Why Small Businesses Need Diversity in Their Workforce

Pete Jansons

Small businesses do not always have to abide by the same “rules” as larger businesses when it comes to implementing diversity initiatives. Required or not, though, smart companies of any size should view a staff composed of employees from a variety of backgrounds as an asset. Consider the possible benefits diversity could add to your small business:

Improved innovation

Creativity and problem-solving abilities soar when people bring different perspectives to the table. The life experiences of a recent college graduate, for example, likely will be quite different than those of a seasoned professional. Each can offer a fresh way of looking at things, and this divergent thinking can be just what your small business needs to push itself to exciting heights.

Increased candidate pool

People want to work where they feel comfortable and appreciated. When your small business’s social media pages feature diversity in your workforce, it sends the message that your workplace is a welcoming environment. Even better if you display diversity among your management, which shows diverse candidates that they too could obtain leadership positions in the future.

Greater reach

Employees add more to your small business than just job-related skills. They bring in connections from their personal and professional circles, which can expand your small business’s customer base and exposure. Likewise, satisfied workers can be great employment brand ambassadors. As they tout your company on their own social media accounts, or speak highly of your workplace when dining with acquaintances, your small business lands on the radar of prospective talent. And if you go the extra mile by setting up an employee referral program, you stand to gain an assortment of interesting recommendations.

Boosted morale

When a veteran feels valued in a civilian workplace or an intellectually-challenged individual gets the chance to become self-sufficient through employment, they aren’t the only ones reaping the reward. Their positive attitude and ability to overcome obstacles oftentimes inspires fellow employees to work harder and complain less. Both in the office and out, people come to equate your small business with inclusion and caring.

A better bottom line

All these potential plusses of a diverse staff translate into something any small business owner can appreciate – monetary gain. In its annual Diversity Matters report, McKinsey & Company reported that “companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.” It also showed that “companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.”

When a small business views diversity as an opportunity for a range of talented individuals to work toward the same goals, great things are bound to happen!

Make your diversity initiatives go further. Check out 5 Ways to Set Your Small Business Employees Up for Success.


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