I’ve been thinking for a long time about how I can share my tried and true networking knowledge to help entrepreneurs grow their business. An opportunity came up. In my role as a SCORE Business Mentor, I was asked to give a class on modern-day networking methods that truly helps to grow business followers. If you are in the area, I hope you can attend!
MANY CULTURES, ONE TEAM
Embracing Diversity in the Workplace
Diversity is essential for your small business because it increases productivity, promotes creativity, and develops a tight-knit culture within the workplace. As an advocate for workplace diversity, you are signaling to your employees and customers that you are open to a work environment that celebrates different perspectives and personalities that help to create a positive, open, and welcoming company based on mutual respect and understanding.
In my small business, our operations book, called the “Book of Kaizen,” dedicates an entire page to the slogan, “Many Cultures, One Team.” I am convinced that my business is richer because we’ve succeeded in combining the talents of many different people: persons of color, a diverse mix of cultural backgrounds, ex-military personnel, people with disabilities, millennials to retired seniors, gays, and lesbians. Applying and supporting this belief system and staying committed to hiring this culturally-rich group of employees has made my business what it is today – a business that is embraced and supported by the surrounding community.
Here are three tips that I have found are useful in promoting diversity in small businesses:
1. Stop and Suspend Judgement
Business owners sometimes hate to admit it, but most have built-in biases and stereotypes that are triggered when they venture into unfamiliar territory. They immediately shut down and pass judgement on people who are different. It is time to remove those filters and start entering into relationships with an open mind.
2. Listen and Learn
When you initially meet, take the time to earnestly converse with potential employees by asking pertinent questions. By this, I mean peeling back the onion into deeper layers versus just staying with the top layers of shallow conversation. Ask them about their life, cultural beliefs, and what’s important to them. You will be surprised how much you learn about their different perspectives.
3. Invite Employee Contributions
I believe that everyone has the capability of making positive contributions to our society. As a business owner, one of your responsibilities is to help everyone uncover the unique gifts that your employees didn’t realize they had. Help them to raise their self-esteem and watch how their personal lives blossom!
The people who ultimately grow through this process are you and the employees in your business. Diversity in the workplace can translate into diversity in your customer base. Our society is a melting pot of people with different backgrounds, so why not make all people feel comfortable doing business for you and with you?
Now that I have provided some of my thoughts about diversity, what are the kinds of things that you can do? Take a few moments and write down some steps that you can take to move towards cultural diversity in both your life and business:
What is Kaizen? Kaizen is a Japanese philosophy and work plan strategy where employees at all levels of a company are encouraged to work together to achieve incremental improvements benefitting the business, employees, customers and the larger world. It combines the collective talents within a company (or family) to create a powerful engine for life-long learning in small incremental steps. I hope you will embrace the Kaizen way in your business and personal life. I believe that it will help you to change the way you think and open up boundless opportunities in your life.
Click HERE for a free printable, “The Kaizen Way, 5 Steps to Awaken Your Passion for Work and Life.”
It’s already September. Where did the summer go?
I’m already busy making stuff to sell for our annual Pasado’s Safe Haven Drive at Studio 904 (mark your calendar for Sunday, December 5, 2015). I committed to making a large number of hand-made crafts but found it was almost impossible to make them in large quantities. So I decided to create a system. Read more
Do you want to create a beautiful and whimsical environment for the holidays?
Who’d ever think that transforming plain brown paper bags into ornaments can be an affordable way to differentiate your business from others?
If you are a client of my hair salon, Studio 904, you’ve seen the unique ways in how I keep the facility fresh and pleasing to the eye by changing things up every season.
I put hours of time into making hand-made decorations for my salon because I believe seeing something fresh and new on a regular basis is stimulating and puts customers in a good mood. If it’s pleasing to our customers, just think how happy it makes our staff to come to a beautiful work environment daily.
Many businesses make the mistake of becoming stagnated with lack of change in their environment and service offerings, a sure way for a slow death of your business.
So I say, “Change it Up!” Look around your business and come up with ways to refresh and invigorate your environment.
I made these Owl Angels (more like Urban Angels) this year for the holidays. I love how these cute critters came out. They are not rustic looking like the owls I’ve seen. The white body and the glittered net wings give them a fresh and sophisticated look. So I wanted to share with you how I made them.
Oh, they are so cute. Nothing is more satisfying to me than looking at their cuteness every day.
Without a fail, these owls put a big smile on my face and helps me to have a happy day.
How to make “Owl Angels” from paper bags.
Cut bags into 6” x 8” pieces
Paint one side of each cut pieces with white gesso (it takes two pieces to make one owl)
Draw a simple shape of an owl on one of the pieces (this becomes the front of the owl)
Draw eyes, decorate the body using a black Sharpie marker
Sew the outline with a machine (leave an opening at the bottom)
Stuff with small amount of cotton (this will puff the owls up)
Sew and close the bottom opening (optional: insert feet made of black felt before sewing up the opening)
Cut out small wings (I used paper and ribbon netting)
Good luck with your decorations! I’d love to hear your ideas on affordable decorating ideas for the holidays which is right around the corner.
On a recent trip to Maui, I discovered my iPhone takes great photos.
I’ve been hearing lately, “The best camera is the one which is with you.”
I decided to put my Iphone to the test during my early morning walk on Kanapali beach
Here are some of my best shots.
Welcome to the world of creating your own background papers!
Join Kay in crafting unique folded cards. You will learn how to create beautiful backgrounds using pearlescent watercolors and stencils. Cards are embellished with flowers, butterflies and ribbons to create a delicate spring theme. Plus, you will go home with a sampler packet of back-grounds. Read more