If you only have three ingredients, there is a limit to what you can cook. Few people want to eat the same thing time and time again. Now imagine the possibilities if you treble or quadruple your list of ingredients.
Suddenly you are faced with a plethora of possible dishes and dinner is looking much more exciting.
In the business world, if you always employ similar people, you will continue to produce the same end results. This is a considerable drawback in a world where standing still is not an option; almost all businesses have to evolve and respond to changing customer demands just to survive. This goes for small businesses and huge corporate giants.
There are limits to one individual’s creativity, insight and skill, so if your workforce demographic is broadly similar you are limiting your business’ potential to be creative, progressive and ultimately successful. By widening your pool of talent and diversifying, you are bringing a new perspective, fresh ideas and adding huge potential.
Connecting on a Personal Level
Your workforce should broadly reflect the demographic make-up of your customer base and the community in which you are based. This does not necessarily mean geographical community but could be a cyber-community. By mirroring your customer base in your staffing, you greatly increase the chances of making a meaningful connection with your customers and representing their interests genuinely. Today’s consumers are savvy, they can spot a fraud a mile off and have limitless research potential at their fingertips. If you don’t engage with them directly you can bet that someone else will.
A moment of reflection
Let’s get one thing straight, working on Diversity and Inclusion isn’t about filling quotas or box ticking. It’s about bringing together best mix of people to represent your product, connect with your customers and give your business the best opportunity for growth and progression. Sometimes it’s about challenging stereotypes, about breaking down glass ceilings; sometimes it’s about widening the net or fishing in different waters; often it requires a certain amount of naval gazing and reaching some perhaps uncomfortable but vital realizations. We are all prone to making judgments about others, even unconsciously but having an awareness of this and how it may limit you personally and hinder your business prospects can be the point of difference. Variety really is the spice of life.