As a new startup, you can set your company culture and employee morale right from the outset.
You've worked hard to hire the right people for your business. This may mean you have people of all ages, races, genders, religions and political affiliations sharing a space.
In addition, you want them to feel comfortable and happy so you can build a cohesive team. To do this, they must all be welcomed.
Here are five ways startups can help employees from all backgrounds feel welcome.
#1: Startup at the top
A feeling of welcome and belonging starts with your leadership team. This means you and any of your executives.
If you all want to create a diverse culture focused on inclusion with a mix of people that complement each other, you must first be open to working with people of different backgrounds. And, then, your leadership team must be willing to set the tone for your startup.
Your leadership team has the ability to create a healthy, welcoming company culture. Once they set the tone, you'll find the rest falls into place. The rest of your staff will take on a welcoming attitude, and your company culture is set.
#2: Connect with your employees
Another way to help your team feel welcome is to have an open door policy. This should extend widely throughout your company.
Create a place where everyone feels free to be themselves. Your workplace should be free from discrimination and feel safe to everyone regardless of their background.
You can also show transparency to your team. Be open about your own life and feelings. This helps bring everyone into your sphere, so they feel welcome.
In addition, provide ways for your employees to provide feedback in a safe forum. Consider anonymous surveys to gauge the temperature of your startup. See if everyone really feels welcome, and if not, make a plan to change things.
#3: Plan inclusive activities
You want to show your staff that they fit in and are welcome every day. This extends from the little daily activities to the larger ones.
For example, when it comes to team-building activities, think about your team make-up. Is everyone going to feel comfortable in this social arena?
When planning social outings, consider people's beliefs and comfort levels where alcohol is involved. Some of your team may even have lived through addiction either with themselves or another family member.
Everyone has different talents, abilities, and comfort levels, so when planning activities, make sure they still feel welcoming and inclusive.
#4: Talk about it
You want to have an open dialogue about diversity in the workplace. When people feel like they can talk about it, everyone feels more welcome and included.
Consider asking your team for feedback to learn what you could do better. For example, your 60-year-old employees may have a different idea than your 20-something team members. Maybe your older staff have a hard time with technology, but everyone assumes they know what to do.
#5: Take a stand
You may run into issues on occasion. When you do, take a stand.
If you see something that doesn't look or feel right, don't slide it under the rug. Take a stand and deal with it promptly.
According to the Pew Research Center, by 2055 the United States will have no racial or ethnic majority.
Diversity in the workplace has never been more important, and it's helpful for you to have a diverse team who can propel your startup into the future.
Diverse teams create diverse products and reach a broader range of people.
And employees who feel welcome and comfortable are more able to express themselves, perform better, be more productive, and more engaged in your startup.
The first thing you can do is employ a diverse team. The second thing you can do is make them feel welcome. By using the tips here, you can set yourself apart as a business leader and one moving towards present and future success.
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