Creating a diverse workforce is key if companies want to become more competitive, explains Ian Fielder, CEO at BIFM.
22 April 2010
In a recent survey carried out on behalf of the Construction Industry Council (CIC), FM fared very well but in an aligned industry, construction, it will come as no surprise that the record of employing and retaining women is poor and the percentage of female employees has only improved at the miserly rate of one per cent in three years – only 23 per cent of the 270,000 people employed are female.
Diversity not only involves how people perceive themselves, but how they perceive others. Those perceptions affect their interactions. For a wide assortment of employees to function effectively as an organisation, human resource professionals need to deal effectively with issues such as communication, adaptability and change. Diversity will increase significantly in the coming years. Successful organisations recognise the need for immediate action and are ready and willing to spend resources on managing diversity in the workplace now.
The world of facilities management is full of good practice and there are some simple rules that can be followed. Leaders in FM set an example for their staff to follow. Diversity programmes implemented at the top of a company mean that initiatives can be more easily implemented through a company.
Remember: as the average age of the population is increasing – and ageing often means a reduction in vision, hearing, dexterity and memory – the needs of the disabled will become more acute, both as employees and as consumers of your goods and products.
Organisations employing a diverse workforce can supply a greater variety of solutions to problems in service, sourcing, and allocation of resources. Employees from diverse backgrounds bring individual talents and experiences in suggesting ideas that are flexible in adapting to fluctuating markets and customer demands.