The process of building and maintaining a small business is as stressful as it is rewarding. Small business owners have to juggle many duties, and one that they may not consider is the importance of diversity and inclusion. For some, this may seem unnecessary, like something to focus on if every other duty in the company is being fulfilled. However, there is strong evidence to believe companies that focus on diversity and inclusion outperform those that do not.
A diverse business is one with people of different races, genders, ages, religions, and sexual orientations represented. When different groups are represented, and when they feel comfortable expressing themselves, this is when diversity and inclusion have been achieved. Encouraging diversity in a small business may seem like extra work. If a company already has a team that works, why change it? In reality, there are many benefits to a workplace with diversity and inclusion.
A small business owner may choose to put together a team that looks and thinks like they do. For them, this is a shortcut to being able to have others make the decisions and take the actions that they would do. However, in practice, a business with a more diverse team may offer insight that would have been missed otherwise. When diversity and inclusion are encouraged, people from different backgrounds with different skills and experiences are brought to the table. They may offer insights that can lead to positive change within the company.
Everyone has biases. This does not mean that we think less of others. It simply means that our views of the world are limited by our experiences. A man, for example, may subconsciously believe that men are better workers than women. Therefore, if a man hires a woman for a position and sees that she exceeds his expectations, then he may realise that this bias has held his business back. Encouraging diversity can help expose biases like this. When biases are recognised, they can be addressed, and a business can succeed in an area where it previously struggled.
Diversity and inclusion are not only about having a staff that is diverse. It is also about making staff feel like they are valued. When companies have welcoming cultures that encourage diverse points of view, this show employees that they matter. Because of this, employees are more likely to give their best. Staff that feel like they belong at an organisation will care more about its success than staff who do not feel valued.
Each of the previous benefits of diversity and inclusion come together for the result of the business performing better financially. A diverse and empowered staff brings new ideas to the company. Because of this, companies with greater diversity tend to rank higher in profitability. This means that diversity and inclusion initiatives produce wins all around. Company cultures improve when diversity becomes a focal point, and the success becomes measurable financially as well.
Brands that demonstrate diversity and inclusion in their marketing show consumers that they recognise the importance of these values. Marketing campaigns that show that a company values diversity tell consumers that their different backgrounds and perspectives are important. This gives the brand a more positive association in consumers’ eyes. Companies that demonstrate that diversity and inclusion matter to them are also more likely to appeal to prospective employees.
Investing in diversity and inclusion can make a major impact on your company. To learn more about branding and expanding your digital presence, contact Oracle Tree today.
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