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How to bring together a diverse workforce successfully to drive innovation

By  Wilma McDaniel, company director at Cutitronics

The Covid-19 pandemic forever changed the way we do business. Almost overnight, many businesses shifted to remote teams and adapted to new, dynamic ways of working. From our home office or our kitchen table, we have developed new ways to retain a sense of team spirit and welcome new members.

The driving force that the pandemic has put behind digital acceleration and innovation is spectacular. In our own industry, the demand for digital beauty solutions has risen with consumers looking for ways to engage with brands at home. Lubomira Rochet from L’Oreal revealed that they had managed to achieve in eight weeks what would normally have taken three years in eCommerce, as a direct result of the lockdown. Change is here to stay and the rate of innovation is only going to increase.

In order to keep up, businesses must ensure that they have a diverse range of skills and backgrounds in their teams. We need collective minds to come together to truly drive innovation and create one-of-a-kind offerings that will revolutionise our lives.

So, what are the main considerations for businesses in order to build a diverse workforce that will drive innovation?

Flexibility

The days of fixed office hours are coming to an end. This includes working hours and spaces. A hybrid approach to where we work is growing in popularity, with teams splitting their time between home and office. Flexibility is coming to the fore and there is a need for both employers and employees to be willing to adapt and accept compromise where necessary.

In order to attract and retain the best talent, companies no longer have a choice but to recognise that the best candidates might also be those who, because of personal responsibilities, cannot commit to working 40+ hours a week in a fixed location.

Creating a work environment that offers flexibility builds a scenario where people feel valued and more likely to view their career as adding to their life rather than simply a means to pay the bills. This supports people to grow as well-rounded individuals and in turn produce their best work.

Investment

Companies should invest in their workforce with education and learning opportunities at every stage.

It’s common for employees to fail to see their own potential and it’s important that employers empower them to recognise their strengths.  The importance of individuals surrounding themselves with others who believe in them and encourage self-belief can not be overestimated. Our uniqueness, pooled together, will help us change the world, one innovation at a time.

Incorporating mentorship into a company can drill into the untapped potential of both management and junior team members. Building people’s confidence and sharing expertise is something of minimal cost to me that makes a huge difference to people’s work life.

Soft skills are tipped to be the most valued leadership qualities. Making others feel valued, honoured and appreciated is truly priceless as we build teams and, historically, this is something women excel in. I believe these are some of the most important skills we can bring to the boardroom and business in general.

Culture

Culture is everything in business. From the relationships you build internally and externally, good culture breeds great success. This trickles down directly from the top so ensure that, when you set up a company, your values are clear and what kind of environment you want to create is at the forefront of your decision making process.

Great teams begin with the coming together of individuals who understand their own strengths and recognise and respect those of others. Respect is one of our core values and is at the centre of any team; great collaboration can lead to truly amazing results.

We pride ourselves on the fantastic team we have built at Cutitronics. Our team members come from a multitude of industries and career backgrounds, so everyone has a fresh perspective and new ideas to bring to the table. We have brought the engineer mindset to the beauty industry and have begun building a suite of technologies that will revolutionise the way in which people interact with skincare. We would be unable to do this without every single person’s input.