Diversity and multiculturalism are essential traits for all startup businesses – or at least for those who want to be successful. There are so many benefits to having a multicultural workforce; below we review seven solid reasons for why your startup must embrace multiculturalism:
- If you only hire from a select pool of talent (whether that’s middle-aged white men with experience or new graduates under the age of 25) then your workforce is likely to remain one dimensional. Hiring from different cultural backgrounds exposes your organisation to a variety of top talent every time you recruit.
- Multiculturalism helps your startup to grow – Having a diverse workforce means having diverse opinions, thoughts and interests which will help your business to move forward. Richard Branson once said “It’s all about finding and hiring people smarter than you are’ – and this should be irrespective of cultural boundaries.
- Workplace diversity aids your business in connecting with a wider demographic and facilitates greater relations with your range of clients. It’s an even bigger bonus if your multicultural team can speak a variety of languages and build relationships worldwide.
- Multiculturalism helps enhance workplace creativity – Novel ideas tend to occur more frequently when people from different backgrounds get together and share their knowledge, experience and opinions. Constructing a multicultural workforce will help your startup to uncover new ways of thinking.
- If your startup is seen to be supporting equality and diversity (such as offering flexible working hours and accommodating religious holidays) then people are more likely to want to work for you, which means your startup isn’t missing opportunities simply because of cultural issues.
- Multiculturalism helps your startup to comply with legislation – OK, so legal compliance definitely shouldn’t be the only reason for embracing multiculturalism, but hiring a wide range of diverse individuals will help to prove that your startup takes Equality and Diversity law seriously. There are also so many benefits of equality and diversity which would be daft to ignore.
- Hiring from different cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds makes your workforce more tolerant of a spectrum of views. It means that your colleagues will likely be very different from you. Not only does this make your business a more interesting place to work at, but it also helps your employees learn how to become more accepting and understanding of different viewpoints, work well together and enjoy their jobs. This enhances workplace morale and helps shape your employees into better, well learned people.
There’s more to it than this; of course there is. But that’s for another post. The point is this: whilst it might be tempting to only hire people you know and trust when you found your startup, you’ll quickly realise that there are considerable limitations to that method of recruitment. Inclusivity is massively important, and it can’t be overlooked.
Have any success (or not so-successful) stories about your experience with multiculturalism in your startup business? Get involved in the discussion below.
Author – Louise Petty
Louise Petty is Content Co-Ordinator at High Speed Training, a UK based eLearning provider. She has wrote numerous business related online courses, such as those which cover Starting a Business, Leadership and Management and Equality and Diversity.