In this white paper, Byron James, Assistant Vice President Client Services & Operations, examines the importance of diversity in the workforce. He also explains how companies can address biases to become more inclusive.
Please click on the video to the right to learn more about Byron, his paper’s key takeaways, and the benefits of a diverse team.
To discuss this white paper in more detail, please contact the author using the information provided at the bottom of the white paper.
The world is getting smaller and it is more challenging for companies to attract new clients while expanding valuable existing relationships. The Golden Rule and treating others well is no longer enough in the current global environment. Companies that focus on diversity both internally and with clients are reaping the benefits of improved culture, company performance, and better relationships, as noted below.
To truly succeed, companies need to foster diversity to grow beyond standard operating norms. Organizations and their employees must adopt thinking styles focused on investigating, understanding, and responding appropriately to client preferences. This includes those from varying ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds. In this truly global marketplace, cultural awareness, flexibility, and effective communication skills are critical for organizations to exceed expectations and service the needs of people from all cultures.
How do companies foster diversity and inclusion? Your company has an existing culture, but is diversity one of its primary values? Do all employees feel a sense of fairness and goodwill, and do they value and practice respect for clients regardless of race, religion, social status, or other characteristics? It is simply unacceptable to laugh, embarrass, or treat employees and clients as though they are less informed or less intelligent. When diversity is embraced by an organization, it moves beyond just a set of human resource policies or procedures reviewed on an annual basis.
Clients are a diverse culmination of race, religion, social status, and other wonderful characteristics. The more diverse your client-facing team is, the more likely they will be to demonstrate empathy and be better equipped to truly connect with your clients. A study by the Harvard Business Review found that when a team has a member who shares a client’s ethnicity, it is 152% more likely to relate to that client versus a team that does not. Let’s explore how to create a diverse team.
Remove all biases from the recruiting process. Instead, focus on overall value and belief alignment, which is more inclusive and serves as a better predictor of those candidates who will thrive within your organization.
Dismiss the old stereotypes of alpha-types rising to the top. Buying into that philosophy during hiring can be detrimental to the future of a team’s performance, especially when you consider the range of communication and relationship building skills required to generate success in a modern business environment.
Find balance within assembled teams. Strengths balance weaknesses, and complementing talents create a unified team that is better enabled to meet the needs of any client, regardless of background. Contrary to popular belief, a well-rounded team does not mean a group of well-rounded individuals. In fact, a team of people with lopsided talents and strengths who play well off each other can make the strongest impact within the organization.
Our goal as managers is to hire and retain individuals that will set the world on fire. Organizations will have to come to terms with the fact that different people value different things in life. Some may want to work their way up the ladder, while others may prefer a strong work-life balance. Just because someone has different goals does not mean that they lack drive, commitment, or ambition.
The pyramid depicted below demonstrates diversity as the foundation for business to build upon. Without diversity, businesses become subdued and experience erosion in employee morale, revenue gaps, and an overall decrease in client satisfaction.
At Vee Technologies, we pride ourselves on being a global solutions provider. We are integrated and bound by a commitment to each other and our clients regardless of cultural, social, or economic background. Our diversity is woven throughout our policies, global business meeting rhythms, business processes and corporate social responsibility initiatives.
It is important to promote and value the goals of everyone’s career path and opportunities within the organization if you want clients to reap the benefits of a truly diverse team.
Julie Lewis – Provide Support LLC