By Martin Krill, Managing Director of Hager Unternehmensberatung and expert in HR topics, digitisation and AI
Hager Unternehmensberatung asked 2,500 specialists and managers from companies of different sizes and from different sectors for their thoughts on diversity management and what role this topic plays in their companies. Most of them recognised the importance and relevance of this issue and are committed to promoting diversity within their own companies.
One central finding of the survey was that most companies actively embody diversity without having a fixed strategy. Only about one in five of them has developed a targeted approach. On the other hand, some have not yet dealt with the issue at all or do not see any benefits from doing so.
Room to improve
Although the results indicate that a rethink is already taking place, in many cases the composition of the workforce still shows the classic picture of male-dominated management. While 67 percent of those surveyed said that no more one in five women holds a management position in the company, 33 percent said that up to half of the women do so. Nonetheless, there is still a lot of room for improvement.
The steps that companies are taking to bring more diversity into their workforce range from changing recruitment behaviour, offering language courses and awareness-raising measures for company members to the design of age- and disability-friendly workplaces. Almost a third of the respondents have also appointed a diversity officer in their human resources department, in their staff or works council or directly in a senior management role.
Diversity management at all levels
In the view of the experts and managers surveyed, the key target groups that need to be addressed by these measures include employees with a migration background, women and younger employees. Diversity management is aimed primarily at improving work design and organisation, corporate philosophy and management culture. The health of the workforce is also an important issue for many.
The majority believe that a changed personnel strategy and more mixed staffing is necessary to achieve the company’s goals and would like all employees to have the opportunity to fully exploit their own potential. Some respondents also see it as a step towards preparing for demographic developments or are already having problems finding suitable candidates.
When rating the success of their measures, almost all companies were able observe positive effects. Cooperation generally improved and, along with it, the working atmosphere. This in turn is accompanied by the promotion of synergies, greater innovation and creativity and more pronounced employee loyalty. Externally, this naturally has a positive effect on the corporate image and contributes to more successful recruiting.
Diversity is not something that can simply be introduced. Rather, it requires a fundamental rethink of the corporate structures and the attitudes of each and every individual in the company. The results of the survey have shown that the topic has made its way into the consciousness of most people. Diversity is already an active component of many company philosophies. Yet, there is still room for improvement. It will still take some time before diversity is transformed from an industry buzzword to something that is a matter of course for all of us, but we are on the right track.
Klick here for the Diversity Survey Results.