FLEXIBLE working arrangements are highly effective as tools towards achieving better diversity. These should also be implemented early on in the recruitment stage, global recruitment firm Hays believes.
“Historically, the flexible working approach has been the domain of mothers balancing childcare with returning to work. It is also a privilege which is earned through hard work and company loyalty, rather than an optional working practice,” says Sandra Henke, Group Head of People and Culture at Hays.
“In order to achieve true inclusion within a business, flexibility must be offered to all employees. Creating ‘family friendly’ policies in place of ‘female friendly’ policies will help break down biases. The sooner businesses move away from it solely being a gender issue and more of a business issue, businesses begin to solve the issue,” says Henke.
According to the experts at Hays, organisations that embrace agile working practices should offer it to employees at the point of hire. To ensure flexible working options are properly implemented towards achieving a diverse workforce, organisations are also need to invest in effective communications across different working practices.
“As senior management and business leaders are fundamental in advancing underrepresented demographics in the workplace, they need to be properly informed about what their organisation can offer, actively promote it to professionals and where possible, lead by example themselves.
“Communication from your employers about available working options is extremely conducive when it comes to recruiting and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce,” Henke adds.
“At Hays, we believe the right job can transform a person’s life and the right person can transform a business. By excluding members of the workforce, organisations are not only limiting the potential pool of workers they can choose from, but also the diversity of thought.
“A balanced, well managed team can deliver huge benefits to a business. It can strengthen the foundations for a broader talent pool and encourage the creation and exchange of fresh ideas and experiences between colleagues and customers.
Greater diversity and inclusion in the workplace can also increase employee loyalty, trust and longevity. It is good for business in widening the potential group of workers and can make a business stronger and more productive.