Sunday, January 26, 2014

Diversity in Tea and the Workplace

Diversity in Tea and the Workplace
How does your workforce blend?
Have you ever thought about how diversity in the workplace is a lot like tea?  I have a little tea instruction manual in front of me about how hot to boil the water and how long to immerse the tea bag.  Along with each of those is a type of tea:  Black, White, Green, Herbal, Oolong, etc.  Oh, don’t forget that there’s iced tea.  Some people might make teas from fruits, seeds, or flowers.  You could even make a Long Island Iced Tea if you felt so inclined.  Regardless, a variety of teas can quench your thirst in a variety of ways.  This is the same way that diversity in the workplace will bring you many different ways to solve a problem.

Diversity in Tea and the Workplace

So, let’s get a little more diversity in here with our tea.  You can make a really good tea by using some store bought tea bags.  However, how about if we tear open the tea bags and create our own blend?  You can create a brilliant tea by mixing the right amount of a few different kinds of tea.  It would be individualized and custom.  Now, this tea might not be the perfect drink for everyone, but you can make a blend that is just right for you.  A little of this, a little of that; and voilà, you have something fabulous.

You should consider that in your workforce as well; blending people of different backgrounds.  You may find that employing a wide variety of people will give your business the best chance for economic success.

NOTE:  Of course, you should practice diversity and non-discrimination for legal reasons too.  Unless there is a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (previously discussed HERE), your company could find itself in trouble if it is discriminating.  

With a diverse workforce, you can look at issues from new perspectives.  How many kinds of diversity are there?  Legally protected classes include:

  •    Race / Color
  •    Creed / Religion
  •    Nationality / Citizenship
  •    Age
  •    Gender
  •    Veteran Status
  •    Disability

There may be other protected classes in your state.  You should consider diversifying beyond these legal classes to include other groups as well.  Classes you may not have thought about:

  •    Unemployment Status
  •    Sexual Preference
  •    Height / Weight
  •    Conservative / Liberal
  •    Tattoos / Piercings

In short, people and tea can both create beautiful blends.  You may want to consider hiring and promoting people of all types.  You never know which employee will have a new way of looking at things; which will allow them to come up with a great new idea to move your business forward.

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