Diversity in the workplace is not a new concept. The call for a more diverse workforce has been something most companies have been working toward for decades. Still, here we are some years later, with no more impact on the workforce than before. What are we doing wrong? As small business owners, how can we do our part to turn the tide of diversity in the workplace and also realize the benefits of doing so?
If you are one of the small business owners who are paying attention to striving for a diverse workforce, there is still more you can do. Creating a diverse workforce is supposed to be beneficial for all parties involved. It’s not just about checking all the right boxes of political correctness. There are great business advantages of having a diverse workforce, but you need to do it for the right reasons.
A Diverse Workforce Is More Than Just Demographics
It appears to be a very confusing statement to say that if you are looking to strive for a diverse workforce you have to look at more than demographics. One of the initial thoughts that come to mind is, “Well, what am I looking for then?” If you focus on more than just demographics the enrichment that comes to all who work there will be so much more than you realized.
Where do we go wrong when we seek to hire with diversity in mind? Well, for one thing, we are usually making one primary grave error when we hire in general. The number one thing nearly every hiring manager does wrong with hiring is making hiring decisions based on how well they feel the candidate will “fit in.”
It used to be touted as very important to make sure that whomever you hire would properly fit into your workplace culture. So an emphasis on like-mindedness became the focus for hiring trends, especially at small businesses and startups. How has that turned out? Actually not so well. The reason for this is simple; if everyone is thinking the same, there won’t be any new ideas coming into the business.
You can’t buck the status quo if there is no one at your business who is seeing things from a different vantage point. It is more comfortable to hire people who think like you. They tend to agree with us, support our ideas, and go along for the ride. That may make meetings and changes go easier but it won’t be as beneficial to your business.
A Diverse Workforce Welcomes Different Schools Of Thought
Hiring for demographic diversity without considering how beneficial hiring people who also have different philosophies, cultural experiences, and alternative styles of getting things done can positively impact your business is a mistake. What makes a diverse workforce actually benefit a business enough to measure? Consider making hiring decisions to include cognitive diversity, not just demographics. Embracing differing backgrounds and experiences in your workplace will create the kinds of conversations in your workplace that actually create change. The benefits of striving for a diverse workforce that equally seeks to bring in different schools of thought along with demographic diversity is the most effective strategy for growth of all.
Things happen when a diverse workforce is an effective force for change. A company can really get somewhere when a workforce is allowed to challenge the thinking of the current establishment and offer different ways of looking at things. It has long been a suggestion from successful entrepreneurs to others that they should never be satisfied with their vendors or their process. The reason being, there is almost always a better way to do things. You have to be constantly challenging your thinking to find out though.
How’s Your Human Resources Strategy Going?
You probably think your human resources strategy has been going just fine up until now. Remote working and civil unrest have created some interesting conversations with small business owners about HR. These frustrating challenges are begging small business owners to ask themselves if they are really doing the right thing. What are your diversity policies at your office? How have you conveyed those to your employees? Have you asked all of your employees how they feel about them? Have you asked your diverse workforce what they’d like to see at your office to make it feel more cohesive?
You are likely not doing all that you can to create the right HR strategy around a diverse workforce. Would you like to know more about how a PEO can help your small business with these key issues? Contact us today for a free consultation.