It pays to embrace diversity in business

Home Columns It pays to embrace diversity in business

diversityThe effects of the pandemic continue to change our lives as we navigate what’s called “the new normal.” While there is no predetermined route to your success in an ever-changing world, there are things you can do to put yourself on the path to prosper. A good place to start is to welcome diversity, equality and inclusivity in your business. According to a Deloitte survey, 83% of Millennials reported higher levels of engagement when they believed their company fostered an inclusive culture.

For several years I have been working with the Women of the Flooring Business group, an all-female cast of business owners who discuss issues such as diversity, equality and inclusivity often and at considerable length. To be clear, the issues of diversity, equality and inclusivity are not just about women; it’s about embracing a world where—despite our ethnic, gender and socio-economic distinctions—we are more often alike than different.

These days, if a business is to find new partnerships and create unique selling propositions, they will have to be open to hiring creative people who come from different backgrounds and experiences and bring new ideas. As a business, it’s all about enhancing your strongest assets—your employees.

In the past, business owners looked to hire people who were very much like them—or their target customers. In today’s workplace environment, the businesses that generally thrive focus on expanding their workforce to include a broad range of employees that enrichen the workplace experience. 

Encouraging diversity, equality and inclusivity should be a priority for any business—especially businesses like retail where the makeup of consumers and employees alike can vary widely. 

So, how can business owners incorporate more diversity, equality and inclusivity in their day-to-day operations? Some useful tidbits: 

  • Educate managers in diversity and help them understand the differences between employees and how they think. Build training programs that focus on these differences and help employees deal not only with each other but with customers as well. 
  • Review the diverse groups in your business and train on “hidden” and “not-so-hidden” biases. For example, “I’ve heard older workers can’t learn software,” or “Millennials are lazy.” These are harmful stereotypes that can cause fissures in your workforce if left unchecked. Having discussions on different age groups and what they value will help dispel these misperceptions and produce a more amiable workplace. 
  • One simple way to promote diversity is to acknowledge holidays of all cultures in your business and have employees talk about how they are celebrated and what the holidays mean. Every year I hold a party on December 25 to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. My friends were very appreciative and enjoyed learning from other cultures. 

To learn more about how you can deal with issues like diversity in the workplace, come sit in on my presentation, “What Diversity Can Do To Grow Your Business,” at Surfaces 2023 in Las Vegas, which takes place Jan. 31-Feb. 2 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.


Lisbeth Calandrino has been promoting retail strategies for the last 20 years. To have her speak at your business or to schedule a consultation, contact her at lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com

Must Read

Jay Kopelson to receive WFCA Luminary Award

Las Vegas—World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) announced that Jay Kopelson, VP of corporate accounts at Mannington Mills, will receive its Luminary Award. The Luminary...

Tackling TISE: Show strategies from veteran show goers

Las Vegas—The pace of The International Surface Event (TISE) can resemble a track meet at times as attendees traverse the expansive Mandalay Bay Convention...

New and notable at TISE 2023

Along with the anticipated uptick in attendance at The International Surfaces Event (TISE) 2023 comes an increase in exhibitors as well, especially new vendors....

TISE director bullish on 2023 show

After two years of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent omicron variant (last year), Surfaces 2023 is shaping up to be the...

Mohawk prepares to host events at TISE

Las Vegas—The countdown to The International Surface Event (TISE) here is on. The show will be the fourth stop of the Mohawk Momentum Roadshow—featuring...

Take full advantage of TISE 2023

The kick-off of TISE 2023 in Las Vegas this week means show season in the flooring industry is in full gear. As entrepreneurs and...

As seen in

Jan. 9/16, 2023

DOWNLOAD
Some text some message..
X