Diversity in the Workplace

The face of the workforce is changing. What’s the best way for small business owners to deal with this increasingly diverse environment? Embrace it.

There are two ways companies can approach diversity:

• Tactically. First, assess the demographics of your current workforce. Look at the gap between the talent that you currently have and what you will need to meet your future plans. Next, consider what tactics you must put in place. These tactics may range from virtual or flexible workplaces to family support systems (such as elder and day care), depending on the composition of your workforce and how you want your business to be viewed.

• Strategically. Create an environment and a culture that values the differences in people. Keep in mind things like the changing work perspectives of young people and the need to keep talented baby boomers in the workforce longer. By cultivating this environment, you can maximize the productivity of your workforce.

Remember, people from different backgrounds bring their life lessons, culture, and opinions to work. Often, their ability to connect with clients and customers of similar backgrounds is incomparable. The more you embrace and encourage diversity, the more your company will benefit.

Bob Kustka HR Consultant TheFusionFactor.com Norwell, Mass.

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