Do you know diversity in a business, no matter how small it is, can be truly rewarding? Diversity brings about dynamic experience sharing, as well as unlimited ideas generation. Knowing how to improve diversity in your small business will help you and your business benefit enormously from the value that diversity brings to a team.
You need to promote diversity as a business owner.
Keep in mind that diversity comes in a variety of ways, such as race, gender, age, religion, disability, and sexual orientation among others.
The Advantages Of Building A Diverse Workforce
Diversity in small business comes with a lot of benefits.
1. Increased Productivity
Business owners who encourage diversity in the workplace are more likely to benefit from financial returns that are above the median of their national industry.
Diversity in the workforce brings about an increase in productivity.
Every employee is able to bring his own unique set of weaknesses and strengths.
This helps bring about a rich set of strengths, weaknesses, and skills.
When your employees share their diverse skills and knowledge with one another, they are able to improve their skill set.
The value of diversity has been verified by research.
According to researchers at Cornell University, businesses that have founding female partners are inclined to have a thirty percent increase in long term returns.
These researchers also found that women who are executives are more likely to drive the business towards a stronger financial performance.
2. Increase In Ideas And Creativity
Businesses that promote diversity and inclusiveness are able to have more ideas and increased creativity.
When employees have a diverse background, their creativity can flow more freely.
Due to the varied nature of their backgrounds, they bring different perspectives thereby enabling innovative and fresh ideas.
What’s more, such businesses tend to build a positive reputation in their respective industries.
Diversity is actually necessary for success in this modern world.
So, if you take the steps for building an inclusive workplace, you can encourage more people of varying backgrounds to come to your business.
They can either apply as employees or become clients and customers who patronize your products and/or services.
3. Business Growth
Building a diverse workforce truly encourages people to prefer your business over others.
Once you build a positive reputation, marketing and advertising will be much simpler for you.
Clients and customers from different parts of the country, and even around the world.
Forbes Insights has even identified diversity and inclusion in the workplace as a vital driver of business growth and internal innovation.
You can leverage diversity to promote your business.
You will also improve employee satisfaction.
The bottom line of your business will also really benefit from diversity and inclusiveness.
Different Ways To Promote Diversity In The Workplace
If you think that your business is lacking in diversity, don’t worry because it is not too late.
You can still learn how to improve diversity in your small business.
Improving diversity in the workplace translates into a better consumer base.
When you actively take a stand on valuing it in the different areas of your business, you would have a better understanding of the needs of your employees and customers or clients.
Cultural diversity will let different personalities and perspectives introduce new ideas to your business.
This, in turn, will help you create an open, welcoming, and positive company culture that is founded on mutual respect.
Moreover, overall diversity can result in a much healthier work environment and a conglomeration of outlooks and ideas.
Recruiting a diverse workforce can help build a competitive and distinct small business.
See to it that you have sufficient awareness so that you can efficiently integrate diversity in small business.
The following are some ways on how to improve diversity in your small business:
1. Do Not Follow Societal Stereotypes.
More often than not, companies lack diversity because their executives follow societal stereotypes.
This prevents them from hiring smart individuals with the right experiences and skillsets.
Sadly, companies that mostly consist of male employees are less likely to hire female applicants.
They are also not likely to hire minorities for executive positions due to low levels of trust.
Hence, you have to change your hiring process.
Understand why the job applications of women and minorities are often rejected, especially in workplaces that are predominantly male and Caucasian.
Once you gain a better understanding of this, you will be able to find feasible solutions that would be beneficial to everyone.
2. Create A Diversity Board.
You can assign certain employees to be in charge of eradicating discrimination and promoting inclusion in the workplace.
When you have an internal task force, you would be able to easily understand your employees.
In addition, you find ways on how to make the workplace more progressive.
Also, you can request for a study of the different minority groups.
Ask your internal task force to obtain useful data that you can use to reach a more diverse client and customer base.
Aside from this, you can also ask them to implement diversity policies like religious holidays, disability coverage, and daycare for the children of employees.
When you open up your business to more opportunities, you open yourself up to more customers and clients within these demographic types.
3. Have Open Communication.
You have to openly communicate not only with your employees but also with your customers and clients.
Effective communication is another way you can use to improve diversity in business.
Make sure that you clearly communicate your expectations with regard to diversity awareness and policies.
As much as possible, you should also give examples so that your employees can better understand your agenda and goals for the workplace.
Open communication is needed for the effective implementation of diversity in the workplace.
This is because it provides a pathway for both employees and customers to let you know about the parts of the diversity program that they either agree or disagree with.
It also gives you an idea on how to reach your goals in establishing and maintaining a diverse workplace.
At first, you may experience a little difficulty.
Eventually, however, you will learn how to improve diversity in business effectively.
Don’t forget to be clear with your guidelines regarding disciplinary acts.
You can make your employees more comfortable in the workplace when there is open communication.
Communication should be open enough so that your employees are able to raise their concerns and issues with the management.
4. Diversify The Holidays.
Holidays are fun.
They are also great opportunities for introducing your employees and customers to new cultures and religions.
Be curious about the various traditions and holidays observed by your diverse workforce.
This will also help you understand why some employees take some particular days off.
Be mindful about their culture, race, and religion as well.
5. Hold Diversity Training.
You should set up a diversity training program in which employees would be educated regarding the significance of diversity in the workplace.
Teach them how to understand and respect other cultures properly.
The diversity training can include strategies on how to recruit diverse candidates as well as how to identify and change prejudices.
It can also include lessons regarding effective communication between different cultures.
You can hold team-building exercises to urge your employees to familiarize themselves better with the workplace, their co-workers, the management team, and the business in general.
