As a business owner, you are in charge of your company. You choose the location, put your employees in place, and set the tone in the work setting. You have a product or a unique service that has made you passionate enough to create a business. You have invested your resources, time, and dreams into making a go of it. You'll do everything in your power to ensure your company is going to stick around. Make sure you understand why DEI, or diversity, equity, and inclusion, is integral to business success.
In the modern business world, diversity should be at the top of any employer's list. It means embracing employees from all different walks of life, including a variety of cultures, genders, religious backgrounds, and social backgrounds. Gone are the days when you would hear someone say, "This is a man's world." You should not look at your staff and see a uniform group of people that all look the same. Embracing the gifts that a diverse staff will bring to the table can enrich your business in ways you never expected.
When it comes to equity, you cannot favor one group of employees over another. In other words, everyone should start at the same pay. There may be opportunities for advancement or promotions. These opportunities should be based on merit. Gender, race, or disabilities should not come into play when determining who should receive perks while working for you. Reward hard work, loyalty, and consistency. Honor those who are team players. Appearances or backgrounds should have nothing to do with how someone is ranked in your business. A dedication to excellence and a positive attitude are what matter most.
Every member of your business should feel like they are appreciated. You should have a group of people that acts like a team. You don't want individuals who stab others in the back, make co-workers feel uncomfortable, or try to hog all the glory. Every person you employ brings different assets with them. It's your job to make sure they feel like they are valuable. Be sure to highlight the positive attributes of your employees. Build up your staff. Pair up people who are compatible. Give individuals a chance to take on leadership roles. Hold staff appreciation events on a regular basis that pull everyone together for social opportunities. The lunch club, coffee and pastries in the morning, and annual parties are one way to express your gratitude. You'll also give everyone a chance to mingle while they take a break from their job.
Every person you hire plays an essential role in your business, from your custodial staff to your IT professionals. You need to recognize their importance in keeping your company on track. The better you treat your staff, the more you improve your chances of being there in the long run. If you don't treat your staff well, you could see your business fall apart. You also open yourself up to legal battles when you fail to recognize the importance of DEI in any work setting. If one of your employees feels like discrimination has taken place or you have failed to create an atmosphere that encourages inclusion, you face the threat of a lawsuit. An L&I attorney could come knocking at your door to discuss a settlement. If the matter isn't resolved, it could result in costly repercussions for you.
Consider all of the different employers you had before you became an employer. There are sure to be some who stood out as being positive role models. Learn by their example. Remember the bad experiences that you had. Avoid making the same mistakes. Most importantly, educate yourself. Learn more about DEI, what it means, and how you can include it in your business. You want to create a business that draws employees to you like a magnet because it is such a good place to work. Roll out the welcome mat. You'll be more likely to attract excellent staff members. Best of all, you'll keep them.