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The Importance of Employee Diversity for Small Business Growth

By: Andrew Deen


The Business Case for Diversity

As the world continues to evolve, promoting diversity in a variety of contexts has become more and more important in society. In particular, levels of diversity in the workplace have increased dramatically over the last several decades.

This transformation in society has brought with it a number of important benefits that are aiding businesses in achieving their organizational goals. This is especially true when it comes to growing and stimulating innovative ideation within organizations. For small businesses, this means that there is a new way to help chart a path to sustainable growth.

Understanding the ways that employee diversity can make small businesses more capable of succeeding can give one a clearer understanding of how the business landscape is transforming today.

Here is the importance of employee diversity for small business growth and innovation.

The Role of DEI In Small Business Growth and Innovation

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have become topics that more and more organizations are prioritizing to improve their businesses in a number of ways. To do this effectively, many organizations have started implementing DEI committees, which facilitate a number of practices that promote these values.

When it comes to evolving as a business, innovation and growth typically go hand in hand. The more innovation is happening within an organization, the more opportunities for growth and expansion will arise. DEI values have the power to help organizations grow by sparking more innovation within companies and pushing boundaries in new and novel ways.

It’s been shown that teams with more diverse individuals are able to be more productive and ideate more creatively. This is because diverse teams bring together a variety of different people with different perspectives. The collaboration of employees with different perspectives results in more effective ideation and novel solutions to problems.

By engaging in DEI practices, small businesses can position themselves for more innovation that has the potential to lead to business growth. This being the case, making DEI values a priority in one’s business can help lead to more success and sustainable growth.

Strategies for Building a Diverse Small Business

Given the immense value that diversity can bring to small businesses, it makes sense that many small business owners would like to integrate the practice into their organization. Unfortunately, it can be tricky to begin with if someone is having trouble deciding where to start. Having some guidance around ways to make one’s small business more diverse can help make the process more accessible.

Here are some strategies for building a diverse small business.

Recruit Employees from Diverse Educational Programs

Today, some key educational programs have made diversity a top priority. This means that these programs are ripe with a range of young and diverse professionals ready to step into professional roles in small businesses. Taking advantage of these programs as a place to find new employees from diverse backgrounds can make the process of diversifying one’s organization far easier.

In particular, MBA programs that prioritize diversity can be amazing places to look for new employees. This is because MBA programs will imbue graduates with a range of skills that make them apt for employment within businesses looking to innovate and grow. As such, taking advantage of these programs is the perfect place to look when making an organization more diverse.

Formalize the Practice of Promoting Diversity and Inclusion

While having the intention of crafting a more diverse small business is a great place to start, it won’t be enough to change the attitudes and atmosphere of an entire small business. To see truly concrete results, it’s vital to formalize the practice of diversity and inclusion through a set of rules and practices.

These rules can include utilizing inclusive language in the workplace, celebrating various cultural holidays, and requiring cultural competence training. By formalizing diversity and inclusion in this way, small businesses can give themselves more of a chance to experience the benefits and innovation that can come from a diverse team of employees.

Accommodate the Needs of All Individuals

When it comes to building and maintaining a diverse staff that has the power to innovate and help a small business grow, it’s important to accommodate the needs of various individuals. Whether this is providing remote options to individuals with children or allowing paid time off for certain cultural holidays, being mindful of a diverse workforce’s needs can help keep diversity sustainable and effective.

The more ways that one is able to offer flexibility that helps make one’s small business more welcoming to diverse individuals, the easier it will be to attract and retain diverse talent. As such, small businesses looking to benefit from the innovation and growth that can come as a result of diverse employees can help bring their visions to life by accommodating the needs of all individuals.

Diversity Is a Viable Path to Business Growth

Though it’s not typically the first idea that comes to mind when thinking about business growth, employee diversity can be a powerful force that helps business owners achieve this goal. By sparking more creativity and innovation within an organization, diverse employees have the ability to help small businesses grow in novel and exciting ways.

This being the case, it’s more than likely that diversifying workforces will become a key and popular tactic in the business landscape for promoting business growth and innovation in the near future.

Published: February 22, 2023

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Andrew Deen

Andrew Deen has been a consultant for startups in almost every industry from retail to medical devices and everything in between. He implements lean methodology and is currently writing a book about scaling up business. Twitter @AndrewDeen14.

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