You can’t escape the conversations going on around the world today. Business televisions programs and podcasts have a steady stream of CEOs of all races discussing what they are doing to ensure diversity in their businesses. The tendency for many is to dive in headfirst and launch an aggressive campaign to tackle diversity issues once and for all. But small business leaders need to go over a few other precursory things before they tackle diversity if it will have any merit at all.
One of the greatest things needed in making any kind of decisions in the area of diversity is emotional intelligence. Being able to see people more holistically means being able to peel back the layers of oneself in favor of another. Most small business leaders would naturally say they are good with people. Do you wonder if they have ever asked for employees for their opinion on this matter?
Great leadership means lots and lots of personal reflection and feedback. For a small business leader with high emotional intelligence, soliciting this kind of feedback shouldn’t be a problem. It takes a lot to set aside your own personal beliefs about yourself and ask someone else for their opinion about you.
Focus On Personal Improvement Before You Tackle Diversity
If you want to be able to tackle diversity at your small business you are going to have to be assertive. You will have to be the one who stands up and says when things are not right. You will have to confront those who might oppose what you are doing either directly or passively. Some will say they are on board to tackle diversity but won’t put any action behind their words. What will you do about that?
A personal flaw that hinders great leadership, especially in the face of adversity, is avoiding conflict. It might feel like the right thing to do, but that is usually because it is the easier choice. If you truly want to make a difference, you have to stand up for what is right. That is going to take your voice and standing by your principles. You can’t ask your employees to take action to tackle diversity if they never see you stand up for it. You need to be able to confront what isn’t working head-on.
Your employees will follow your example whether you want them to or not. For if you won’t take a stand, neither will they. If you don’t focus on finding better ways to tackle diversity at your business, you can bet they won’t either. Make a commitment to the things that are important to you and make sure you follow through in word and deed.
Impatience is also a barrier to great leadership. Being able to see yourself through on the issue of diversity in the workplace, if it will have any lasting merit, will take tons of patience. It is easy to get gung-ho on a new bandwagon but if you want to make an impact, it’s going to take time. Whether or not you are viewed by your employees as having taken diversity seriously is seeing how long you are willing to stick it out to see positive results. If Rome was not built in a day neither will seeing lasting results from your commitment to tackling diversity in your workplace. Make a plan for success and write down the steps you will take to make it happen. Commit yourself to the plan and have the patience to work it through. Which brings us to the next point…
You Will Have To Solicit Feedback From Employees
Having a real plan to tackle diversity is going to take more than just you to make it real. You will need the input, suggestions, commitment from your employees. A good leader solicits advice from other people, especially the ones who work for them. Their input is going to show you a few things:
- How they view diversity policies in the workplace now
- How they feel about the current diversity climate at work
- What they think would make the most difference
- How they plan to keep up their commitment to tackling diversity
- How will they plan to hold the company and you accountable to diversity
You might be surprised by what you hear from them but if you want to have a truly diverse workforce that is inclusive and welcoming to all, it’s your employees that will be following through on it every day. If they have no say in what they think will make it a success, chances are it won’t be one.
Diversity In The Workplace Takes Great HR Strategies
If you don’t have a tangible, written, and proven HR strategy at your workplace, chances are you don’t have an HR strategy at all. HR takes more than just onboarding paperwork and providing health insurance. Diversity in the workplace and the policies you have could be a matter of legality as well. Many small business leaders foolishly think they have a good handle on HR because there haven’t been any issues with it so far.
Don’t wait for diversity issues and your HR strategies to go head-to-head. You need professionals to stay compliant and tackle diversity in the workplace in a way that makes sense. PEOs are the perfect way to make that a reality. They will also give great rates on benefits in the process.
If you want HR strategies and diversity practices that have merit, talk to us today. We’ll show you how a PEO can help you make that a reality in your workplace. If you’d like to find out more, contact us today for a free consultation.