A new business should be a birthplace of creativity and ingenuity.  Small businesses are where ideas get made that can change the whole world.  Unfortunately, that plan can get ruined if the employees aren’t happy at the heart of the operation.  Workplace discrimination is known to pull companies under and leave them bankrupt.  It hurts the employees, hurts the business, and is a headache for everyone involved.

Here’s how to avoid workplace discrimination, and give your company a chance it deserves.

When Hiring

The hiring part of your company needs to be careful.  Who they bring into the company sets the work atmosphere for everyone.  Make sure that the new employees aren’t all carbon copies of each other.  A variance allows companies to grow, and not every person at the top of a field happens to look one particular way.

If you notice your company is predominantly one ethnicity or gender, take steps to make hiring more inclusive in the future.  Homogenous ideas stunt the growth of companies and will leave yours in the dust.

When Training

Although not every company needs a day-long seminar on how to treat coworkers, some education is a must.  Let new employees know about your work culture, and how nobody is allowed to discriminate against someone else over a protected class.  Make it clear that this is a place to work, not to bring hate, crude comments, or inappropriate behavior.  Your company can still be quirky and different- leave harassment behind.

In Daily Work

Take steps in your company’s day to day office life to ensure harassment isn’t happening.  An economic consulting firm can go over several risk factors while also highlighting how you can change.  Look for anyone with offensive printed shirts or posters, and keep an eye on what backgrounds people have on their work computers.  You don’t have to take away their freedom to have creativity, make it clear that creativity can be used in other ways than to discriminate.

When Problems Arise

If someone says they’re getting harassed, or makes a complaint, it’s paramount that your company listens and takes it seriously.  Let the victim say their piece, and then move forward to confirm the information.  Make sure there is no retaliation against the person who spoke out since such treatment is illegal.

When An Employee Leaves

Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a lifelong employee anymore.  When one of your employees leaves, ask them to complete an exit interview.  This interview can be a survey they fill out or someone from human resources talking with them.  Do what feels right for your company.  Take the information that they give you to heart, and make whatever changes will help you grow.

Your company can go far as long as your employees are respected and have the chance to work harassment free.  Happy employees work harder and stay with companies longer. Your startup has enough to worry about without tacking on high turnover rates.  Take these steps, and you’ll have the chance to come out ahead.