to work. As teammates gradually learn and understand about each other’s cultures and perspectives, it leads to a broader understanding of the world on a much deeper level.
Umair further shared that interacting with other cultures always creates an opportunity to learn something new. For example, he noticed that some cultures are more relaxed and productivity-focused while some give punctuality the highest priority and this also led him to understand that users of an app in different cultures can have very different interactions and expectations from a product or service. Such learnings are ways in which individual talents can improve their own thinking and strive further in their own development.
With reference to Harvard Business Review, an increase in sense of belonging has proven to improve job performance of talents by 56%, reducing turnover risk by 50% and lower the number of sick days taken by 75%. This statistics can be driven by the fact that diversity fosters an inclusive environment which creates a safe space for everyone to work, play and grow together as a team. As a result, this helps our talents cultivate a sense of belonging, and understand that their differences are unique and wholly embraced by the company.
Albeit the numerous benefits that a diverse workforce may bring, diversity sure does come with its own challenge. How can we then, as an organisation, overcome this obstacle?
A key challenge that commonly arises in a team with great diversity would be communication issues, specifically language barriers and communication styles. These factors may unknowingly hinder the effectiveness of how we communicate as a team in work-related settings.
For Ferdly, our Lead Software Engineer from Indonesia, he shared that he barely understood what others were saying when he first came to Singapore and had troubles with different accents. But as time passed, he was able to understand better by just speaking to them more frequently. Chen Xin, our Software Engineer, had a similar sentiment and believes that when everyone puts in the effort and works with each other for long enough, they will naturally understand each other better and overcome communication barriers.
While working remotely with different teams, Umair learned that the best way to overcome the language barriers is to keep the language simple, concise, and explicit to reduce the number of potential errors. An effective way to overcome this would be to invest time and effort to foster stronger relationships with the intention to develop a better understanding of each other’s cultures and working styles. Through a common understanding, we will then create a working environment that is welcoming to differences and one where our talents can see the value they bring.
Besides believing in the importance of diversity, we are also an all-inclusive workplace where all employees are treated justly and have equal access to career opportunities and resources. In addition, we ensure that our hiring process is fair and free from discriminatory by assessing candidates based on their capabilities and experiences. Having both a diverse and inclusive workforce is part of our philosophy to enrich all of us.
If you’re also curious about what our team gets up to outside of work, there’s no lack of talent there as well! From pole dancing to boxing classes, and even writing books, here are some of our colleagues doing the things they love.
Here’s our Account & Project Manager Vivi who’s an avid pole dancer!
Outside of work, our colleagues also spend time together. Here’s Noel, our Project Manager and Caspian, our Software Engineer after a boxing class together.
2359 Media has grown over the years and has become increasingly diversified in terms of our talents. As seen from what some of our colleagues have shared, they have gained from this, growing both personally and professionally and this in turn adds to the company. But despite how far we have come, we believe that an inclusive workplace is always a work-in-progress. Hence, we continuously strive to identify and work on gaps to improve our workplace environment. If you would like to join us in our journey and be part of an inclusive team, view our current openings here!
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