Felt and Fat is a popular tableware manufacturer based out of Philadelphia and best known for its exquisite, handmade ceramic dishes. Starting as a small art project that grew into a unique company that caters to both restaurants and at-home chefs, Felt and Fat now operates with five partners and eleven employees.
Reflecting on its beginning days until now, Felt+Fat’s Founder and CEO, Nate Mell, can attest to the importance of building a diverse workforce from day one. Mell says that making a diverse workforce is beneficial not only for profitability but for reputation, too. Above all, a diverse workforce is virtuous. Mell agrees that developing diversity in any work environment can pose its challenges, which is why every business needs a strategy to achieve such success.
The business leaders like Mell at Felt+Fat share four simple ways organizations of any kind can embrace, encourage, and grow diversity in all angles of a workplace below.
1. Educate to Instill Awareness
An excellent way to start fostering diversity in the workplace is through education to generate clear expectations and awareness around a primary goal: a commitment to diversity. During this conversation with all employees and leaders in the company together, it is critical to acknowledge the lack of diversity present in the company environment to move forward and foster it. Explaining why it is vital to appreciate the benefits that bloom from the various backgrounds people come from and different perspectives people have is also a good point to address to reveal areas where employees and managers can improve in showing respect and understanding towards one another.
2. Generate Action, But Start Slow to Grow
It is one thing to talk about diversity, and it is another to implement the practice. It is essential for business operators to approach action in a non-forceful manner to avoid resulting in backfire. Starting by offering optional diversity training to managers or mentorship programs to grab those who are genuinely interested allows the beginning of a positive wave. Companies should avoid doing too much at first to enable opportunities to organically grow rather than overwhelm.
3. Celebrate Everyone
When the end of the year rolls around, Thanksgiving and Christmas are not the only holidays that people around the world celebrate. Work environments that welcome diversity consider every holiday celebrated and include that mindset in company policies, such as offering flexible holiday time off. Fostering diversity in the workplace should go a step further past holiday inclusion and support individual inclusion, allowing the appropriate work atmosphere for employees to be comfortable enough to be their true selves.
4. Include Diversity in All Aspects of the Company
Businesses can take advantage of a diverse workplace by seeking ways to include employees’ unique backgrounds and experiences into products. A diverse group of individuals can stimulate fresh ideas, creativity, and proactive perspectives to produce company products better or even invent new ones. A group filled with diverse points of view can not only boost product outlooks but company functionality, too. Organizations who seek feedback and recommendations from different employees with different mindsets that put to action what needs to be changed from employees’ eyes will benefit significantly in growth and competitive development while also incorporating inclusion.
About Felt and Fat
Felt and Fat is the go-to tableware manufacturer for restaurants in the United States and beyond. What started as a small project by artist Nate Mell grew into a reputable company, best known for their handmade ceramic dishes. In addition to creating durable and elegant tableware, Felt and Fat produces home goods like vases and planters.