There are countless ways you can improve your business, and even more articles on how to do so. Tips range from “Be patient” to “Leverage 1099 subcontractors,” and range from incredibly vague to incredibly expensive. However, there are three low- or no-cost, backed-by-science ways for you to improve your business in a big way. Not only will they make your business more financially successful, but will make it more attractive to consumers and potential employees in ways that other businesses don’t.
1. Office diversity
Diversity in the workplace can come in many forms: gender, age, race, ethnicity, and more. While many workplaces suffer from a lack of diversity (for example, there are fewer female CEOs than there are CEOs named John, and only 1% of Google’s tech staff are black), there is research-backed evidence that diversity in the workplace leads to innovation, economic growth, employee satisfaction, and lower turnover rates. Input from people of different backgrounds is a recipe for a product or service that will best serve the ever-diversifying American population; the opposite is best demonstrated by a quote from
MIT economist Sara Ellison: “A baseball team entirely composed of catchers could have high esprit de corps, but it would not perform very well on the field.”
Homogeneity in the workplace leads to homogeneity of both business ideas and future hiring choices (people tend to hire those who are similar to them), but companies within the top quartile of racial and ethnic diversity exceed industry standards by a whopping 35%. Taking initiative to increase the diversity of your workplace is a win-win situation for everyone.
Thinking green when you incorporate your business is another great step you can take in increasing the success of your business. Not only does using energy-efficient appliances save you money, but fulfilling certain environmental standards can bring your company government funding.
Also, research has shown that 66% of people will pay more for a product or service that is sourced from a business that is committed to “positive social or environmental impact.” This means that people will choose your business over others that don’t have sustainable practices, even if your product or service costs more. Also, according to a study by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, employees derive more job satisfaction from working for green companies than working for financially successful ones.
3. Workplace Happiness
While there are many ways to improve office productivity, the underlying theme for most strategies is this: make your employees happy. Companies with happy employees outperform competition by 20%, and have 11x lower turnover rates. This can be done by many small things, such as maximizing natural lighting in the office, encouraging breaks, and treating employees as the complete humans they are: in other words, understanding that they, too, have lives outside of the office, and if they need to step out to pick their kid up from soccer practice, or come in late after a doctor’s appointment, they should be able to do so without fear of retribution.
While advice for improving your business abounds on the internet (varying from accounting advice to tips on improving SEO), if you aren’t addressing these three things, it may not make the difference you’re hoping for. You can’t run a successful company without happy employees and happy customers—but when the two line up, it will make it much easier for everything else to fall into place.