Nine in ten large employers across the North West recognise the benefits of a diverse workforce but they could do more to encourage inclusivity, according to a recent survey.
The YouGov survey of middle market businesses commissioned by RSM found that the top reasons cited by the region’s businesses were that encouraging diversity helps them better understand consumers (47 per cent), that it helps positive reputation management (45 per cent) and that it broadens the company’s knowledge base (44 per cent).
The survey revealed that 73 per cent of the regional firms questioned said they were ethnically diverse, whilst 67 per cent said they were diverse by gender and social background. Sexual orientation, education and disability also featured as measures.
However, only 61 per cent of respondents said they offered mandatory training to employees to enhance knowledge and awareness around diversity.
Nic Eyre, senior HR consultant at RSM Employers Services said: ‘The positive relationship between diversity and business commerciality is clearer than ever before. Organisations that embed inclusive cultures, put simply, are more likely to make better decisions, achieve higher returns and enjoy a more successful recruitment process.
‘The issue of diversity is right at the forefront of the minds of millennials and the incoming generation Z in particular. Address the issue well, and companies will gain a significant competitive edge.’
The survey supports RSM’s wider research, entitled ‘Beyond the balance sheet – helping you bring governance into focus’ which illustrates how financial metrics no longer form the only yardstick of success and covers a range of areas including equality and diversity, anti-money laundering and bribery act compliance.
Carolyn Brown, head of client legal services at RSM said: ‘The past decade has seen a major shift in our understanding of what constitutes a well-run business. Performance measurement goes far beyond the company balance sheet. Good business ethics, and the ability to demonstrate those credentials through accountability and transparency are more important than ever before. In a tightening regulatory environment, outmoded thinking around non-financial reporting, or governance, will leave you and your organisation exposed.’
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