Gina Blitstein Article
|Gina Blitstein combines her insight as a fellow small business owner with her strong communication skills, exploring topics that enhance your business efforts. That first-hand knowledge, matched with an insatiable curiosity to know more about just about anything, makes her a well-rounded writer with a sincere desire to engage and inform.|
Hire a Diverse Team of Employees to Help Your Business Perform Better
It’s a diverse world out there - and in your business as well. As the owner of your company, it’s important to hire others based on more than the degree of their skill; it’s important to consider the degree of diversity they will bring to your team. You already have yourself to do that which you know; employing a team of “clones” of yourself would simply add more of the same. Hiring people of diverse backgrounds and experiences, however, ensures that your business has a wider worldview, is more agile and can offer more to customers.
What types of diversity can be helpful in your employees?
Skills, specialties and education - When there are a variety of skills and types of education represented within your organization, you have the benefit of a wider knowledge base. Conversations are more constructive, decisions are based on various points of view and strategies are implemented in different ways when the participants are a diverse group. Instead of a soloist, you become a chorus, with different people performing different, harmonious functions.
Imagine an accounting company. Instead of hiring only CPAs who have worked with corporations, wouldn’t they be a more agile company if they hired those who’ve worked with the IRS, with non-profit organizations, with municipalities and other diverse groups? Such a company would have accounting expertise that offered diverse, specific knowledge to share with one another and with clients.
Personalities/ demeanors - Personalities come in all shapes and sizes. You want your company to represent a wide cross-section of them to maintain a healthy and well-balanced work atmosphere. A business comprised of people with similar personalities may encounter a lack of perspective that those with a different manner of facing the world could provide. You certainly want to have ambitious go-getters; but there’s a lot to be said for the slow and steady “tortoises” as well. Some people are sharp in a crisis; others excel in diplomacy and people-skills.
Especially in a sales job, a good mix of personalities will help your business remain appealing to a wide array of customers. Extroverts appeal to some, while a more laid-back demeanor is more attractive to others. Some customers prefer a “hands on” approach, while others wish to be left alone to make their own decisions. Make certain your employees fit a number of personality types.
Experience - It’s important to understand that, while years and years of experience in a field is a good thing, it’s not the only thing. Hire others at various points along their professional path to bring in a dose of enthusiasm and fresh perspective. More recent education can add untold dimension to perspective and to what an employee can contribute. Even an absolute rookie can be an asset because, well, he or she can only be “new” (with its intrinsic innocence, fervor and excitement) for a very short time. Once that early enthusiasm is spent, a rookie is simply an employee with less experience than others.
Give deserved credit to “other” experience, too. Almost any professional - or personal - experience can imbue an employee with abilities, temperament, perspective and wisdom that they can bring along in their efforts in your business. Experience can be transferred from one field to another because most businesses are more alike than they are different.
Opinions - No “yes men" (or women) allowed! Seek out those with differing opinions to your own. Welcome someone who can stand their own against you in a discussion (and maybe challenge you to rethink a position or two). A little “devil’s advocate” is a good thing when you’re running a business, to help you avoid becoming stuck in only one way of seeing the issues at hand.
Age/ Ethnicity/ Geography… - These are examples of some of the other factors that can bring diversity into your business, thereby making it a stronger, more agile company. Young employees can bring a fresh outlook, new ideas and enthusiasm. Older employees bring experience and can impart wisdom and a reality check when necessary. An ethnically diverse team provides a multitude of life experiences to the workplace that will enrich and enlighten both employees and customers. As small as the world can seem today, even individuals from other regions of the U.S. can provide a fresh perspective. Being exposed to customs, habits, norms from various places discourages tunnel vision, keeping your eyes open and looking outward so as to run your business and serve your customers better.
Make your pool of potential employees as diverse as possible to ensure you hire personnel who can help your business be enlightened, fresh and agile.
How has having a diverse team helped your business succeed?
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