HOW BUSINESS LEADERS CAN SPUR WORKPLACE CHANGE
The spotlight on inequality is driving increased dialogue and inspiring change on social and cultural levels , and the same is true of the business community .
According to the U . S . Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship , just 18 % of businesses in the U . S . are minority-owned , even though minorities make up almost 40 % of the population . However , a study conducted by The UPS Store , Inc . shows small businesses and their customers are also doing their part to promote inclusion and diversity .
Among small business owners with employees , 47 % are actively trying to increase the diversity of their workforce , according to the survey . This momentum is particularly evident among younger small business owners , ages 18-45 ( 58 %).
Business leaders can continue promoting this effort by introducing practices such as :
COMMUNICATING CLEARLY ABOUT EXPECTATIONS
Set a policy of zero tolerance for discriminatory behavior and communicate it clearly throughout your business . Conduct a thorough audit of your typical communication channels to ensure your message is clear and consistent so there is no confusion about your expectations . This can include emails , signage and orientation materials . It ’ s important to recognize this won ’ t be a oneand-done exercise . Commit to issuing periodic reminders to reinforce your expectation for an inclusive culture .
LEADING BY EXAMPLE
Once your expectations have been defined , it ’ s up to you to demonstrate how they should be followed . This means taking stock of your business and any areas where you may not be upholding these standards . Ask for input from trusted advisors . You might even consider an audit by a third party to identify any discrepancies . Chances are , you ’ ll find at least one or two areas for improvement . Take swift and decisive action to make necessary changes , whether it means updating policies , modifying recruitment practices or other adjustments .
90 IBA Success Magazine n VOL 7 , Issue 2