As a professional or business owner, you know that there are a lot of elements that have to remain in balance in order to ensure business success. After funding and establishing the business, there is branding, clients, and locations, and employees to consider. There’s a whole host of issues that can arise and quickly sink a new business. This is why many startups and young businesses are known for having negative, competitive cultures. Between everything that goes on at a business, maintaining a positive workplace culture can fall by the wayside.
However, establishing a strong foundation of positivity, inclusion, and support is actually what separates the most successful businesses from the crowd. As it turns out, ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform homogenous ones. There are many factors at play here.
More diverse companies tend to not only hire people of different races, genders, experiences, abilities, and nationalities — they support these differences. This means that ideas tend to be more varied, and these diverse teams come up with more creative solutions to problems. Since employees are more likely to see an issue from a unique angle, ideas are challenged more frequently, leaving only the strongest ideas. Having a wide variety of people on your team leads to deeper discussions, more unique insights, and ultimately better business.
So how can you foster a more inclusive workplace? It all starts with how you interact with the world. You’d be surprised how many phrases and terms that seem innocuous to you actually make a certain group feel singled out. Making an effort to learn how to use inclusive language in person, emails, or even in recruiting materials will welcome a more diverse culture.
It may feel overwhelming to learn about all the things you may say that exclude others. Keep in mind that it will take time to adjust to new habits, and don’t be afraid to apologize for any mistakes you make. To further encourage inclusive language in others around you, don’t be afraid to politely call someone out for using language that excludes others. You may even consider hosting events that encourage employees to talk to other employees they don’t often talk to. With diligence, you’ll see the difference in those around you and your workplace.