Getting work to people, rather than people to work.
// 27-03-2021

Diversity and Inclusion Opportunities post-pandemic

by Alex Arundale, Chief People Officer, Advanced

Want to find out more about how you can safeguard a diverse workforce in a changing world? Read the whitepaper to discover what considerations your business needs to be taking into account for its own roadmap out of lockdown, and the steps you need to take to safeguard your people whatever your plan and circumstance.

Read the whitepaper now

The Covid-19 pandemic has delivered an exciting opportunity to employers to access a vastly increased talent pool. It has showed us that remote working is not only an acceptable alternative to working in the office, but can be a highly productive strategy for business success.

HR professionals are now considering ‘people to work, or work to people’ scenarios. With the right technology in place, the physical office is no longer the only place to engage with and inspire employees, immersing them in corporate culture and providing them with the tools to work effectively and efficiently. Organisations that were already using Cloud-based business management systems and investing in other technologies that supported remote learning were well-prepared when almost overnight, the pandemic changed the way we access our work. Others, stuck with premise-based systems and a culture of ‘presenteeism’ were left behind, struggling to adapt to the challenge of employees working from home without the appropriate tools to support them and enable them to perform their daily tasks.

Diversity and Inclusion is at the top of the agenda for many HR professionals, sometimes viewed only as a challenge or as a separate issue. This may be the first time for some organisations that D&I fits seamlessly into its normal recruitment processes, because this isn’t just the way we need to accommodate the D&I agenda, it’s the way we are now working with everybody at least some of the time anyway.

After months of working from home, sharing data on Cloud-based systems, following workflows and catching up in virtual meetings, we can now fully appreciate the potential of working with people who were out of reach before. People who for geographical, social or physical reasons couldn’t have been part of the old office team can now be fully integrated into it. Those living in other cities or countries; parents with young children at home; people with mobility-limiting issues, physical or otherwise; and many more. The rapid uptake of digital solutions has enabled and empowered a rich talent pool with experiences and skills that will make valuable contributions to their employers.

Want to find out more about how you can safeguard a diverse workforce in a changing world? Read the whitepaper to discover what considerations your business needs to be taking into account for its own roadmap out of lockdown, and the steps you need to take to safeguard your people whatever your plan and circumstance.

Advanced’s survey of HR professionals, with HR Magazine, demonstrated that at least half felt that employees’ work/life balance had improved during the pandemic and that more than 8 out of 10 said that employees’ expectations of their employers had changed. Organisations that can offer flexibility to employees, respecting their preference or need to work remotely, will be optimally placed to access the best talent. Furthermore, retaining that talent should be easier too. Most employees like to be associated with a forward thinking and progressive employer that values, supports and appreciates its staff. Having a great reputation for D&I bolsters that reputation and engenders greater employee engagement and loyalty.

With many employers – more than 40% in our survey – looking to downsize office space in the future, remote-working for at least part of the time in a hybrid dual-location model appears to be here to stay. The opportunities this offers to employees and particularly those impacted by D&I concerns feels truly game-changing at the moment and will have a positive influence on the gender pay gap and equity pay issues in the future. However some employees are uneasy about working from home in future, fearing that they will be out of sight and out of mind, overlooked for promotions, training and other career advancement opportunities. This concern creates an opportunity for employers and HR professionals to lead from the front, demonstrating in their own daily interactions at work the value and importance of those working remotely. If these individuals have been identified as the best available talent then it is vital that employers do not allow their own commitment to flexibility to stall, or worse, to regress as increasing number of people return to the workplace. Ultimately, it’s about the quality of work, not who is being seen to be at work. Organisations that can identify the individuals producing quality output will be the ones creating the leaders of tomorrow. Promoting D&I within the workplace is not just the right, caring and human thing to do, but it is also at last being widely recognised as a strategy that makes sound, long-term business sense.

Want to find out more about how you can safeguard a diverse workforce in a changing world? Read the whitepaper to discover what considerations your business needs to be taking into account for its own roadmap out of lockdown, and the steps you need to take to safeguard your people whatever your plan and circumstance.

Read the whitepaper now

Alex Arundale

Alex Arundale

PUBLISHED BY

Chief People Officer, Advanced

Alex joined Advanced in February 2016 with a track record in senior HR positions. She has been responsible for innovative strategies to lead the company’s talent management.

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