How do I Ensure that my Organisation Provides Equal Employment Opportunities to All?
Assess your Openness to Diversity and Equal Employment Opportunities
What is an Equal Employment Opportunity Workplace?
It is a workplace that is free from discrimination and harassment, where employment decisions are based on merit and where people have the chance to perform to their maximum potential. These workplaces value diversity, equity and equality of opportunity.
The principle of equality protects people from being discriminated against on the grounds of union membership, sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion, belief or age. It is based on the legal obligation to comply with human rights and employment legislation in all aspects of employment including recruitment, pay and other rewards, career development and work conditions.
What are the Benefits of an Equal Employment Opportunity Workplace?
Improved Customer Service
Better and more responsive services - A multi-skilled and diverse workforce creates more opportunities to understand and satisfy the needs of your community of customers.
Attracting New Customers
EEO can be a powerful tool to ensure organisations effectively recruit and manage people who can attract new customers. Diversity in the workforce reflects an increasingly diverse customer base.
Improved job satisfaction and commitment through greater opportunity for participation in decision making. Employees stay motivated longer and offer greater productivity when they are treated with dignity and respect.
A multi-skilled and versatile workplace is tolerant, open to change and innovative.The open, flexible and participative work environment most favourable for a diverse workforce also is most favorable for employee innovation. Improved performance and greater innovation arises through harnessing the creativity of a group of people with different ways of looking at things cooperatively.
Employee Recruitment and Retention
EEO practices can help beat the skills shortage and ensure workplaces effectively tap into the diverse talent pool. A workplace that demonstrates interest in workers as people first, then employees, can attract and retain a higher-quality workforce. By valuing every single employee, you improve the working environment for everyone. This often results in increased loyalty and reduced turnover rates. As well as saving on recruitment costs, EEO ensures a better return on skills investment and maximises corporate knowledge.
Continuous Quality Improvement
A workplace where the talents and contributions of all employees are included, recognized and valued is needed for continuous quality improvement.
Case studies show that in numerous organisations where workplace policies relating to flexible time, leave and sickness are in place, there has been a reduction in absenteeism.
Enhanced Company ImageWorkplaces that encourage diversity are seen as good corporate citizens or "Employers of Choice". Doing the right thing with the right people for the right reasons often translates to higher average returns on investments.
Reduced Risk of Claims
Implementing a good EEO strategy helps create an open and non-prejudiced culture where discrimination is not tolerated.
Better Health and Safety
Workplace discrimination leads to stress for all involved, increasing the risk of health and safety issues. Equal employment opportunities and work-life initiatives aim to create a healthier work environment.
More than ever, successful organizations need employees with different backgrounds, beliefs, needs, lifestyles, and physical abilities. Failure to work together can destroy productivity and expose your business to expensive harassment and discrimination claims. Creating an equal employment opportunity workplace requires long-term planning and regular evaluation. But the rewards for such work, including a more comfortable and productive work environment for all employees, are significant enough to warrant the effort.
How do Implement Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) in my Workplace?
Establish Management Commitment
Senior management commitment is required for any initiative to be successful. Without their commitment or demonstrated leadership, initiatives stall, fall substantially short of the expectation or just plain fail. Having a management team who is committed and consistent in their behaviour results in organisational change that is quicker, deeper and more sustainable. Management commitment is more likely to lead to:
- Greater loyalty and commitment being demonstrated by managers at every level
- Employment issues around diversity being integrated into core business activities
- Changes in systems, for example, pay equity, training opportunities etc
- Changes in work practices and expectations, for example, flexibility.
You must work to actively help management discover and rediscover the value of EEO and Diversity. Talk to as many managers as possible and ask their opinions on EEO and Diversity. Ask what would help them be more involved and supportive of EEO programmes. Find out what they are most concerned about in their role. Find out what they consider to the indicators of their success. Then look at how EEO can meet their needs. Use specific, readable charts and graphs on areas that address their needs to communicate their value. You can obtain and keep management commitment by continually communicating how EEO is meeting their needs.
Make sure to keep them informed - your management team needs to understand what is going on at all times.
Aim to build an improved awareness and understanding of EEO and diversity by::
- Providing targeted awareness raising on workplace diversity;
- Identifying opportunities for the integration of EEO and diversity principles into the business;
- Having in place an active network of contact officers supporting workplace EEO and diversity
Review Systems, Policies and Procedures to Identify Barriers
Review and implement workplace arrangements, systems and procedures that promote EEO and diversity by:
- Supporting workplace leaning and development activities that assist staff to contribute to their maximum potential;
- Continually reviewing recruitment policies and practices to ensure there are no barriers to diversity;
- Having in place work practices that enable people to contribute to their maximum potential;
- Having flexible working arrangements that assist staff to balance their work and personal commitments;
- Reviewing workplace communication and information sharing to ensure inclusive practices.
Information Gathering and Analysis
Establish a clear picture of your staffing profile, practices and opportunities for improvement by:
- Maintaining a comprehensive and accurate database of your staff profile;
- Undertaking a staff survey to identify areas requiring action and to test the effectiveness of your strategies;
- Benchmarking yourself against other businesses - find out what other businesses are doing.
Get in Touch with Jump
If you need help, or you answered no or unsure to any of the questions in the assessment tool, then Jump Business Solutions can help you. Phone us on +64 6 754 8987 or +64 27 450 5271 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and Jump will come to you, discover your needs, and develop a solution that will create real, long-term and positive change for you and your business.
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