Diversity In The Workplace – We’ll Drum It Into You!Jason Siddall
Diversity. It’s a word we hear often these days – especially in regards to employment practices. But do we ever really stop to think about what it actually means? Because diversity isn’t just part of some vague HR policy. And it’s so much more than simply being compliant with employment equity regulations. The concept of diversity in the workplace encompasses respect and acceptance. It means appreciating that everyone is unique and that we all have something meaningful to bring to the table.
Diversity doesn’t just apply to race and gender. It also embraces political beliefs, age, physical ability, religious beliefs, sexual orientation and socio-economic status. It’s about moving beyond simple tolerance of others to a place where we actively embrace the value of everyone’s contribution. Diversity means welcoming and celebrating our differences and creating environments where mutual respect and equity are fundamental.
True diversity requires consciously understanding that different people not only have different ways of being, but also of knowing. That people’s opinions and beliefs are shaped by circumstances of which we likely have little or no knowledge or comprehension. To be truly diverse, we need to acknowledge that differences are sometimes fluid and that no one culture is inherently superior to any other.
In a country like South Africa, with a history shaped by racial division and mistrust, it’s a big ask. But ask we must, and fortunately, there are ways in which we can find the answers.
Using Drumming To Encourage Diversity In The Workplace
Diverse workplaces comprise employees from multiple backgrounds and with varying characteristics. Many companies started making their workforces more diverse in response to government and societal pressure. Soon, however, they realised the many benefits that come from having varied ideas and perspectives. Recruiting a diverse workforce means opening your business to a far wider pool of potential employees. This means you greatly increase your chances of finding the most suitable and qualified candidates. At the end of the day, diversity is about the full utilisation of a variety of resources to create better outcomes that benefit everyone.
Of course, diverse workforces come with challenges as well as benefits. Companies may run into difficulties if employees aren’t sure how to properly communicate with their co-workers – regardless of their differences. There are many ways to deal with this. Diversity training, for example, is a great way to reduce interpersonal conflict, but studies show that other, less formal methods enjoy significant success.
Why Does Drumming Work?
Research by the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) shows that group drumming circles help break down barriers between participants by fostering a sense of community. It helps create an environment in which tolerance, and respect for others, is valued.
In a study by UKZN’s P. Govender, African drumming was found to contribute to fostering cultural values of “Ubuntu” (an ancient African word meaning “humanity to others”) amongst teams. The study goes on to say that, “group drumming is an inclusive and therapeutic activity that promotes a feeling of togetherness and sharing amongst groups, thus promoting a safe environment for open and honest discussion on diversity topics which are sensitive in nature.”
Drum circles bring people together to achieve a common goal. In doing so, however, they also emphasise the importance of each and every team member’s individual contribution to reaching that goal. They promote cooperation and camaraderie amongst colleagues and help to relieve stress.
About Drums And Rhythm
Drums and Rhythm offers a wide range of team building activities using drumming and dancing to facilitate human potential through rhythm. We highlight the importance of teamwork, communication, enthusiasm and synergy, as well as the benefits of having fun at work.
Drumming has been part of our lives before the discovery of fire, and Zulu dancing is a prominent part of South Africa’s heritage. We believe very strongly that drumming breaks barriers such as age, hierarchy, race and gender. Drumming and dancing trigger endorphins and stimulates the conscious and sub-conscious minds. This leads to physical, emotional and mental healing.
We offer a variety of drumming and dancing team building activities, including belly dancing, fire dancing, gumboot dancing and traditional Zulu dancing. Why not find out more about our full range of activities, or contact us for more information or a quote.