A growing business focuses on making improvements, discards unproductive or irrelevant ideas, adapts to the environment in which it operates – to maximise its profits and thrive among its competitors.
Any business can grow during the first few years. As a business owner, you put in a lot of effort and research about the industry before starting your own enterprise.
But the ultimate challenge is – sustaining that growth.
When the growth of your business slows down or stops completely, it is the phase of business stagnation.
Many factors contribute to business stagnation including lack of capital that facilitated the expansion of your company, difficulty in attracting new customers, improving customer loyalty and ineffective business strategies.
Is your business stagnating? A great and simple way to avoid stagnation is to increase “diversity” in your company.
Yes, having a diverse workforce can improve many aspects of your business. Read on to find out how!
Diversity widens the scope for innovation
Innovation refers to devising and implementing effective plans, strategies, ideas or products. You have probably heard this before – “think out of the box”. It is important to develop innovative solutions to solve problems, increase productivity, market your products, ideas or services and gain a competitive edge.
According to a recent study conducted by the Boston Consulting BGC group, companies with diverse management teams have observed about 19% growth in revenue due to innovation.
The study covered around 1700 companies operating under various industries and situated across eight countries and concluded that “increasing the diversity of leadership teams leads to more and better innovation and improved financial performance.”
This makes perfect sense because having a diverse workforce enables the company to tackle difficulties through multiple perspectives. Since the company will be able to understand the problems from a variety of angles, they can come up with comprehensive and strong solutions.
Another research study by Josh Bersin proved companies that are inclusive are 1.7 times more likely to become innovative leaders in their niche market.
Inspired by their own community values, culture, language and history, employees belonging to diverse backgrounds can help the company create better products or services. The more diverse your workforce is, the more likely is your chance to reach a wider audience and generate more revenue.
A diverse workforce is much more flexible in terms of coming up with better decisions and business development ideas.
Accenture, L’Oreal, Gap Inc. Diageo, and Novartis are some of the top companies known for being both innovative and inclusive.
When did like-minded people come up with revolutionary ideas? Almost never!
Go global: How diversity can help you in this journey
If you want your business to grow exponentially, you need to enter the global market and broaden your horizons at some point. Diversity will prove to be an asset if going global is one of your organisation’s goals.
Having a diverse crowd helps you understand different cultures, languages and satisfy the needs of your customers. Through the experiences of your employees you will be able to understand, connect and communicate with a global audience more effectively.
To attract more diverse candidates to your organisation you can:
● Use diverse channels to advertise jobs: If you are looking to hire, you can leverage social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram to find your tribe. Need I say, the best platform for job seekers and recruiters is LinkedIn.
● Include the term “diversity” in your job descriptions: Let the applicants know that you value diversity in your organisation. It is important that you encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply for jobs in your company.
● Ask your employees to give more diverse referrals: Make sure you offer the innovative employees a referral bonus, if they manage to get a candidate belonging to a minority or underrepresented group.
● Broaden your talent pool without any bias: One way to go is to find talent from certain groups that your company may be currently ignoring. For instance, people over a certain age, gender groups, community and even those who are specially abled can be a great addition to any organisation.
● Take every opportunity to appreciate: Show off your amazing and diverse team on your company’s social media posts or blogs.
According to Harvard business review, diverse companies are more likely to succeed in a new market. Just like your local work-force helps you operate well in your home country because they know it inside and out, imagine the impact your company will have globally when you have a team of locals coming from several countries.
Diversity fosters improvement of culture
Work culture is essentially the personality of your company. Just as an individual’s personality becomes more interesting when they harbour multiple traits, features or qualities. Your work environment becomes less monotonous and more exciting when you have a diverse workforce.
Improving your company culture is important as:
● A chance for your employees to step outside their comfort zone.
● It improves relationships between employees.
● Employee retention is guaranteed with a strong and attractive company culture.
● Watch your employees become more open-minded and unbiased.
A survey by Glassdoor revealed that 67% of people find diversity to be a significant factor in choosing where to work. By being more inclusive you are increasing your chances of attracting the top candidates. You are also encouraging your employees to be more authentic.
Diversity greatly improves your company’s culture, making it more welcoming to people belonging to minority communities.
In 2017, a Harvard business review research revealed that: “When we have a strong, homogenous culture (an engineering culture, an operational culture, or a relational culture), we stifle the natural cognitive diversity in groups through the pressure to conform.”
Employees are not pressured to feel like they need to fit-in all the time when your company is advocating for a heterogeneous culture.
With 420,000 plus employees, Sodexo experienced a 40% increase in its gross profits when it took a step to make sure they had a gender-balanced workforce with 40% women employees. This was a far cry from their 17% women workforce in 2009. If Sodexo was simply male-dominated, imagine if it could have ever appealed to a female audience?
Many studies have proven how beneficial diversity can be for the growth of a business. However, very few companies are making the required diversification efforts. The only way you can stop your business from stagnating is by making changes in your company – whether you personally like it or not. You need to make sure that your personnel and your practices align with the needs of your target customers.
“Diversity is the backbone of innovation”- without it you will be stuck in a loop of losses and a lack of growth.
So take a step today, recruit talent from various countries, cultures and backgrounds – the sky’s the limit. Unless of course you succeed in hiring aliens!
Other ways we can work together
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