Employing a Diverse Workforce, Making it Work (Human Resource Strategies for Employers)

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Workplace diversity also makes your company look more interesting. What is diversity in the workplace?

Workplace diversity - inclusion fad or a competitive advantage? What are the benefits of diversity in the workplace? Workplace diversity benefit 2: Increased creativity Diversity in the workplace leads to increased creativity. Workplace diversity benefit 3: Higher innovation Diversity in the workplace leads to higher innovation rate. Workplace diversity benefit 4: Faster problem-solving Companies with higher workplace diversity solve problems faster.

Employing a diverse workforce : making it work - Open Government

Workplace diversity benefit 5: Better decision making Workplace diversity leads to better decision making results. Workplace diversity benefit 8: Reduced employee turnover Workplace diversity is beneficial for employee retention. Workplace diversity infographic How can you leverage the advantages of workplace diversity? In part, it refers to extending consideration to those employees who face work-life challenges.

10 Companies Around the World That Are Embracing Diversity in a BIG Way

For example, many employees find themselves wholly responsible for not only their own financial or medical care, but also their dependants, including children and parents. Or, employees may have difficulty with English to a degree that it affects their performance. Others, particularly those who come from traditionally patriarchal cultures, may find it hard to adjust to gender equality in the workplace.

Challenges like these are common in diverse workforces. Your ability and willingness to direct employees to services and programs that help them meet these challenges can make the difference between retaining them and losing them. As you try to meet these needs, keep in mind that your goal is to treat your employees fairly or equitably, rather than equally. The distinction is important. By treating your employees equally, you may be ignoring the differences among them.

But when you treat them fairly or equitably, you recognize and celebrate their differences in accordance with their individual needs. You actually level the playing field so that everyone can participate and thrive within your workplace.


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Accommodation also has a legislated meaning in the workplace. Employers must ensure their workplace is free of any rule written or unspoken , practices or physical barriers that have a negative effect on employees, such as discriminatory hiring practices, inaccessible facilities and equipment for those with physical limitations and prohibiting the observance of religious holidays.

Your willingness to invest in language programs may be part of the solution. Provincially funded programs in most regions of the province can help your immigrant employees with low literacy skills receive training while they are working. For information on volunteer tutors, adult literacy and family literacy programs, visit www. Around certain holidays, like the Chinese New Year, we always have a rush of requests for time off. We handle it on a first-come, first-served basis.

The employees understand that not everyone can have the same time off. Pair an employee with someone who speaks both their language and English. That person can act as a go-between while the new employee learns the job and improves their English. Think of this as on-the-job language mentoring. Religion If your employees practice various faiths, you may want to consider modifying your time-off and vacation policies.

In accommodating their legitimate religious needs, you might actually gain greater scheduling flexibility in your operations. How about booking meetings or events outside of cultural or faith-based event dates? Consider giving your staff calendars or daily planners with all observances included. Many people live out their cultural or faith-based values in a personal way different from what others consider traditional practice. For example, fasting may be practised at certain long-term periods of the year by some and for very brief but particular circumstances by others.

When in doubt, ask. Does it cost a business to accommodate its workers? Of course it does. But it more than pays off in staff goodwill, in staff loyalty and in staff retention. In many businesses, it is possible to accommodate both the work schedule and the personal responsibilities without affecting productivity.

A Step-By-Step Guide

By discussing options with your employees, you will likely find a reasonable compromise. Sexual orientation Inclusive workplaces do not tolerate unfair discrimination, including that of employees who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Your clear and visible commitment to their well-being on the job is important. You might also want to review your policies on benefits for partners, bereavement leave, gender transition guidelines and other pertinent matters.

Visit employment. It is available in various formats including audio and Braille for those with Braille display equipment. Visit www. Knowing the strengths and ambitions of your employees and offering them corresponding opportunities to upgrade or expand their skill set will ultimately benefit not only the employee but also your workplace and business. Employees often have much to teach their employers. It all starts by listening. You may learn, for example, that someone working on your production line was trained as a process engineer in his or her country of origin.

Explore the potential of applying that knowledge and experience to improve the way you produce your goods. The idea here is to look beyond what people are doing for an income right now— it often takes some time before new immigrants can become professionally accredited in Canada. In the meantime, you can build on their talent and experience.

Why not encourage discussion among your employees about your business, the ways in which you produce goods or offer your services and how you market them? You could kick-start such discussion with something as simple as a centrally located suggestion box, offering a monthly prize for participation.


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  • Or, ask volunteers to join you in an informal, monthly brainstorming session about the challenges and opportunities faced by your business. You might be pleasantly surprised by the result. Showing your appreciation to those who helped you reach some positive outcomes will heighten team rapport.

    This is especially important in small companies, where opportunities for advancement may be limited. Cross-training— giving employees access to related training that allows them to move laterally into something new and interesting— goes a long way in keeping a job fresh and challenging. If possible, always promote from within. This can go a long way toward building morale and encouraging others to strive for advancement. To build the skills of new employees, you may want to arrange mentoring partnerships.

    For example, young workers might benefit from career development workshops while experienced workers might benefit from management training programs. Although wages still matter, they are not the only consideration. By making reasonable adjustments to the structure of jobs in your business, you may be able to retain good employees. Could you divide a single job into two or more part-time jobs? This might work better for employees who cannot or do not want to work full- time or who, because of a disability, cannot take on all the full responsibilities of the job.

    By identifying and addressing the needs of your employees, you benefit twice: first from their desire and ability to stay, and second for saving on recruitment and training expenses. You could, for example, have lunch with them once in a while and talk about something other than work. Have those who observe it share their knowledge and experience. Creating a culture of inclusion Inclusion is an attitude: The experience of Canterra Suites Executive Hotel When it comes to developing and sustaining an inclusive workplace, the attitude management brings to the table is critical to success.

    More importantly, they reflect the positive, co-operative attitude among management and staff toward building and sustaining a workplace of inclusion. Language, cultural and religious differences abound.