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As a founder or CEO, you want to hire the most experienced, skilled, and knowledgeable team to propel your startup to success. To do this, and to do it well, you may want to make sure that your team is also diverse.
Your first inclination may be to hire people just like you, but this isn't always the best idea. You want to find skilled, capable people who are different from you, so your team is well-rounded, and your employee culture is more open and accepting.
In this article, we look at how startups can benefit from a diverse team.
Diverse teams are happier and more productive
Gather a team for your startup that's socially diverse – this includes diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, and other demographic factors – and they'll work harder and be happier doing it.
Why is this? The reasons are pretty straightforward:
Diverse teams foster innovation
Let's imagine that you hired five graduates from the business school of one particular college. Not only did they have the exact same education, they're all friends with the same backgrounds.
You give them the task of coming up with a new product for your startup. It's likely they'll all come up with a similar idea.
Conversely, let's say you hired five graduates of five different schools all with diverse backgrounds. Now lets say that they are not only of different ages, but they also come from different parts of the country.
Throw the same task at them, and they might come with some fairly unique products. Why? Because the lens through which they see the world is different for all of them.
Generally speaking, diverse teams are often more innovative and more creative than teams that aren't as diverse.
A diverse staff improves your culture
As a startup company, you are in the unique position of being able to set your own tone and company culture.
If your team is diverse, your culture likely has more facets to it. It's ultimately more accepting and inclusive of others as well.
In addition, the more diverse your staff, the better luck you'll have hiring from the pool of recent graduates and millennials looking for jobs.
By creating a diverse workplace, your hiring is easier, your retention rates improve, and your company morale is likely better than it would had you hired 10 people just like yourself.
Diversity improves your image
Your target market is watching you. They want to know that you care about the same things they do, and diversity tops their list.
Your diverse staff shows your customers that you are inclusive, innovative, and forward looking.
Bottom line: diverse staff are happier, more innovative, and more productive.
Also, a diverse team is better able to serve your broad customer base.
To avoid alienating anyone in your customer base, consider initiatives early on that encourage diversity in your workforce.
Your customers want to speak with people who understand where they're coming from and who can recommend your products and services in such a way that it means something to them.
The advantages to hiring a diverse workforce are huge, not only for your bottom line but for encouraging customer loyalty and ensuring customer satisfaction as well.
Consider your hiring strategy from the very beginning, make sure it's comprehensive and inclusive, and you'll find you have a great team and a wonderful employee culture.
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