I think most people would agree that having a diverse workforce is good for business. People are the most important asset of any company and companies must attract and retain the right skills, the best minds, all the required resources.
In the past, people left school, completed a degree or an apprenticeship and then continued to work in the Company for 10 years plus, sometimes even until they retired. Times have changed, jobs that were the “norm” are no longer there, “the internet of things” is more prevalent and stress and well-being are becoming daily topics of discussion within the workplace.
Maximising the potential of a diverse workforce is not only a social imperative, but also a competitive advantage. Here are five ways that contracting a virtual assistant can help foster diversity and innovation in your workplace:
Best Practice; Virtual Assistants have usually worked for a number of different companies and even if they haven’t, to become a virtual assistant, they have had to complete research into different methods in order to understand how best to set up their business. They can use this knowledge and experience to suggest improvements to processes, or to bring diverse ideas and suggestions in order to discover different ways of achieving an objective.
Culture; A Virtual Assistant isn’t immersed in the culture of your Company, so isn’t subject to “Group think”, which can sometimes prevent an organisation from identifying and bringing about changes that need to be implemented in order for you to remain competitive and innovative. Publisher Malcolm Forbes once said that ‘diversity is the art of thinking independently together.’ Organisations can’t thrive and grow if everyone in them thinks and behaves the same way.
Politics; Like culture, Virtual Assistants aren’t privvy to the politics within an organisation, so can provide objective and impartial advice, without fear of being demoted.
Productivity; Most organisations have peaks and troughs of acitivity and Virtual Assistants can provide a source of additional workforce as and when required. They already rely on satisfied customers and ongoing recommendations, rather than an annual assessment. This incentivises them to continually provide a good service in an efficient and effective manner. They are also working with other business owners, so are continuing to learn different methods to produce results and can bring this experience into your organisation to increase your competitiveness.
Proactivity; A Virtual Assistant is also a small business owner, they understand the importance of being agile and proactive. They have set up processes when creating their business and can provide advice based on their experience in order for you to learn from them and foster new ways of learning.
So, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t employ full time staff… of course you should. They are the lifeblood of the organisation and without a diverse and competitive workforce in place, you would struggle to be competitive.
However, contracting with a Virtual Assistant on a semi-regular basis provides you with additional resource for increasing your ability to be creative, resolve problems and enhance your competitiveness.
Businesses that understand the importance of diversity will find their ability to attract and retain customers, employees, and business partners, much greater than those that fail to recognise the strategic importance of having a diverse workforce, an imperative that I believe will only become more valued in the next 10 to 15 years.
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