The month of April is Celebrate Diversity Month.
And at Public Practice Recruitment Ltd we’ve always shouted from the rooftops about the very many benefits of diversity in accountancy workplaces. Be it age, gender, race, religion or disability, having a wide and far reaching group of people working to make your accountancy firm the very best out there can only be a great thing for all involved.
Why do accountancy employers benefit from a diverse workplace?
Implicit bias is the term used to describe the natural tendency that hiring managers have towards employing people that look and live in a similar way to themselves. It’s not something we consciously set out to do but it happens all the time. Having a hiring policy that dictates special attention being made to having a diverse outlook towards recruitment can nip this in the bud. And with that policy comes multiple rewards for forward thinking accountancy firms.
Diverse teams create a more diverse service and will better serve a diverse range of clients. Accountancy is mostly about the numbers, but your ability to attract and retain clients will also be greatly impacted by the people that crunch them! If your workforce can be responsive and flexible and also have the ability to showcase empathy to issues and challenges that your clients might be facing, you’ll connect with them on a deeper level and be more likely to retain their business. And to do this you’ll need faces and bodies in your workforce of all generations, races, gender and welcome those who are physically disabled.
Even more important is the impact diversity has on your bottom line. The Harvard Business Review published research in 2013 that showcased how diversity can directly drive and accelerate market growth. It’s well documented that a failure to invest in people (all people) will be a failure to thrive in modern industry. Fail to recognise the contribution of a diverse workforce and you’ll notice employee retention fail and with that productivity and long term growth.
But remember as employers, ticking boxes is not enough. If your minority workers feel tokenised, you’ll feel similar levels of pain when it comes to profit. The step beyond employing a diverse range of people is to work really hard on your inclusion strategy so that everyone is offered space at the decision making tables and the opportunity to progress to the highest levels if they show the right level of commitment, dedication and positivity.
Why do accountancy employees benefit from a diverse workplace?
What’s one of the most important human values and one that matters to almost all of us? Respect.
By giving your employees the opportunity to work in diverse and inclusive teams you’ll foster a culture of respect which your people will take beyond the workplace, improving not just the atmosphere in the office but the one in the global community we’re all part of!
Your staff will learn about the cultures, challenges and beliefs of people who are different to themselves and your organisational tolerance will mean reduced conflict and grievance related HR issues. Your staff will learn to actively listen and to engage in healthy debate with their colleagues.
You’ll also notice an increase in generic skill sets. For instance you may see your younger employees teaching your older staff about new and time saving tech. By contrast your older staff might showcase a brilliant work ethic and dedication that rubs off on the youngsters in the office.
Why do accountancy clients benefit from a diverse workplace?
Having a diverse workforce will mean the pool into which you can cast your marketing net is much deeper. You may find that an increased organisational understanding of cultural or religious practices or traditions allows you to pitch to clients in new sectors or even new geographical locations.
And those clients are in turn more likely to remain loyal with their business and spread the word about the excellent level of service offered to them. All great news when it comes to growth and profitability.
In short, accountants up and down the country should be joining the rest of the world this April in celebrating diversity and all of the very many benefits it brings.
For support in either joining a firm that values diversity or in attracting a diverse range of candidates, contact the experts today.
And if you enjoyed this article you might also benefit from reading our articles on Black Lives Matter and how accountants can make a difference and how women in accountancy can smash glass ceilings.