Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace

Diversity in the workplace is something that all companies should strive for. Workplace diversity refers to the variety of different people in an organization. This includes diversity in race, gender, ethnic group, age, people with disabilities, education and background. Diversity in the workplace is more than just a market growth strategy, it sets a standard in the business world that you employ and are able to adapt with people from many different backgrounds.

There are ways that a company can diversify their office. A good way to start is to identify exactly what their needs are. Does your workforce resemble the communities that you operate in? Do they match the demographic background that you serve or want to serve? If not, develop a hiring strategy to increase workforce diversity. A company’s success and competitiveness depends upon its ability to embrace diversity, realize the benefits and consequences without it. When organizations actively monitor the way they handle diversity issues in the workplace and their ability to develop and implement diversity plans, they are more marketable not only potential employees but potential consumers as well.

1. Diversity in the workplace strengthens economic growth. The U.S. has become so overwhelmingly diverse that the nation’s human capital substantially grows as more women, racial and ethnic minorities enter the workforce. A McKinsey & Company study, for example, found that the increase in women’s overall share of labor in the United States—women went from holding 37 percent of all jobs to 47 percent over the past 40 years—has accounted for about a quarter of current GDP. More women are entering the workforce and claiming their fair share of the economic growth of the country.

2. Having a diverse workplace will broaden the market in your industry. By having a more diverse company that includes individuals from various different backgrounds and walks of life, businesses can more effectively market to consumers from different racial, ethnic backgrounds, and genders. These individuals can suggest ideas that are flexible in adapting to fluctuating markets and customer demands.The change will draw a new consumer base that otherwise would have went to their competitor. Businesses can also widen the market in which they serve if they have a diverse office culture that supports the implementation of diversity. A diverse workforce that is comfortable communicating varying points of view provides a larger pool of ideas and experiences. The organization can use these ideas and implement into their business strategy and better service the needs of their customers more effectively.

3. Hire from a diverse pool of candidates. Hiring from a diverse pool of candidates will ensure that the company is getting well sought after talent with a variety of expertise. Diversity in recruiting will bring the most qualified person to be on your staff, while adding value to your company. Organizations employing a diverse workforce can supply a greater variety of solutions to problems in service, sourcing, and allocation of resources. The candidate may have a specific skill set or knowledge base that was learned throughout their career as well as their life. Bringing this type of talent to an organization will allow for different work styles and healthy work habits that could benefit any organization.

 It is also a good idea to implement an equal opportunity employment policy that follows the Federal EEOC (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) guidelines. The goal is to establish a hiring regimen that is age, race, gender and minority neutral. The company could also go a step further and form a group or panel to assist them in implementing the new policy and develop new strategies as to how they plan to attract and implement more diversity within the company. After the changes have been made, the company should include this new found change into their company culture, as well as their mission statement. Haven’t established a company culture? Find out how in the article Do Your Employees Represent Your Company Culture. 

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How to Get Your Employees to Peak Performance

Having employees who not only work diligently but effectively is always good for business. At times, employees may not have the encouragement or support that is needed to make them feel as though they are useful or a part of a team. This can ultimately affect their performance. Poor work performance can have a detrimental effect on your business. Getting your employees to their peak performance can boost their work habits and your business.

Although generous salaries are always a great perk, salaries are not the only benefit that keeps employees motivated. Intangible benefits such as a great working atmosphere, a flexible schedule, and work life balance are just a few suggestions that can also affect your employees’ performance as well as help keep them motivated to put forth additional effort.

Below are a few suggestions to get your employees to their peak performance.

1. The employee first and foremost must believe in and practice the values, vision, mission, and goals of the company.
2. Provide updated training and education to your employees to ensure that they stay on the top of their game and that they are in the loop with the ever changing software, laws, regulations, and even technology.

Express Gratitude
By taking notice of the employee’s efforts and letting them know when they are doing a good job, will reinforce their positive behavior and work habits. The employee will repeat and build on the characteristics that you praise them on. This can be done at no extra cost to the company and will reap great performance. Other ways of expressing your gratitude is providing lunch for the office, giving gift certificates or letting the employees go home early on a nice day or other holiday that is not a major holiday.

Help Them Grow Professionally
Many employees value the opportunity to expand their skills and take on more responsibility. You may opt to take the time to teach them yourself, or send them to a workshop or seminar to better enhance their skills. Some of these skills can be completed at your local small business development center, often times with no charge. When employees feel as though their employer trusts them with various tasks and responsibilities, they feel more in control and want to perform at their peak. Being entrusted with various tasks that they can carry out on their own without close supervision will add to their peak performance as well. Your employees are sure to be motivated and strive to prove their worth if you delegate certain responsibilities to them.

