Benefits of Diversity (Workforce Diversity)

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The benefits of diversity for the workforce in Canada.

Canadian employers are making significant strides in
inclusive hiring and improving accessibility across an
increasingly broad range of industries.

Even without a diversity hiring strategy, it’s likely your workforce already reflects a variety of cultures and
capabilities.

Read more to find out how Canada is changing and how to facilitate workforce diversity

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Benefits of Diversity (Workforce Diversity)

  1. 1. Workforce Diversity:The Fresh Faceof Employmentin Canada
  2. 2. Workforce Why a diversediversity workforceand you is importantCanadian employers are making significant strides in Statistics Canada predicts that by 2031, at least one ininclusive hiring and improving accessibility across an four Canadians will have been born outside Canada - theincreasingly broad range of industries. If you haven’t term ‘visible minority’ may become obsolete in time. Inyet implemented a diversity hiring strategy, it’s likely 2006, immigrants made up over one-fifth of Canada’syour workforce already reflects a variety of cultures and labour force. And by 2011, immigrants are expected tocapabilities. account for all net Canadian Labour force growth, and for all net population growth by 2031.Successful companies that have already implementedan effective corporate diversity program are reaping That’s the same year that the Conference Board ofthe benefits of such forward-thinking planning: they Canada predicts the majority of new hires will be fromenjoy the innovative and creative solutions that come an immigrant talent pool. And that also means potentialfrom ‘outside the box’, gain a competitive advantage clients, customers, business partners and consumers.and stand apart from their competitors. Moreover, they Not only are your job applicants already coming fromenjoy the positive impact of workforce diversity on their an increasingly diverse hiring pool, but many of yourbottom line. existing clients are themselves from diverse backgrounds. After all, 5 million households in Canada are non-EnglishAs a business leader, you’re focused on growing your speaking.business, being as profitable as possible, and engagingyour workforce. You know that your success depends on And if you need more proof, Citizenship and Immigrationattracting and retaining the best employees available Canada (CIC) recently adjusted its 2010 immigration plan- employees from any and all walks of life. You’re also by increasing the 2010 quota for economic immigrants,facing the challenges of an imminent workforce shortage in response to the need to increase the available skilledas baby boomers prepare to retire and birth rates workforce to fill Canada’s economic recovery. The CICcontinue to decrease. You want to fill those vacancies predicts that the need for economic immigration will onlywith the best possible candidates. increase in the years to come. Hiring homogeny has gone the way of the dodo. Employers willing to open up their hiring criteria to include diversity would have, according to an RBC study, access to an additional 1.6 million Canadians from which to staff their organizations. And, the study found these newly-employed Canadians would generate an estimated $174 billion in personal income. To say that the benefits to workforce diversity hiring are far-reaching is an understatement.
  3. 3. How to improveyour workforce diversityThe most successful companies have successfully Articulate the vision Audit your systems and processesintegrated workforce diversity into their corporate Paint a picture of diversity and inclusion that is part Execute a thorough audit on your company’s recruiting,vision. They provide mentorship, networking and career of your company culture, values and mission – the interviewing and integration processes and practicesdevelopment opportunities. They create, update and things that define your organization. The picture – and be prepared to adjust them to account for culturalexecute regular inclusiveness training. They establish your company’s vision - should include the benefits of differences in behaviour, communication, body languagein-house diversity councils and committees, and assign diversity, both corporately and individually. And use every and how these differences are received and interpreted.leadership roles. They target for hire those diverse groups opportunity to share your company vision so there’s no This includes optimizing HR policies, managementin which their research shows they are lacking. And they ambiguity about where you and your company stand. styles and how teamwork is established, defined andadapt their interviewing and hiring criteria as necessary encouraged to operate. And your physical space willto ensure opportunities are available to everyone. Make sure your teams understand the connection require a thorough analysis to ensure it’s accessible. between workforce diversity and the bottom line andHere are more suggestions to consider as you enhance that diversity can help you reach your corporate goals. Train your recruiters to understand subtle culturalyour diverse workforce: Conduct regular organizational assessments so everyone differences. Review your employee issue resolution can measure results. That way, you can fine tune your process to ensure that it’s fair and effective, and so thatManagement buy-in is critical diversity strategy to suit your business. issues or complaints can be dealt with promptly andA successful diversity implementation begins with a thoroughly. Ensure that your hiring, compensation,commitment from management. Like all things, success - discipline and promotion practices are equitable. Communication is keyand its antithesis - flow downstream. Demonstrate fairness regularly. Communicate frequently with management as well as employees so that information about trends and issuesPlanning is essential are understood and shared freely through regular Buddy upBefore you do anything, make sure you have a plan reporting. And make sure your employees know that Think about establishing a ‘buddy’ or mentorshipto implement changes to your hiring that do, in fact, management is onside and supportive. Communicate the program that assigns a new diverse employee with asupport and encourage diversity hiring across all levels business case for diversity clearly in a way that makes more seasoned employee who can guide them throughof your company. The impetus to adjust your hiring to sense for your organization. Be as specific as possible. company processes and help them understand and learnreflect an inclusive platform comes from the top. It needs Build a management team that reflects the diversity your company’s practices and the nuances of workingto be written into your corporate strategic planning. you’re looking to build into your workforce. in your organization. Ideally this mentor could have a similar cultural background, providing a fundamental Make sure you communicate your commitment to understanding of the challenges a new diverse employee diversity in your marketing and communications faces. programs and on your website. People from diverse backgrounds actively target organizations that demonstrate a commitment to diversity in the workplace by conducting online searches. Your commitment could make the deciding difference to a top candidate who’s considering her or his options.