You can also teach them the steps for building an inclusive workplace.
Helping your employees establish amicable relationships can make them more interested in learning about other people and cultures.
6. Diversify The Opportunities For Business Leadership.
If you want to improve your skills as a business leader, one of the ways to acheive this is to hire and train employees that are culturally diverse.
When your employees perform excellently at work, you can promote them to a higher-level position.
By giving your minority employees a chance to hold leadership roles, you are setting up a healthy environment with cultural diversity.
This is beneficial for both your customers and your employees.
It also becomes an inspirational precedent for other minority employees who want to have occupational progressions in your business.
Likewise, you establish the importance of valuing, recognizing, and appreciating individual differences.
This, in turn, makes your customers and employees more comfortable with themselves.
7. Respect Different Career Goals.
When it comes to ways on how to manage diversity in the workplace, you have to be fair to everyone.
Do not expect everyone’s career goals to be the same.
Find out what each of your employees’ career goals is, as well as how they differ.
People tend to have different career aspirations.
Hence, you can expect some of your employees to be interested in getting a promotion while others may prefer a good work and life balance.
You must not view such preference to be a lack of commitment, ambition, or intensity.
Going higher on the career ladder is good, but this does not mean that a desire for work and life balance is inferior.
Some people just prefer to be with their loved ones or have time for themselves than focus solely on their careers.
This is why you have to get to know your employees better.
You can give different kinds of opportunities for different career goals.
For example, you can promote an employee who works hard and expects to have a higher-level position.
You can also give more perks, such as more vacation days, to an employee who works just as hard and wants to have a work and life balance.
You can also explore how to help employees in higher-level positions achieve work-life balance.
8. Know What Your Blind Spots Are.
As a leader, you need to have self-awareness so that you can be more sensitive to your employees.
After all, they are the people who support your business and help make it grow.
Learning about your blind spots and working to solve them are ideal ways to improve diversity in business.
You can evaluate yourself as well as ask other people for their opinions with regard to your blind spots.
9. Recruit Diverse Applicants Or Candidates.
You can establish a new process for recruiting a diverse workforce.
Conduct interviews that are appropriate for diverse cultures and have policies that are transparent.
Subject all your employees to equal treatment.
Both current and new employees should also agree with your policies.
In addition, you can generate media and literature that will help promote diversity in your business.
This would surely attract more prospective applicants.
See to it that recruiting a diverse workforce is a vital part of your business identity.
Do not forget to put emphasis on the importance of diversity by posting about it on your official website and social media pages.
Effective Strategies For Diversity Recruitment
It is not easy to build a diverse organization.
In fact, it usually takes a lot of time.
To make sure that you interview a diverse range of candidates, you have to audit your hiring process.
Aim to have diversity in your application process.
You need to get diverse applicants to apply for the role.
Then create policies and hiring procedures that ensure that everyone gets a fair chance.
This guarantees that the hiring offices are not merely hiring applicants who are similar to them.
1. Create Connections To Have Talent Pipelines.
It is important to set up internal pipelines for businesses or organizations.
Likewise, it is important to make sure that you have excellent standards for your hiring process.
You need to interview diverse candidates in order to set up a more inclusive culture and business.
However, in order for you to have a really diverse pipeline, you have to think outside the box.
La’Wana Harris, an author, and diversity and inclusion consultant, recommends reaching out to companies that are focused on promoting workplace diversity.
She also recommends working hand in hand with educational institutions that may be helpful in spreading diversity awareness.
Such educational institutions include black universities and colleges.
You will be pleasantly surprised to find out that there are lots of talented candidates who can be beneficial to your business.
2. Value Diversity.
This approach is simple yet straightforward.
It affects the bottom line as well as ensure that the business becomes a representative of its employees, vendors, and clients, which are all culturally diverse.
3. Create Good Corporate Branding.
In order for you to attract a diverse group of candidates or applicants, you need to make them want to be part of your organization.
You can do this by making your corporate branding reflect inclusion.
As you know, the face of your company or organization is the first thing that most people see on your website.
Hence, you have to show diversity.
For instance, you can incorporate it in your mission statement and videos.
You can also upload testimonials from your diverse employees.
This would surely have a significant impact on those who want to apply to your company or organization.
4. Outreach To Other Organizations In The Community.
The good news is that there are many community organizations that offer excellent recruiting resources.
They may even provide access to the diverse candidates that you want.
For example, you can reach out to local Veteran organizations and ask them to help you connect with the individuals in the military who want to be part of the civilian workforce.
In addition, you can join job fairs and events in your community so that you can be exposed to more groups and people who can help you meet qualified candidates.
5. Use The Internet.
Today, almost everyone has access to the Internet.
So, you should use websites, including social networking platforms, to promote your business.
You can post information, case studies, and stories that are relevant to your organization or company.
You can also join forums and interact with people who might be right for your business.
Do not hesitate to source qualified candidates from online job boards that focus on diversity recruiting.
6. Be Objective When Making Decisions
Even though each and every one of your employees is unique in his own way, you should still treat them equally.
This means that you should not set different criteria for your diverse employees.
You should also solely base your actions, such as executing disciplinary actions, on criteria that are relevant to the performance of your employees.
Refrain from focusing on personal issues whenever you deal with your employees.
You should only focus on issues that are related to their job or your business.
It is true that workforce diversity can be quite challenging to establish and manage.
Nevertheless, it will surely yield great rewards for your business in the long run.
Hence, you should not lose hope when you encounter challenges and obstacles.
Do your best in learning how to improve diversity in your small business.
Implement what you learn and you will surely do well.