Communicate Effectively
Be open and honest with your employees about what you expect from them. Dedicate and set aside time to show them exactly how you want things done. After you have mastered this with your first couple of employees, feel free to have the veterans teach newcomers how the office operates. Otherwise, an employee may not perceive how you want the job done. Good communication works both ways. Ask for feedback from your employees, listen and internalize what they are saying. They may have suggestions that could ultimately make your office run smoother and become more productive and efficient. Production and efficiency leads to better business and more business.

Listening by itself demonstrates recognition and respect for that employee. When an employee is not performing at their peak, it is crucial to let them know that they are performing below standards. They may not even know that there is a problem with their performance until it is brought to their attention. When an employee isn’t meeting expectations, communicate clearly how their performance is below standards, and help the employee to achieve performance that meets your standards. Chances are, the employee wants to succeed and will work diligently to avoid being labeled as an unproductive worker.

Even for small offices, employers may not be able to offer some perks that mid-sized and large company’s offer. Some employees still prefer a small family like environment at work instead of a mill housing tons of employees, such as a large corporate environment. In a small office, the employee will feel as though they are able to shine and show off their skills and knowledge to their employer. The ideal techniques mentioned in this article can help motivate your employees to work hard and prosper, and most of all remain loyal for years to come.

Do Your Employees Represent Your Company Culture?

The decision to start your own firm is a huge step. You ponder whether or not you can handle it, whether or not you will be successful, or even how you will financially support yourself until clients start beating down your door. After the nervousness disappears and the excitement kicks in, you start planning. You know what you want your firm to represent and the clients that you want to attract. You meticulously plan your branding strategy. Then you should consider the type of culture that you want your firm to have.

Establishing a Culture

A culture is the values and practices shared by the members of the group. Thus, company culture is the shared values and practices of the company’s employees. You want your employees to embody the values that are set forth in your company culture. Your firm’s mission statement should incorporate the culture. The company culture is vital to its success because it can make or break your firm. Companies with a strong culture that is aligned to their business goals routinely outperform their competitors. To achieve those results for your firm, you have to first determine what your culture is, how you are going to implement it, and essentially guide your employees to achieve the desired culture.

Below is a list of cultures that companies have used to establish their culture. You can use these examples to determine which values best fits the culture of your firm.

  • Mission
  • Employee commitment
  • High integrity workplace
  • Strong trust relationships
  • Ethical values
  • Highly effective leadership
  • Effective systems and processes
  • Client driven
  • Emphasis on recruiting and retaining outstanding employees
  • High degree of adaptability
  • High accountability standards
  • Demonstrated support for innovation

Getting Employees on Board with the Culture

Company cultures can change over time for various reasons. A change in staff can affect the company culture. As employees leave the company and their replacements are hired, the firm’s culture will change. The replacement that was made may not live up to or embody the culture of the firm. However, since each new employee brings their own set of values and practices to the firm, the culture will change.

Any abnormalities in your firm’s culture can be reflected in the way that the firm operates, handles their clients, or normal daily tasks.  There are ways to prevent a major change to your firm’s culture. When hiring new employees, you should consider whether or not they will fit the culture of your firm. Firms have the option of hiring a staffing agency to provide them with a temporary employee. This will give you the opportunity to review the candidates work habits and overall adaptability to your firm before you hire them on full time. This will save you time and money from having to hire yet another person, just to make the fit.

Promoting values and actively demonstrating the office culture can be very healthy to a firm’s sustainability. Hold everyone accountable for their actions, especially those in leadership positions. Make sure that everyone is demonstrating the values established in your mission statement. Doing this will increase awareness and effectively communicate the expectations of all involved. This will lead to an increase of transferred skills and behavior that demonstrate the culture of the office.

  • Make new employees aware of the office culture when they begin their first day of work.
  • Review the culture in management and employee meetings and trainings.
  • Resolving any ethical or culture dilemmas that may arise in accordance with the guidelines will reinforce the belief that the company has in its culture.
  • Include ethical performance evaluations and appraisals.
  • Reward employees who demonstrate the culture of the firm.
  • Provide all employees within the office a copy of the company culture.

Applying these suggestions as well as your diligence for your firm to have a reputation of having a great culture will put you a path to success.