  4. 4. What isworkforcediversity?Workforce diversity includes the obvious differences yousee when you look around: race, gender, national origin,sexual orientation, age, religion and ethnicity. But it’s alsothe less obvious traits, the subtle differences that oftenregister with us unconsciously, such as socioeconomicstatus, marital status, educational background, language,accent and appearance. We all have something thatmakes us unique, some special talent or ability thatwe bring to the table that differentiates us from ourcolleagues. That’s diversity at its best.Diversity hiring is a competitive advantageSourcing people from a diverse background is an essentialpart of a successful employment strategy. Workers whovary in age, gender, ability, sexual orientation, socio-economic background or culture, ethnicity and language,make a positive contribution to an organization’sworkforce — they’re an asset to company culture and thebottom line. And a diverse workforce brings innovativeand creative solutions to an organization from ‘outsidethe box’.An effective corporate diversity program is a powerfulway to gain a competitive advantage and stand apartfrom your competitors.
  5. 5. Benefitsof WorkforceDiversityIt can’t be overstated that diversifying your workplacebrings real bottom-line value to your organization. First,you’ll fill vacancies and enjoy increased productivity andcreativity with high-calibre candidates. You’ll have awider pool from which to draw in the face of a shrinkingworkforce, and your hires will be more resistant tofrequent turnover, more deeply engaged and focused.You’ll break down barriers, using the information andexperience that your diverse hires bring. You’ll attracta new customer base. You’ll be an attractive businesspartner on a global level through more knowledgeablecommunication capabilities and the ability tocommunicate in a variety of languages and with an innaterespect for cultural differences. Your market share willincrease through access to new markets.You and your local community and economy will mutuallybenefit from your investment in its citizens. Still closerto home, you’ll be providing all your employees with ahealthy work environment that is supportive and inclusive.Being known as a diversity employer will differentiate youfrom your competitors as a thought – and action – leader.Workforce diversity is good for business. And for life.
  6. 6. Best practicesFor more in-depth analysis, Randstad Canada polled Just over half of the employers polled said they Do you think having a diverse workforce couldsome of our clients for their insight on diversity in the anticipate a shortage of qualified workers in the next enhance your team dynamic and give your businessworkplace. We asked a range of companies, from small five years and approximately 67% believe they currently access to new markets?to large, about their current hiring practices, retention, have a more diverse workforce than 5 years ago.workforce diversity policies, strategies and outlook. 12% These forward-thinking companies are not only placing 16% YesThe results indicate that while only 38% of the employers an emphasis on making a positive contribution to theirpolled currently have a diverse workforce hiring policy workforce – but on their bottom line. Noin place, a surprising 72% believe that having a diverse 72% Don’t Know About Randstad’s Canada Workforce Diversity Studyworkforce could enhance their team dynamic and give The study examined the trends in workplace diversitytheir business access to new markets. of approximately 1500 participants (Randstad clients)But it isn’t enough to talk the talk. We asked these that range from small to large Canadian companies incompanies to describe how they walk the walk. Here’s a industries as diverse as financial services, manufacturing, Would you say your company has a more diversebrief list that highlights some of their best practices: telecommunications, information technology, the workforce now than five years ago? energy sector and government. The quantitativeEducate. Provide diversity and sensitivity training from study was launched September 15, 2010 and ended Yesthe top-down 23% October 15, 2010.Recruitment. Ensure interview teams are diverse 10% No Don’t KnowRespect. Make everyone feel at home within the same 67%perimetersEquality. Do for one employee what you are willing to dofor every employeeReinforce. Organize social activities that take intoaccount different ethnic groupsPromote. Encourage postings of local events oncommunity bulletin boardsAwareness. Attend job fairs sponsored by immigrantservices societies
  7. 7. AboutRandstadRandstad is Canada’s largest provider of This full range of staffing and HR solutions,staffing and HR solutions. Last year, we together with our unrivalled national footprint,helped employers fill more than 30,000 enables us to develop highly customized solutionspositions in industries as diverse as financial that help Canadian organizations manage theirservices, manufacturing, telecommunications, talent strategies.information technology, the energy sector and Our Staffing division provides temporary andgovernment. Randstad Canada specializes in permanent staffing services to specific industrytemporary and permanent placement staffing sectors and markets. Our Staffing consultants’services, as well as contract and permanent in-depth knowledge of the labour market andsolutions for managers and professionals. their extensive candidate database allow themRandstad is also a leading provider of vendor to efficiently respond to their clients’ recruitmentmanagement solutions and recruitment process needs when they arise. Call one of our specializedoutsourcing. consultants today or visit randstad.ca to find out more about our Staffing division. randstad.ca

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