Diversity is now more widely recognised as an asset to modern businesses. Our complex, interconnected world has been shaped by globalization and technology, which means we are increasingly working alongside people from many different backgrounds and cultures. Successful diversity enables greater participation and collaboration between different groups to foster innovation, creativity and to get behind a common purpose.
But as the definition of diversity is relatively ambiguous and its application so inconsistent, many enterprises are asking what they can do to make their workforce as diverse and inclusive as possible.
This episode of the Payday Podcast brings together two experts from the fields of HR and payroll, both of whom have rich expertise in related technologies. Mollie Lombardi, researcher and analyst on HR and payroll matters, and Judith Lamb, VP of HR at CloudPay, offer insights from both sides of the Atlantic.
During this 35-minute podcast, you’ll get the expert’s perspective across three key diversity themes, highly relevant to HR and payroll practitioners across the globe. They discuss diversity’s changing meaning, the operational hurdles ahead, and the value of HR and payroll data on diversity to aid the wider business.
Theme One: The changing meaning of diversity
Historically, issues surrounding diversity in the workplace have focused mainly on gender, race and sexual orientation. But that narrow focus is being left behind. Diversity now means so much more than just hiring people from underrepresented groups.
As Mollie explains: “We’re really broadening this conversation to think about the breadth of who we can include in our workforce. We’re looking at diversity of thought, diversity of background, people who have maybe moved from incarceration back into the workforce, people in the military who have moved from active service to veteran status, people with mental illness and physical disabilities. Who is in the field of people we can look at as our workforce, and how do we get inclusion and diversity among all those different characteristics?”
Judith goes on to develop the idea that the global economy must also take into consideration language and culture, warning against a one-size-fits-all approach. Meanwhile, the panel collectively shares insights on how useful HR and payroll data can be in promoting broad diversity, across pay scales and sick-at-work information.
Theme Two: Operational Hurdles to Clear
A key tenet of diversity is to ensure that everyone’s needs within the workplace are accommodated. It’s critical that no-one misses out on opportunities to work together with their employer, to resolve issues around work-life balance and flexibility.
Technology can be extremely useful in enabling this fairness and democratization across a workforce, and privilege can easily become an issue without it. Mollie cites the example of a female executive who was able to reshape her job role post-maternity leave to better fit her family life - a possibility much less likely for a worker in a fast-food restaurant.
Judith highlights the need for diversity to be a force for good, both for the individual employee and for the business as a whole. The principle behind it is that if businesses can accommodate a wider range of backgrounds and cultures, they are more likely to benefit from new ideas and innovations that can ultimately drive competitive advantage.
Theme Three: Connecting the HR and Payroll Dots
Workforce data can support many decisions around workplace diversity. Judith suggests it can be leveraged across strategic and tactical programmes to improve overall employee wellbeing, as well as aiding business efficiency.
“[For example] do we want to have wellness and health programmes that may support employees as they’re more willing to step forward and say they need support?” she explains. “Then we can see how our wellness and health programmes are being used, and then as HR practitioners, we can see how different areas or departments are benefitting from them.”
Mollie takes this idea further to suggest that HR and payroll data can be used to assess the engagement levels of employees, and ensure that the goals of greater diversity and business success are achieved hand-in-hand. There’s also discussion about how hard data - both past and present - is the only sure-fire way to determine an organization’s true level of diversity.
More Key Issues Discussed In The Podcast…
As well as these key topics, you’ll also get the panel’s expert views on:
- Breeding a culture of diversity - Why it’s critical to ensure diversity isn’t seen as the sole remit of HR, and is embraced throughout an entire workforce.
- The value of meaningful inclusion - Why it’s so closely intertwined with diversity, and why it’s so much more than a tick-box exercise.
- The generation gap in perception - How millennials view diversity as an opportunity for innovation more than the generations that preceded them.
- Job architecture and reconstruction - How HR and payroll can lead the way with data to help their companies reshape job profiles for best-fit.
For all this and more, listen to the podcast now >