You’re probably familiar with the benefits of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in your workplace—a spike in creativity, productivity, and employee happiness among others. However, what many business owners don’t know is that you can prioritize diversity outside of your own business team as well.
Think about your business network and who you associate with professionally. Building more diversity into that network provides multiple benefits. Below are our top six:
New Business Opportunities
Whether you work in Melbourne CBD coworking spaces with other entrepreneurs or a New York skyscraper with large corporations, you can enjoy many productive opportunities by having a diverse and inclusive network.
These include invitations to collaborate, learn something new, or connect with people who can help your business prosper. Often, these opportunities wouldn’t arise if you worked only with companies like yours or chose to work alone.
We only understand the world around us through the people we associate with. If we don’t intermingle with a diverse group of people, then our knowledge gets severely limited.
Expanding your business network to include a broader range of companies can counteract that tendency and allow for personal growth. You can gain a deeper understanding of other cultures, experiences, and identities and deepen your empathy in the process. The more you learn about other people, the easier it becomes to approach situations differently and achieve more rewarding outcomes.
Gain Different Perspectives
Problem-solving is a core part of being in business. Sometimes, we face challenges we can’t overcome, no matter how much brainstorming we do. Being a part of a diverse and inclusive business network allows you to connect with individuals who can share different ideas based on their unique personal experiences.
Rather than continuing with your habitual view of a problem, you can enjoy a more complex perspective by engaging with someone outside your inner circle.
How you operate your business today might be the only way you know how to run it based on your life experiences. However, that doesn’t mean it’s the best way it could be run. Broadening your business network to include people from all backgrounds and walks of life can provide opportunities to expand and transform your business.
You might also find that people outside your business circle are more willing to highlight weaknesses and offer constructive criticism than those working within your business.
Communication is not every business owner’s strong point. Not only can they find it challenging to communicate with their employees, but they also struggle with customers and other business leaders.
Joining a diverse and inclusive business network provides an opportunity to change that. When you learn about the various communication styles of people from all walks of life, you can broaden your thinking. You might even develop new, effective communication strategies.
Many businesses and companies benefit from staff diversity networks. If you implement one in your workplace, you might enjoy improved staff engagement. These networks revolve around matters involving diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Employees in these networks can discuss problems they believe management needs to combat, whether that’s training, recruitment, communication, or something else. Without such networks, employees might feel they can’t bring these matters to their employers’ attention.
Achieving a diverse and inclusive business network might not seem like a priority. However, it should be. The more people you network with, the easier it becomes for you to enjoy everything from heightened staff engagement to personal growth and business innovation.