Achieving Diversity in Your Workforce
By Michael Lefenfeld, CEO Cyanco
Companies today often talk about diversity and the need to create a diverse workforce. This is validated by research that shows employers who invest in diversity outperform their competitors. Why? Because recruiting and retaining a heterogenous staff is more reflective of today’s global marketplace, and it enables companies to develop more creative pathways to achieving their goals.
Diverse teams bring the richness of new methodologies and different ways of thinking to the table, which ultimately pushes the boundaries of accepted precepts and established business models. The different experiences and viewpoints of your key stakeholders can help everyone to see problems and solutions in a different light and, ultimately, drive to better outcomes.
Companies also benefit by embracing a diversity of complementary styles and people skills, which can positively affect productivity and employee satisfaction.
In the world of mining, where diversity is a growing area of focus, suppliers like Cyanco must also commit to employing individuals of diverse gender, race and experience levels. To that point, Cyanco is publishing a series of articles this week on the topic of diversity, and how our company is approaching its diversity goals, starting with Hiring for Diversity:
HIRING FOR DIVERSITY
It can feel very natural to gravitate toward what you know, and what you’re comfortable with, but it often results in a very narrow perspective, and that can really show when you’re testing assumptions, solving problems or setting goals at the enterprise level – and this carries a very tangible risk for any business.
So, you need to be intentional in your hiring policies to avoid exclusively hiring people who look and think like you, who share the same strengths and weaknesses and have the same background and experiences. Diversity should be a critical hiring metric for HR and your hiring managers for ALL roles.
This can include anything from recruiting workers with diverse cultural or racial backgrounds to building a multi-generational and/or multi-lingual workforce. Your hiring process may also focus on equal gender representation.
If you’re looking to improve gender diversity specifically, you may want to reevaluate your company’s benefits package to target women more. You can also look at your mix of hiring platforms and see if you can expand it to include female-skewed organizations and professional groups.
Job descriptions and benefits should also be reviewed to ensure they’re translating to all target audiences – including women – and that they’re properly synched to what prospective employees value most, especially in today’s competitive jobs market.
Just like any business, Cyanco has to succeed across its entire enterprise. Roles within the different business units and functions – from Finance to Sales to Operations – all require different skills sets, but they must work together (i.e. ‘across the aisle’) elegantly.
That’s why you also want to consider a diverse mix of management and communication styles to ensure a balanced and effective workforce. The way a team coalesces and interacts can significantly affect how decisions are made, how information is shared and how people experience the workplace. It shouldn’t be just one style of management or way of communicating that dominates a corporate culture.
At Cyanco, we have diversified our teams in a variety of ways:
- We have brought together chemists and engineers with experience from a variety of market segments (such as Oil & Gas) – with tenures at companies both large and small.
- We have hired a batch of fresh, agile, new operators who are trained by manufacturing veterans with decades of collective experience.
- The company has also built an entirely new Business Intelligence team, staffed by analytical experts whose skills have significantly uplifted Cyanco’s abilities to forecast and manage supply. This young team now functions as the connective thread that runs throughout our entire organization, making great progress in tying our various functions together through new processes, technology and tools.
So that’s a little bit about how Cyanco works to achieve diversity within its own workforce. Tomorrow our post will focus on Women in Business and achieving gender equality throughout an organization
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