“Diversity is defined as valuing everyone as an individual”
Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD)
The purpose of the Advantage Group UK (AGUK) Diversity & Inclusion Guiding Principles is to create support and guidelines for each business to ensure that diversity and inclusion is considered as part of ongoing business strategies and activities.
The AGUK Guiding Principles include the Five Material Matters, 3 of which are central to our D&I Guiding Principles:
• Celebrate Diversity & Inclusion. We celebrate diversity in nationality, race, religion, gender, age, disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, and more.
• We respect and capitalise on each other's differences to promote creativity in the world.
• Our aim is to achieve a diverse composition of employees within every level of the organisation, focusing on aspects such as gender and age, as well as on people with a (occupational) limitation or people who are otherwise further removed from the job market.
• Close the Opportunity Gap. We want to be an innovative, accessible and attractive employer for all our talents – both our own employees and temporary workers. We want to be an employer that provides a platform for them to maximise their unique talent.
• Respect Human Rights. Our vision - ‘a world where people can follow their hearts’ - starts from respecting human rights.
In addition to our Five Material Matters, we as a global group pursue the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. We consider human rights a critical issue and this is supported by the pursuing of Gender Equality and Reduced Inequalities.
What does Diversity & Inclusion mean to AGUK?
Diversity & Inclusion is about celebrating the differences that people bring to an organisation and ensuring that by following our principles, we are promoting a culture of:
• Diversity of Thought and Experience – ensuring that all voices and ideas are heard
• Allyship – supporting each other to win and feeling comfortable to communicate varying viewpoints
• Tone at the Top – our external messaging matches our internal actions
• Valuing our Differences – our backgrounds, cultures and values all play a part in how we perform our roles and what we can contribute to the organisation, our clients, and wider society
• Supporting Local and Global D&I Initiatives – International Women's Day, LGBT+* events etc., utilising research and available resources to inform continuous improvement (*LGBT+ is 'terminology currently used by Pride UK')
Our differences are what make us. Differences in gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, religious beliefs, age enable us to address business challenges in a variety of different ways.
By treating everyone with kindness and respect, we offer a strong foundation as an employer and service provider.
Key considerations for the every day workplace
Diversity management promotes valuing employees as individuals and using their unique strengths and capabilities to support business performance.
Global organisations such as AGUK often introduces employees to a wider range of cultures, backgrounds and values, and managers must be ready to harness the diversity of their workforce effectively for the benefit of our organisation.
Diversity & Inclusion is essential to key activities such as:
• Recruitment – a diverse workforce allows us to provide a broader range of services and expertise, and draws on a rich variety of skills, talents and experiences
• Employee Engagement – by promoting a culture of authenticity, our people will be encouraged to be themselves whilst feeling supported and encouraged to voice their different opinions
• Collaboration - ensuring that collaborative exercises such as steering groups have a broad and inclusive representation – reflecting our culture, our clients and the markets we operate within
• Key Business Decisions – by contributing different perspectives to key decisions, we can be more innovative, more considered, and drive for more robust outcomes
• Career Development – encouraging our people to develop their careers, regardless of background
• Succession Planning – balancing diversity of experience and soft skills, and promoting a culture where our leadership roles have a more diverse representation
Measuring the benefits of Diversity & Inclusion
Measuring the benefits of D&I activity is important to us. Through ongoing measurement, we aim to understand a view of the benefits and development areas that impact our culture, client and candidate experience, and our service offerings.
Measurement activities include:
• Regular auditing, reviewing and evaluation of progress, using quantitative and qualitative data on both diversity and inclusion to highlight where barriers exist (for example, via recruitment data) and show the impact of initiatives, making appropriate changes to activities where required
• Using employee engagement surveys to:
• Understand the feedback from our people on the perception of D&I in the organisation
• Ask for recommendations for improvements
• Evaluate the outcomes of initiatives
• Create insights to allow us to adjust and improve activities
• Benchmarking progress against other organisations and exploring what others are doing to adopt and adapt ideas where appropriate
• Networking with others from inside and outside the organisation to keep up-to-date and to share learning
Tone at the Top
It is essential for our leaders to drive the message of diversity and inclusion in their everyday messaging and actions by:
• Contributing to internal and external initiatives with the aim of continuously improving inclusion
• Making inclusive activities the norm – garnering different opinions and experiences to influence decisions
• Promoting a workplace that encourages authenticity and treating everyone as one would wish to be treated
• Being aware of unconscious biases and even potential positive discrimination by hiring and developing people based on their competencies and skill sets
• Ensuring our actions reflect our principles
Advantage Group UK and parent company RGF Staffing Global HR will work proactively together to ensure that D&I remains on our company agenda for 2020 and beyond.
They will do this by:
• Consulting and sharing best practice with the various global businesses for recommendations on how to approach D&I at a local level
• Ensuring that a section of our Employee Engagement Surveys give our people the ability to provide their thoughts on our current D&I capability and make recommendations to better improve them
• Reviewing how we work to enable better inclusivity – policies, ways of working, job descriptions, interview panels etc.
• Ensuring consistent messaging aligned to wider RGF Staffing activities
• Ongoing learning within local level People & Culture teams to better-inform activities and ensure living by our Guiding Principles remains a priority