Why Diversity And Small Business Should Go Together
The question of who to hire carries an added amount of weight in the world of small business, where the fewer number of employees often means that each one must pull more weight and make a larger impact on the culture of their company. According to an article from the Democrat and Chronicle, small business owners often let diversity fall to the bottom of their priority list as they focus on creating revenues by whatever means necessary. However, there is a lot to be said fro the promotion of real diversity in the workplace, as well as a culture that emphasizes the benefits . When the population of an office is heterogeneous, each different perspective has the potential to improve the overall processes behind the business. Conversely, when hires are largely taken from the same demographic pool, there is less varied perspective on the team with a potential loss in innovation as a result.
In order to bring a more diversity conscious approach to your hiring processes, look at diversity as a bonus. When vetting candidates, you should consider diversity to be an asset. If you have two candidates who are evenly matched, consider the candidate with a different background than the majority of the office. In this way, you are adding to the perspective that your team brings to the table, as well as introducing the complementary skill set possessed by your new hire. Another way to implement a fair and diversity conscious hiring process is to widen the dragnet cast by your search. It may be the case that most of your office has been referred by a group of family members or friends, causing diversity on your team to be less developed. Consider expanding your search to include different venues so that your team can draw on multiple strengths informed by different but complementary schools of thought and craft.
Be open to suggestion and multiple approaches. When welcoming a new hire with a different background to your team, instead of focusing on having them exactly imitate the process of your other employees, listen to their impressions of your processes and take their point of view into account. You may be surprised by the insights that they offer. Multiple methods can strengthen your office’s productivity, as well as give you an edge over your more linear competition.
Celebrate differences through open communication. One of the most important things to remember as you greet a new employee is to remind them that their voice is important to your organization and will be heard. In fact, making sure that all employees are aware of an open communication policy is a great strategy for avoiding conflicts caused by a lack of communication.
Photo Credit to Oregon Dept. of Transportation on Flickr