Every employer wants a staff that’s innovative, productive and creative. One way to achieve those goals is to make diversity a priority both in how you build your staff and operate your business.
Tameka Taylor of Compass Consulting advises small business owners to take a long, hard look at their employee base before they make a hire. Is the staff in danger of falling victim to what Taylor describes as the “Mini Me Syndrome”? That is, do the employees look and sound a lot like the owner?
“Our natural tendency is to bring people in who look, think and act like us,” Taylor says. “While I love myself, I don’t need five of me on my team because then there are a lot of things I’m missing out on and a lot of opportunities I’m not thinking about.”
Also, Taylor suggests being as inclusive as possible of your employees once you have your team in place. “Belonging is one of those needs we all have,” she says. “Inclusion fits right in there. If people don’t feel like they’re valued and respected in the organization, they’re not going to stay. They’re not going to be loyal. They’re not going to give their all.”
* RELATED: Learn how workplace wellness programs engage employees
Business diversity extends beyond just hiring, Taylor continues. Are you going to the same events all of the time that brings you into contact with the same group of people? Diversify that, too. Go to new events and meet up with new people.
* RELATED: Check out COSE’s Events Page for programs that will help you make new connections