More and more businesses are becoming equal-opportunity, that is believing in providing equal chances to men and women, the disabled and the non-disabled, the old and the young, the experienced and the non-experienced, at proving themselves. Firms are now ready to look past the gender, age, marital status and sexual orientation of their employees and the other parties they deal with.
This attitude has, ultimately, helped them build a more open, diverse, productive and innovation-friendly organisation. Moreover, being an equal-opportunity employer also helps in improving your reputation as a fair business unit.
SupportBiz lists some tips for you to be an equal-opportunity SME.
1. Learn to give up stereotypes.
The first step towards being an equal-opportunity employer is learning to give up stereotypes. Learn to stop judging people based on their age, sexual preferences, marital status or gender.
Develop the mindset of hiring employees who are ‘the right talent fit’ for your organisation, rather than employees ‘with a specific set of attributes’. Be open to hiring anyone, as long as they possess the skills necessary to add value to your organisation.
2. Consider reservations.
If you wish to be an equal-opportunity SME, you should consider the possibility of setting reservations in place, as far as the hiring of staff is concerned. You could ensure that a certain percentage of your employees are women or differently abled.
This way, you will be setting in place positive discrimination, giving different kinds of people a good chance at joining your organisation.
3. Provide flexibility.
It is a good idea to provide flexibility to your employees, so that they can choose their own holidays and work hours.
This will enable different types of people to work with you comfortably.
4. Encourage open communication.
Work on building a transparent organisation, where open communication is encouraged. Make it possible for different teams to work together easily, and share ideas and suggestions.
Similarly, make it easy for all classes of employees to approach the top management with their complaints, ideas, queries and comments.
5. Encourage participative leadership.
Encourage participative leadership in your organisation. Give each employee a chance at a leadership position, irrespective of their educational qualifications, sexual orientation, marital status or gender.
You might also want to rotate leadership positions among the employees in your organisation, so that everyone gets an equal chance at it.
6. Design a safe workplace for all kinds of employees.
As an equal-opportunity employer, you should work on creating a workplace that is safe for all kinds of employees. The elderly and the differently abled should be able to comfortably work in your organisation.
Create a safe environment for women in your firm, making it possible for them to work comfortably with you at any level of the organisational structure.
7. Take quick action.
Ensure that you take quick action regarding any employee problems in your organisation. Listen to all the sides of a particular issue, and focus on resolving it at the earliest possible, in the most appropriate manner.
Take steps to nip any form of sexual harassment in your organisation in the bud, and extend this policy to employees with any sexual orientation. The same goes for cases of bullying in the firm.
8. Partner with NGOs and government.
It is a good idea to partner with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the government, which will help you do your bit for the community.
You could provide job opportunities to people from NGOs, or deal with them on particular projects.
9. Build reassuring policies.
Ensure that you put in place policies that assure employees a healthy work environment, work-life balance, career development and job security.