As our country grapples with social unrest, now is the time to remember that welcoming diverse points of view. Diversity is not only the right thing to do, it makes businesses more successful. So, keep in mind that open minds lead to opportunity, and here are a few ideas to make your business more diverse:
Diversity Drives Innovation, Efficiency, and Revenue
First, According to 2020 data from SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Businesses), companies with above-average diversity earned 45% of revenue from innovation. Those that had diverse management teams achieved 19% higher revenue based on their progressive leadership.
Because diverse teams focus on facts, SCORE’s data found that such teams make decisions twice as fast in half the number of meetings. Plus, the decisions made in those meetings deliver 60% better results.
Grow Diversity in Small Places
Second, the size of a company or its location may appear to be a roadblock to achieving a diverse workforce. However, planting the seed of creative thinking can yield new options, products, and results long term.
An article by Takeflyte.com asks businesses to consider age, race and ethnicity to encourage diversity. It also challenges companies to widen the definition to realize that existing differences among employees can bring value to the organization.
- Recognize how employees' varied religions, generations, politics, social and family influences can bring fresh insights to brainstorming, planning, and customer service.
- Contemplate how employee’s previous work experiences can help your business avoid pitfalls or trim time from daily tasks.
- Consider hiring remote workers or part-time staff for appropriate tasks. Be sure to include them in planning and product development.
Find Diversity Within Current Staff
Third, many small businesses may not be able to hire a more diverse workforce right away. However, diversity can always be found within your existing team, if you listen for it.
- Take time to ask the opinions of individual staff members.
- Communicate on a personal level to understand the lives of employees. Where did they work before they joined your team? What was that culture like? What activities do they enjoy, and which organizations do they support outside of work?
- Change up your meeting leaders. A new voice at the head of the table can change the tone and shake up the viewpoints of the group.
Finally, keep in mind that open minds lead to opportunity. Companies can choose to conduct business as usual or open the door to a more inclusive and diverse team. We hope you choose to step through that door to experience the growth and opportunities that diversity can bring.