August 12, 2016 Diversity and inclusion
“A diverse, inclusive and vibrant organisation is one we should all strive to achieve.”
This opening sentence from HMRC’s recently published diversity and inclusion strategy sums up the ongoing importance of diversity in the workplace. It’s an issue which we have written about before, and no doubt one which we will return to again in the future; simply because of the positive impact which diversity can have on an organisation.
The Government, the Financial Reporting Council, various regulators may all look to deliver initiatives which are aimed at promoting diversity; but at the end of the day the greatest incentive is the benefit which organisations receive from having a diverse workforce. Interestingly, whilst many initiatives are aimed at boosting diversity at board level, it is only when diversity and inclusion permeates the entire workforce that the greatest impact can be seen.
Quite simply, a diverse and inclusive organisation is better able to devise and deliver products and services which meet the needs of its customer base. It can also be more resilient and more innovative, creating strategies which lead the market rather than following in the wake of others.
HMRC’s diversion and inclusion strategy which runs from 2016 to 2020 focuses on four themes. These are representation, inclusion, capability and customer equality. Key to the delivery of the strategy is the recognition that people have different ways of thinking and working as well as different levels of knowledge and experience. By harnessing these differences HMRC says it will better be able to serve its objectives and its customers.
In line with this approach, the new strategy contains action points and approaches for people at all levels of the organisation. This includes looking at every aspect of the organisation including recruitment, communications, engagement and training, all with an eye to inclusion. It’s an approach which other organisations may wish to follow when they are looking to boost their own levels of diversity.
Admittedly, as the HMRC strategy highlights, leaders have to be role models for diversity and inclusion, but it is up to every individual at every level to play their part in promoting inclusion. This includes being aware of diversity issues, providing constructive challenge where appropriate, and recognising that “through personal impact you can make a difference.”
Commenting on the new strategy HMRC’s Chief Executive, Jon Thompson, said:
“Diversity, in all its various forms, is central to our success as an organisation, ensuring a diversity of experience and thought.”