Having an inclusive workplace is more than just hiring a diverse staff. To promote inclusion, small business owners can engage in business development in the surrounding communities and improve their overall communication strategy.
Entrepreneurs in marginal environments, among others race, socioeconomic class and gender, face even more difficulties even when they start their own business, before they can hire employees. This is especially true in less diverse areas of the country, such as the Midwest.
Support for community-oriented business organizations
Fortunately, there are organizations, such as Omaha Small Business Network (OSBN), dedicated to under served populations through commercial development.
In an interview with Business News Daily, Julia Parker, executive director, explains how OSBN serves local small business owners, entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations by providing practical tools for success.
Your organization recognizes the importance of financing historically marginalized entrepreneurs in areas with strong commercial growth potential. OSBN offers commercial offices in the heart of North Omaha, technical support, microcredit of up to $ 50,000 and other commercial assistance services.
Small business owners outside the underserved community can participate by participating in events and donating to organizations such as OSBN. [See related story: do you have diversity? It’s time to change your perspective]
Change conversations at work
As a small business owner, you can make a difference by starting at the beginning of your own office. Consider educating your employees about inclusive communication.
Using his experience in marketing and advertising, Omaha employers and activists, Morgan Freeman runs an inclusive communications consulting business to improve the way companies interact with their employees and customers.
“I focus on changing the way we approach how we speak and interact, verbally and non-verbally, to each other in personal, organizational and global contexts,” Freeman said.
For example, Fortune reported microagressions: accidental and unintentional humiliation, such as asking Americans about the colors in which they “really”, can reduce their human resource happiness and prevent talent. Regardless of the intentions of the employees, these comments can create a tense and exclusive environment that does not welcome those from a marginalized background.
To reduce microaggregations in your business, you can invest in corporate education to analyze diversity in a productive environment. Companies such as Freeman’s diversity workshops and training and training that help companies understand diversity through everyday interactions. Instead of giving textbook definitions to complex concepts, it is good for business leaders to understand better listening and speaking techniques.
Inclusive communication deals with customer service, says Freeman, so companies should also consider how they interact with viewers through social networks. How does your company respond to comments on Facebook or mentions on Twitter?
In addition, Forbes recommends several calls to action for an inclusive communication strategy. For example, employees must recognize their unconscious bias, refrain from speaking to actually listen to and dispel previous preconceptions. By understanding cultural prejudices and changing their language, employees can better understand and communicate with people from diverse backgrounds, especially for the benefit of the company and its services.
“Unleashing … our ‘us’ mentality in front of ‘them’ allows your team to build an understanding of empathy about multiple identities,” Freeman said on his website.
If you can improve your communications, your company has the potential to increase and expand audiences, while maintaining customer satisfaction with old customers. This technique can also increase employee happiness, improve office morale and improve the quality of staff relationships.
“Real progress is happening by changing the way you talk about something,” Freeman added. “You can not be an inclusive organization when using an exclusive language.”