Hiring a diverse team can change inspire innovation

Diversity in the workplace is not a checkbox exercise. It is not something that the law should force on companies. Instead, correct diverse hires can offer up so much more, given a chance.

A diverse team will enable a company to solve problems from a team that thinks differently.

The Harvard Business Review reported, companies with diverse teams experience increased innovation, resulting in 19% higher revenue and 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee.

Stronger teams

A team that embraces their differences can see potential opportunities far more accessible and faster than stagnant teams from the same background.

For example, empowering the youngest team members to educate the rest of the team on new trends, social media, and terminology can affect the marketing strategy.

They may not have the experience yet to recommend business strategy changes, but they can offer insights that may spark ideas.

Given the opportunity to speak up, they can offer insights that the senior team may never have considered.

In South Africa, we have so many official languages, let alone other foreigners working here.

A diverse team that encompasses various languages and cultures will enable new markets.

About your customers

Customer service can entail more than just someone speaking their language and paying attention to gifts and cultural holidays. Being sensitive to the slight idiosyncrasies can make or break a relationship.

Another interesting finding was when a company changed all their call center staff to over 65’s. Allocating the job of chatting to customers worked like a charm. The youngsters could not relate to the clients, but the older and more experienced staff, who were too young for a full day’s work but not ready for retirement, loved to chat.

Customer responses increased, as well as brand love.

Having female leaders in your organisation, can shift some staid norms too. Flexitime, working from home, and supporting working moms can positively impact the business. Staff who feel supported and safe in the workplace will be more loyal than people who don’t feel seen or valued.

Creating support structures like child care at the office can change the output of your team.

Remote working has taken off since 2020, and this can generate loyalty if staff have the opportunity to continue to work from home if their kid is sick, for example.

How to go about it

One of the easiest ways to get CVs of staff who can fit a diverse mould is to ask staff for referrals.

CVs should be “blind.” Which means they should not have a name, gender, race, or age on the CV. A team should assess the hire based on skills and experience first and foremost.

The hiring team should also be made up of various people who meet different criteria. You can remove personal bias by having a set job description and scoring sheet and at least three people doing the interviews.

Setting up your team to be inclusive will enable you to grow as a person, team, and business.

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