Companies who seek to grow in today’s business market place have to make diversity central to operations.
Aside from the fact that we live in a diverse, globalized society, more and more employees and customers alike are expecting to work or buy from companies that understand it takes various perspectives to get a job done.
One truth is very evident as one scours over business magazines or attends business events, depending on whether your company is as diverse as the world we are in, customers are deciding to buy or ignore what you are selling!
If the company doesn’t pass that diversity test, then customers will keep shopping until they find one that does.
Do you want to be the company passed over?
Diversity is much more than tokenism and political correctness.
It’s much more than a feel good quote on a human resource poster or a sentiment at a diversity luncheon. It is about truly embracing what different people bring to the table even if they stand for different ideologies, thinking and represents different cultures and age groups.
People do expect you to walk your talk!
Here are some significant reasons why diversity is key for your business from two perspectives, employees and customers.
Employees: If you have visible proof and actions documented that you are committed to diversity, you are more apt to attract great employees because they apply with the belief that at your business there is a value placed on mutual respect, they believe that their perspective will be valued and thus open the doors for job promotion .
Finally, there is an underlying understanding that diverse opinions are celebrated and when conflict arises due to those diverse opinions there is more of a chance of having conflict resolution versus black listing or firing.
Customers: Studies have shown that companies reporting the highest levels of racial diversity brought in nearly 15 times more sales revenue on average than those with the lowest levels of racial diversity.
Even if it’s a Hispanic business, bringing together individuals from different backgrounds and experiences, businesses can more effectively market to consumers from different racial and ethnic backgrounds.
Here are many five ways to increase diversity in companies,
1. Do your homework.
Take the time to do an evaluation of your current company’s organizational culture and diversity temperature. With that information you can begin to see where you have to do the most work in to change the way your employees view diversity and to see where you have to hire more race and gender.
2. Hire for assortment.
Being a Hispanic business committed to diversity is not about being black and white only. It is about an assortment of voices, as many races as possible and a balance of genders. In addition, it is about ideologies. If you hire 100% of people who are republic, democrats or independents, that is still not real diversity. If you hire only Anglo’s with a sprinkling of color, that is still not real diversity or 99% Latinos with a sprinkle of X, again not real diversity. Yes, it is a start but don’t get comfortable there.
3. Hire women!
You will always read about me advocating for women. I’ve written a few articles on that very subject for this forum but here’s another story to drive home the point as well.
4. Invite Voices to the Table.
So once you hire for diversity, don’t keep those diverse voices in the cubicle. Invite them to meetings and have one on one conversations to get their perspective on company issues.
5. Socialize and Invest.
There are many networking opportunities where you can continue to publically display your commitment to diversity. In addition, there are many opportunities to invest on a small or large scale, in organizations that can be feeders for your hiring team. Sometimes by simply being present and supportive, diverse prospective employees reach out to you and that is a win win for both.
Globalization is impacting how businesses compete with each other and given the fast access to information and interconnectedness due to technology, it has had a profound impact on global business practices and like I said, diversity is a key component in staying relevant, staying creative (due to all the various voices at the table) and most importantly growing! A thriving business is a diverse one! Get busy diversifying!