The Benefits of Diversity in the Workforce

Posted on
man giving speech to crowd

Adecco recently conducted a survey with over 500 C-Suite executives about their current workforce trends, pain points and management styles. The survey revealed that 57% of companies consider diversity and inclusion programs to be of medium-high importance within their workforces. But what do diversity and inclusion programs look like within some of these industry-leading companies, and what more could today’s companies be doing to diversify their workforces—especially in light of the recent rollback of EEO documentation and compliance?

To offer you original insights, we partnered with Radial’s Director of Strategic Staffing, Kelly Scally, and Senior HR Program Manager, Andrea Crawford, for a Q&A session. Radial is eBay Enterprise’s and Innotrac’s joint brand that helps companies provide consumers with a seamless shopping and delivery experience. They are currently the largest commerce technology and operations provider, and they manage one of the largest workforces in the U.S.

From subconscious bias, to diversity beyond race and gender, Scally and Crawford break down what it means for today’s workforces to be truly diverse—and the benefits it brings to businesses. See what they had to say and put their advice into action.

1. As an industry-leading organization, Radial is paving the way for the future of the workforce. Why is it important that companies promote diversity? What is the business case for it?
From an operations perspective, for a business like ours, which ramps to 400% of its typical operations workforce during the fourth quarter, inclusion in the workplace is crucial. Recruiting and hiring job candidates with various demographics enables us to support our brands and retailers’ high demand for fulfillment and customer service talent during peak season. The fact that we invest so heavily in education and training for our employees ensures they all have the opportunity to grow their skills.

Also, from a corporate social responsibility perspective, embracing diversity is a win across the board. The candidates win because they are provided with equal opportunities. The communities win because more people are employed and contributing to the local economies. And we win because the different backgrounds and perspectives of our workforce foster greater camaraderie and creativity.

2. How does diversity and inclusion help drive innovation? Can you provide a firsthand example?
English is not the native language for parts of our workforce. To help bridge language barriers and retain this talent, we implemented technology that automates these workers’ tasks in their native language. The technology takes what would otherwise be a manual process and automates it, allowing us to hire the talent that is truly the best for the job, versus hiring based on who can complete it because they understand the language the tasks are given in.

It’s this kind of innovation—directly derived from having a diverse workforce—that allows us to continue to stay ahead of our competitors and hire the very best talent.

3. Does diversity today mean more than race and gender?
Absolutely, it means all of the above. As a diverse employer with a variety of jobs to staff, we partner with local area agencies to build employment programs for various skill levels and backgrounds. In several sites, we are successfully integrating labor for specialized projects, such as kit assembly or pre-packaging tasks, into our business model.

It’s a win-win situation: It benefits our clients by providing a reliable workforce dedicated solely to some of their more specific needs, and it allows us to employ people with specific needs of their own. This helps build talent pools with candidates of every race, gender and age.

4. How do you address subconscious bias?
One of the most impactful ways Radial addresses and mitigates biases, conscious or subconscious, is by creating tools and standards across our network for our supervisors and leadership members—starting with who those members are, and how they hire talent.

Our supervisors all have various backgrounds of their own, and our talent selection process focuses on behavioral-based assessment and feedback from multiple interviewers. Once talent is hired, Radial leadership has the tools they need to reinforce positive culture and engagement at the management level.

In an industry with a highly competitive labor market, having leadership that is diverse, and consciously seeking diversity, is a powerful tool in building environments capable of retaining top talent from every background.

5. What more can companies do to create inclusive environments where different voices are encouraged and heard?
Companies can create inclusive environments by formalizing processes, such as career development, coaching and feedback avenues, that allow for consistent employee experiences and opportunities.

Many of our own employee touch points, both HR and operations driven, provide forums for employees to discuss the many factors that have impacted their decision to stay with our company. This regular cadence for communication, along with employee engagement opportunities, has built trust with our workforce and fostered relationships that promote open and direct feedback channels. Other companies could implement similar opportunities for feedback and communication streams.

6. How can company leaders model and hold other leaders accountable with diversity and inclusion efforts?
Thought diversity—not what you think, but how you think—demonstrated by company leadership, results in more opportunities for inclusion in the workplace. By simply accepting new ideas or proposed solutions, leaders can open the door to acceptance of a culturally diverse workforce.

It is incredibly important to connect employees to their leadership, and for leaders to hold one another accountable to implementing and supporting workplace diversity. Shared goals and commitment to this practice builds investment at the leadership level and a healthy top-down approach that is conducive to cultural inclusion.

Radial is an Adecco client that exemplifies how companies should approach inclusion and implement diversity programs. As mentioned above, their diversity efforts have been beneficial for all parties, and, not to mention, have spearheaded innovation. We thank Kelly Scally and Andrea Crawford for offering such thoughtful insights, commend them for their efforts, and encourage other companies to follow suit.

To learn how to recruit for diversity at your company, go here.

To learn everything those 500 C-Suite executives revealed in our workforce management survey, go here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *