In this series, we feature the work of the world’s rising stars in entrepreneurship. Today we caught up with Jason Greer, whose consulting firm is focussed on improving labor relations via diversity training.
Future Sharks: Tell us your backstory. How did your journey as an entrepreneur get started?
Jason Greer: I am a former Board Agent of the National Labor Relations Board. I loved working for the Board but I knew that I wanted to experience everything that the field of labor and employee relations had to offer. So in 2005, I decided to leave the Board and starting working as a labor relations consultant. I had a feeling that I had something to offer the field but I had no idea how much the field had to offer me. I have worked in every state and in every city keeping companies union free while improving the relationships between managers and employees. It has been an incredible ride.
Future Sharks: What does being an entrepreneur mean to you?
Jason Greer: Being an entrepreneur means being equal parts ambitious and idealistic all at the same time. For example, I’m ambitious from the standpoint of wanting to be an advocate for managers and employees alike throughout the united states. I’m idealistic because I truly exist in this place that all problems have powerful solutions if we are all just willing to put in the work to better understand each other.
Future Sharks: Your company helps companies solve complex problems. Can you tell us what that looks like?
Jason Greer: In terms of labor relations, we assist companies who are faced with union organizing challenges. We assess the situation and then apply our skills, knowledge and an empathic desire to truly understand others for the sole purpose of bringing managers and employees together. It is our goal to leave the organization better and stronger without the need for a third party representative such as a labor union.
Our approach to diversity management is based on the field of neuroscience. We take a brain-based approach to diversity training with the goal of helping people to understand the inherent stories that take place in our brains as it pertains to other people. My approach to diversity in the workplace is centered on building commonalities and shared experiences so that the team concept overrides the preconceived notions we sometimes have about other people. The team concept will ultimately create stronger communication, improve workplace morale, increase productivity, and reduce turnover.
Future Sharks: Why is diversity so important today when building a company culture that is aimed at excellence?
Jason Greer: A diversity of ideas, opinions, inputs will lead to a more richer work environment. The diverse perspective of employees will help in making better decisions. Companies that offer an inclusive environment will be able to innovate and outperform their competition.
New research has made it clear that companies with diverse workforces are able to perform better financially. Companies with ethnic and racial diversity will have more financial returns when compared to companies that don’t hire a diverse workforce.
Achieving greater diversity in the workplace is not difficult. Diverse institutions and companies are able to achieve better performance. They will be able to take advantage of the opportunity that diversity brings to an organization.
When employees feel connected, respected and involved, employers will be able to gain from the richness of ideas. This will enable companies to respond effectively to customers, raise productivity, attract and retain high performing employees, and deliver sustainable growth.
Future Sharks: What are your top 3 tips for companies that want to improve their labor relations and workforce diversity?
Work and Life Balance
Employees who do not have a good work-life balance will become burned out, stressed, and less effective staff. Or, they will focus so much on getting time at home that they might show up late, leave early, and miss deadlines. If you want to keep staff on board, a bit of flexibility can be quite impactful. Promoting work-life balance as part of your labor relations strategy makes your employees feel valued and in control of their lives, while strengthening your workplace culture and fostering loyalty.
Managing and Resolving Conflicts
Conflict arises in most relationships, including those at work. You may see it among employees, between management and reports, or even between the business owner and employees. Conflict can also arise between clients and staff, which is especially bad.
Addressing conflict head-on with strong conflict resolution skills is important to labor relations. Any issues should be handled quickly and with transparency to avoid gossip and office politics. Any conflicts should also be fully documented for future reference.
Businesses need to be constantly looking at new processes and procedures to determine better ways of growth. As per a study, workplace diversity is key to innovation, nearly 85 percent of large global companies agree that diversity is important to drive innovation in the workplace.
Innovations come from brainstorming and feedback. In a diverse workplace, people look at things from different viewpoints. The different viewpoints will enable employees to come up with innovative ideas. This will help propel innovation and growth.
Diversity helps in breeding innovation. Workforce inclusion is key to driving business growth and internal innovation. A group of diverse employees will always be better at problem-solving. Innovative and successful companies build diverse teams as part of their strategy for growth.
Learn More about Jason:
Jason is a professional speaker who combines his natural wit and storytelling ability with his experience in counseling, training and conflict resolution. He inspires audiences, both large and small, as he speaks to managing through personal and corporate growth while maintaining an intimate connection to the human components that define us and make our respective cultures special.
Jason is widely known for his work in the area of racial reconciliation based upon his experiences as a victim of cross burnings and racial harassment by the Knights of Ku Klux Klan.
Jason previously served as a Board Agent with the National Labor Relations Board where he managed private sector labor relations’ issues and worked to improve the labor petition filing process. Jason has assisted large and small businesses across multiple industries to overcome their internal employee relations struggles. He has experienced incredible success as a labor relations consultant due to his unique ability to marry his background in Labor Relations, Counseling Psychology and Organizational Development.