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How an Inclusive Workplace Leads to Business Success

Salesforce Careers

August 18, 2023

This article was originally published on PowerToFly, an organization committed to connecting talent to companies that are committed to creating inclusive environments.

 

Nadia Whitehead has witnessed firsthand how diversity and inclusion propel teams forward — especially at a fast-paced tech company like Salesforce. As a regional sales manager, she taps into the various voices on her team to approach problems differently, stir up innovative insights, and take the business to a new level.

 

“Having a diverse workforce means different world views, and you come to conversations with different perspectives,” shares Nadia. “Leveraging those perspectives is how you make the most of the power of diversity. If everyone comes from the same background, looks the same, talks the same, it’ll be good. But we’re talking about how you go from good to great.”

 

We caught up with Nadia to learn more about how she’s seen diversity shape her team’s success, as well as her tips for how others can prioritize diversity on their own teams.

 

Intentionally building a successful team

As someone who started in management and leadership early on in her career, Nadia immediately noticed the power of inclusion and diversity. “The teams that performed the best were the ones I built with diversity in mind. Those were the teams that brought success to the next level,” she shares.

 

Not only did those teams successfully manage their day-to-day responsibilities, but they also found success in other areas of the business. “Those were also the teams with the healthiest customer engagement interactions,” Nadia adds.

 

Seeing this impact, Nadia became very intentional about how she built teams moving forward — centering diversity as a core requirement. 

 

Prioritizing diversity at Salesforce

For Nadia, joining Salesforce was an easy decision. She found that the company matched her passion for diversity and innovation, starting from the very top.

 

“I recognized that Salesforce is growing, they’re innovating, and they’re globally renowned for what they do in technology,” she says.

 

Beyond this transformation mindset, Nadia was also drawn to the cultural emphasis on diversity, equity, inclusion, and equality — including taking action toward becoming a workplace where everyone has equal access, opportunities, rights, and justice.

 

She says, “The culture here is magical, even at such a huge company. Despite such rapid growth, Salesforce is special that way, which is what attracts so many people to join our team.”

 

Nadia saw this culture in action from day one, noting that new hires are assigned what Salesforce calls a “Trail Guide” to help them embrace and understand Salesforce culture. And the resources don’t end there.

 

“There are a lot of different networks, like our business resource groups, that embrace you from day one and help you to feel like a part of our culture,” she says. “The team is very intentional about leveraging your diversity and making sure your voice is heard.”

 

How an inclusive workplace positively impacts goals

Since joining Salesforce’s sales organization in 2021, Nadia and her team have already made a name for themselves internally — harnessing the power of diversity, inclusion, and career growth every step of the way.

 

“My team is able to grow continuously because we’re taking in the skill sets and energy of one another. That way, every day is not a rinse-and-repeat. Instead, it’s a jam session of learning and growing.”

 

Nadia is also intentional about listening to her team members. She believes in transparency, saying, “Encouraging your team to listen to each other will absolutely transform your business.”

 

Nadia will still occasionally remind herself to put down her phone, silence her Slack notifications, and give her full attention to her team. “No leader is perfect. No team member is perfect. But I always aim to ask if my team has new ideas for pivoting or course-correcting. Encouraging these diverse thoughts is how we’re able to both problem solve and build a thriving, growing culture,” she says.

 

Four tips for building diverse teams.

To encourage diverse thoughts and enable success on your own team, Nadia encourages you to try these four tips:

 

  • Understand the dynamics of your team, and hire to fill the gaps when possible. “Doing this makes it possible to continue strengthening your team overall,” Nadia adds.
  • Take your time when finding the right candidate for your team. “Don’t settle for what looks good on paper; rather, find someone that will bring a new perspective to your team,” Nadia advises.
  • Once you’ve built your team, be open to different viewpoints. “If you want to leverage diversity, you need to be aware that there’s always more than one way to get things done. Be intentional about listening to these viewpoints, and then act on them,” Nadia says.
  • Challenge your team regularly. “To help each of your team members reach their full potential, you have to challenge their thought process at times,” Nadia says. “Help them to see the world differently, without fear of trying something a new way.”

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