It cannot be denied that the workforce has changed. In the 1950s around 8.7 million people worked in manufacturing, today it is 2.5 million, and only 20,000 people worked in personnel positions compared to 400,000 we currently employ. The most sought after roles today in IT and technology would not have been thought about let alone needed 60 years ago. The types of employees have altered too. Skilled workers from overseas, a rise in female leaders and the largest range of age groups to ever be working alongside one another is what organisations now typically house.
Managers might be concerned by what the effects could be of employing a mix of cultures, ethnicities, ages and inevitably opinions to work alongside each other. However, it has become abundantly clear that a diverse workplace is what businesses should embrace and quickly too if they do not want to miss out on the rewards they have the potential to reap. But what are the rewards?
Becoming an employer of choice
UK unemployment is currently at its lowest level since 1974 yet companies are still hiring and are in fact expected to ramp up their recruitment drives. Competition is tough and the power lies with the candidate.
Being named as a diverse organisation tells a prospective candidate a lot more about a company than you might think. To be diverse shows that you encourage company growth, seek new talent, look for innovation and career progression. This is also the definition of being an employer of choice.
Diversity drives careers, skills, job fulfilment and innovation the attributes hiring managers are looking for in a candidate and what a candidate wants to see from an organisation.
When looking to build an unbeatable team in sport, managers choose players that possess different skills, abilities, strengths and even aesthetics to one another. To create a winning team the need for diversity is paramount. The same logic can be applied to a workspace environment. To hire the same type of employee would result in a lack of progression, innovation, and a decrease in revenue. New skills, alternate backgrounds and even a range of cultures will provide a strong talent pool within an organisation that possess the right components necessary to create a market leader.
Understanding your customers
Diverse organisations haven't happened by chance, they've occurred because they reflect our diverse society your customers. The mix of demographics and opinions can help managers to understand their customer base and gain feedback from a trusted employee rather than other sources. The data a company needs to make educated decisions that will impact their end-users could be housed internally if they have a diverse workforce.
A happy and productive workforce
The 2010 Equality Act was introduced to safeguard individual's rights within the UK. If a company appears to employ, promote, or favour a demographic, it will cause outsider groups to feel unwanted, overlooked and undervalued at work. This can create a negative culture and work environment whilst removing employee rights of being treated fairly; but organisations can promote to employees their inclusive hiring policy which recruits on talent, skill, and character. To be transparent and actively show staff that the business is inclusive and has a diversity policy in place and practiced will make all who work there feel comfortable, valued, and wanted, creating a positive culture and work environment whilst removing any doubt or uncertainty that employees are not treated fairly.
Ready for a new workforce?
A diverse workforce can make a business look more lucrative to candidates and within a current market where candidates hold the power, this is key give way to innovation and new ideas and help increase ROI. Embrace the new culture your employees shape. Find out how to manage the new set of skills and expectations the next generation are looking for in a role. Welcome Generation Z.