An interesting people story came through my news feed the other day which celebrated an American high school basketball hero who scored 20 points in the last 4 minutes of his school’s final game.   What made this story so emotionally charged was that as the squads enthusiastic Team Manager, Jason had never played a game before; Jason was also autistic.

The story, whilst powerful in its message around acceptance and positivity, also reminded me about the importance of celebrating diversity in the workplace so as to ensure that we allow our teams to feel that their experiences, beliefs, and values are fully appreciated and their points of difference contribute to the success of the business.

Sociologist Cedric Herring completed a study with data from 250 representative companies in the U.S. that looked at both their diversity levels as well as various measures of business performance as reported in an NPR interview. Herring found that with every successive level of increased diversity, companies appear to do better on all measures of business performance.

Working in a diverse group environment helps employees to think more broadly and inclusively to find more creative solutions.  How can you create a more diverse workplace?

Here are some points to consider:

  1. Ensure your recruitment strategy supports the business diversity goals;
  2. Base promotions and salary reviews on team member performance and their contribution to the overall success of the business;
  3. Provide training to all staff on equal opportunity and discrimination;
  4. Consider mentoring and reverse mentoring programs that give new and established employees access to specialised advice and guidance;
  5. Construct your teams with diversity in mind – consider the varied experiences of the team when setting up projects or assigning tasks.

By embracing diversity, small businesses make all employees feel welcome, foster a positive team spirit and utilise the individual perspectives and experiences of each team member.

How are you supporting and celebrating diversity in your business?

Click here to view the news story – enjoy!

Author: wattsnext Group
The wattsnext Group blog is a compilation of ideas and expertise from the entire team, past and present with a few added gems from guest authors from time to time. With this collaborative approach, we can provide you with a broader perspective and high-level expertise across the small business landscape.