We all know there's value in creating a diverse workforce, yet our political leaders seem to struggle with the basic concept of equality (on so may levels), setting a poor example to the rest of the country. So I read with interest an article in Forbes last month that discussed the importance of changing your workplace to retain a diverse workforce.
The article highlighted something that often gets lost in the conversation. Seeking diversity is the easy part - keeping a diverse group enthused requires real commitment.
Businesses need to be aware that a diverse team will naturally have diverse needs when it comes to support. So I'm encouraged for example by change over the last decade to maternity and paternity leave practices in big business.
It's even more encouraging to see that transition back to work is often managed through reduced hours, working from home and other changes to help everyone settle on a new normal. Its a win/win. Business don't lose key staff and employees tend to be "stickier" with a business that cares for them
And it could work so much better. The Grattan Institute noted that increasing womens participation in the workforce by just 6% could increase our national GDP by $26 Billion. This of course is only one example, to supercharge diversity, we need to give staff a individual voice in their employment conditions. Something Human Resource teams need to consider in their planning across everything from workforce planning (such as Shiftiez), to teleworking and varying working hours. This requires a change in thinking about service provision that is tailored to the employee but doesn't create an administrative burden in the process.
We often read about the dangers of groupthink, when a team or organisation becomes so similar in their outlook that they lose the ability to be creative in their decision making.
Theres a a danger that even with quotas to attract diversity, we quickly lose it because our internal practices don't let us retain a diverse workforce.
Something every employer needs to consider to remain competitive.