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SBDR: Today’s Business Lesson? Keep It Real

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A few months ago, we took a trip to Cleveland’s airport to check out what they’re doing to promote small businesses. Today, we go back and find out how they’ve doubled-down on their efforts. Do your workplace policies promote authentic self expression (within reason)? Finally, the numbers say that diversity matters to your bottom line. Check it out!

Cleveland continues to rock, highlights minority business owners

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport continues to promote local and minority-owned businesses in their concourses, turning the airport into a hub for the city’s entrepreneurs. The program aims to give travelers a taste of local flavor and airport management officials keep this in mind when managing the space for lease. In fact, Cleveland’s airport has one of the highest percentages of locally-owned retailers and restaurants in the country.  

The Number: 70%. Cleveland’s efforts to install small businesses in their airport have paid off. Currently, 70% of the businesses operating in the airport are locally owned and operated and over half of them are also minority owned.  

The Quote: So when folks travel through this airport, they should be able to see the complexion of the airport that represents the complexion of the city.”

Workers who ‘keep it real’ are more productive than those who fake it

New research confirms that employees who are able to express their authentic selves are more productive at work. This authenticity includes not only forms of self-expression, but also the ability to genuinely engage and interact with colleagues: “We found that people who put forth effort to display positive emotions towards others at work — versus faking their feelings — receive higher levels of support and trust from co-workers.” HR managers warn, however, that the line between acceptable and unacceptable forms of self expression gets easily blurred and that employees may try to take advantage of policies that promote more informal workplace dynamics

The Number: 2. In a study that analyzed 2,500 people, researchers found 2 different ways that employees regulate their emotions in the workplace: “surface acting” and “deep acting.”

The Quote: With freedom comes ambiguity and uncertainty as things move and change very fast.”

A diverse workforce leads to more financial success for SMBs

Diversity drives business success, according to new research from SCORE. Not only do 67% of job applicants report that diversity is an important component when considering potential employers, but the research also shows that “Diverse teams are more innovative, and therefore, perform better financially.” They also make better decisions, and make them faster, too.

The Number: 19%. SCORE’s research shows that companies with diverse management outperform their counterparts and report, on average, 19% higher revenue. 

The Quote: “Small businesses with diverse teams have a greater ability to produce creative ideas that catch the attention of consumers, and resonate with a more widespread audience.”

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