Having a staff that reflects a range of backgrounds, ideas and talents is key to maximizing your company’s reach. Making your business diversity inclusive means welcoming people from all backgrounds to share their talents with your company and your customers. Understanding how to make sure your business is diversity inclusive is key to using this talent to your advantage.
Look at Your Current Staff
Examine your staff as it is now. Does it reflect the full diversity of society? Remember that your customers and clients may come from a diversity of race, gender, language and geography, so it pays to hire a staff that reflects that. Find the areas in your company that could use a diversity boost and start there.
Think Beyond Race and Gender
While the most obvious way to be diversity inclusive would be to hire people of other races, diversity is not limited to race alone. A diversity of talents may mean hiring an African American marketing associate who speaks fluent Japanese. Or an account representative who uses a wheelchair. It may mean hiring a woman who practices a religion that is different from others in your company. The key is understanding their strengths and what they can bring to your organization through fresh new perspectives, skills and life experiences.
Throw Out Stereotypes
There is a misconception that making a company diversity inclusive means simply hiring people who are unqualified but fit certain demographics. This is a mistake and can backfire for your company. There are many smart, talented and innovative people of all races, religions and genders who will make excellent additions to your team. The key is hiring them for the roles that allow them the full use of their talents. Don’t simply hire someone because you want to fill a quota.
Understand Your Staff
While there may be cultural differences in how your new diverse staff members interact with the world, the reality is that they likely have similar life experiences to your current staff members. Lead your current staff through diversity training so that they will understand how to interact with their new co-workers. This training can include teaching them how to interact with a service dog, why it’s wrong to touch other people’s hair, or not to force people to be the “spokesperson” for their race, for example. By training your staff in advance, you can avoid creating a hostile environment for your new team members.
The key to making your business diversity inclusive is to remember that talent comes in a variety of shades and backgrounds. With this in mind, you can be assured to run a strong team of talented professionals who will work together to grow your business.