Diversity is an economic and legal priority in business. It increases the bottom line, encourages innovation and steers businesses away from legal issues. Business owners, managers and employees at every level need to find ways to embrace and respect diversity in their departments and across the entire business.
We all have biases
Bias is a naturally occurring phenomenon. It occurs as a natural result of our life experiences. Take a moment to write down what your biases are and how you can avoid these biases affecting the way you conduct yourself when you are at work.
Avoid language that demeans a particular group of individuals. For instance avoid being patronising and avoid jokes that have religious or cultural inferences.
Invite input from people with different backgrounds
Not only does this show respect, but it makes good business sense to have a diverse opinion. Find someone with a different background who shares the same business objectives as you and have a strategy meeting with them.
Bring together diverse groups for innovation
Inviting people from many backgrounds and cultures will increase the pace and creativity involved with innovation.
Respect religious holidays
Most businesses respect Christian holidays such as Christmas, however the workplace is far more than just Christian. All important religious holidays should be respected for employees of that particular religion.
When hiring or promoting individuals do so on the basis of facts only. Skills, abilities, knowledge and results should be the only factors involved in your decisions.
Embrace diversity in your firm and you are on the way to a more fulfilling and productive business. The world is a mosaic of cultural differences and the workplace should be as well. Respecting your colleagues and employees is paramount to tapping the valuable diversity in your business.