Bosses who ignore their company’s policy on equality and diversity during this deepening recession are putting their businesses at risk, according to Equality Works, the UK’s leading provider of equality and diversity consultancy, training and advice.
“At times like these, it’s important that we do what we can to reassure staff and customers,” says Equality Works CEO Jane Farrell. “The happier an employee feels in their job the more productive they will be.”
“Many managers become scared when you mention equality and diversity as they see it as a politically-correct minefield,” says Farrell. “In truth it is simple business sense.”
“We act as a ‘critical friend’, offering advice on ways to improve the business that will make management and staff more productive and efficient. In a recession, that needs to become even more acute.”
Equality Works is already helping a broad range of organisations, including the BBC, Barnardo’s and Transport for London. It believes businesses can beat the recession with a diversity and equality action plan that addresses real issues.
“Bosses have to make some tough decisions, including redundancies, to stay in business,” says Farrell.
“In terms of staffing and structure, now is a good time to grasp the nettle and tackle diversity and equality to come out stronger the other side.”
Retention – Staff really are the greatest asset of a company and keeping hold of good people saves time, money and adds to specialisation. If you were already losing staff, you need to ask yourself the question why. The process of hiring a new member of staff can cost up to £10,000.
Restructuring – If restructuring is necessary consider the equality and diversity issues in the criteria that you draw up for making posts redundant – if you don’t you could inadvertently make a disproportionate number of women redundant and face costly employment tribunals.
Retraining – This is about re-educating managers to ensure they do not fall into the trap of cloning themselves when they hire new staff. Taking account of equality and diversity means they will attract better people by fishing in a larger pond.