In the startup world, it’s especially important to always have a diverse group of skills and talents that will propel innovation forward. How this diversity is intentionally created will have an impact on the success of the startup and the people that work there. Most of the leading businesses across the world are still learning how diversity in their workforce greatly increases their potential. So, for those that are just starting, it might not be as evident that diversity is essential for your success. In today’s blog, we will explain the reasons why it should be a primary focus for your startup.
When we talk about diversity, certain things typically come to mind. It does not just mean race as it is often thought of, but gender, age, education level, and many other things also fall into the umbrella of diversity. Study after study has shown that startups that embrace diversity are making bigger strides regarding financial returns. You are also more likely to find these startups in the top quartile concerning overall performance. Market share is now determined more by how your company is diversified. This is to say that the composition of your workforce regarding gender, race, and ethnicity now play a significant role in determining the size of the market share that you get.
There are many ways in which diversity brings success in a company. Some studies were done across Canada, the United Kingdom, and Latin America and were published in a recent report, Diversity Matters conducted by McKinsey. This report corroborates findings with many others recently published, that there is a correlation between diversification at the workplace and business performance.
So, how exactly does a diverse workforce contribute to performance?
To understand why you need diversity at your startup, we shall look at how it impacts numerous things in the workplace.
Think of a case where all the employees are from one region, speaking the same language and of the same gender. For example, if a company consisted of 90% the same gender, ethnicity, or age, it will be a challenge not only for the company but also for the employees themselves.
Diversifying the workforce is necessary as it ensures that there is no predominant group that is excluding or marginalizing others (unconsciously or not). Employees satisfaction rests heavily on their feeling of comfort and inclusivity at work. This has several impacts on the performance of the startup including employee engagement and employee’s focus. The diversity will help your company to stand out among competitors and attract top talent to contribute to the success of your business.
Complementing strengths and weaknesses
You cannot have one employee with all the skills that are required for your company. It is hard only having people of one specific characteristic, be it ethnicity, gender, age, education level, etc. that will bring in different skills to your startup. The same goes for weaknesses. This is where diversity sets in, as the skills can be complimented in pursuit of the firm’s goals and objectives. Where one is weak, he can be complemented by another who understand the area more. This way, as the manager of the startup, you can rest assured that each project will be met with different perspectives, levels of expertise, and varying ideas or solutions.
Customer satisfaction is another important reason why you need to cultivate workforce diversification. With people from various backgrounds, you have a pool of different ways of thinking. All these will be focused on improving the satisfaction of your clients and improving the company as a whole. When you hire talent from various backgrounds, you bring in various experiences and views. Each of these individuals will have a different way of dealing with situations, including solving customers’ issues. So, if there is an issue within the company or with a client, you do not have to look for a solution from an outside source, which is usually expensive and takes longer. You can work within your workforce and find the most suitable solution.
Employer brand and company culture
In today’s world, job seekers are looking for companies that take diversity and inclusion seriously. They are going deep to find out what people have to say about the company and the owner. As an employer that has embraced diversification, you stand a better chance of getting the most qualified workforce. Job seekers want to know that you are a company that will support them as individuals and allow them to work with people of different cultures and points of view.
Mimicking societal diversity
Our country is extremely diverse and is made up of a large mix of ethnicities, religious background, cultures, sexual orientations, the list goes on. This should not just stop at the community and society level; it also must be reflected at the organizational and business level as well. If your startup is located in a diverse city (which we can guarantee that it is), you should have a workforce that reflects the diversity of the population. Many industry leaders are striving towards having employee demographic makeup look very similar to that of the demographics of the city they are located in. This is a good rule of thumb to ensure that you are hiring fairly and unbiased from the surrounding population in your area.
Diversity is becoming a more hotly discussed topic as companies are making the correlation between a diverse workforce and success. While it is an important issue on a global scale, it should be especially important in the early stages of a startup. The leading companies across all industries have taken diversity seriously, and it is in your best interest to follow suit. Diversity brings innovation, workplace satisfaction and financial success to your business.
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