If all customers come from a one-mile radius of your business, then you might be able to say that you shouldn’t have to argue for diversity, he claimed. Chances are that in this case you know all your customers by name. Even when you know them by name you also know their likes and dislikes. You try and cater to those differences with products and offers you know will attract them.
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Having a more diverse workforce will also naturally improve your business. Dessau is of the belief that when you have a diverse workforce, it changes the way people in the company think and work.
You are more likely to be around people who can introduce new approaches at work, he claimed. Different people from different cultures and backgrounds bring different and often fresh perspectives to problem solving, design, and product development.
“Some people are more analytical while others are more creative,” he said. “People from different religious, political, and socioeconomic backgrounds possess different perspectives on the world and specific issues. Bring all of those different types of people together and you are likely to see more creativity, new and better ideas and more innovation.”Too much cynicism exists around diversity, he explained. Much of this stems from stereotyping diversity as a way to be politically correct. The reality is that diversity involves making sure that your business reflects the markets you live in. It is about maintaining your employee base as diverse as your labor market and your customer base. It can also change the way your business thinks. “Having a diverse team means you can gain access to the broader set of skills and experiences,” he said. “And, by the year 2020, 50 per cent of the workforce will be made up of Millennials. This next generation has grown up in a diverse world and will expect it at work. At some point all businesses need new blood and making your environment appealing is important if you want to compete for the top talent.” By Shané Schutte
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