Recent events have had a big impact on the culture of businesses, and our industry is facing skills shortages. It’s never been more important for businesses to embrace Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI).
As employees return to work, training schedules kick in, and recruitment continues, it’s a great chance for logistics and supply chain employers to embrace EDI. EDI brings benefits to development, retention, and employee engagement.
Here are 4 ways that implementing EDI strategies could benefit your business and your employees.
- Address staff shortages
The demand for talent is high, opening up your workforce to under-represented groups can help fill skills gaps.
For instance, women may avoid entering the logistics industry because of the attitude they fear they may encounter in a sector where male workers still make up 83.4% of the workforce*. When companies show inclusivity to all genders through language, behaviour, and policy (such as maternity leave, childcare support and extra support to those going through menopause), it can encourage more women into roles.
Similarly, today’s younger professionals may feel that logistics isn’t an attractive career option. Newer generations are more attracted to working for a business that has a culture that reflects their own. This includes a positive attitude to EDI – pay and career development alone, aren’t enough.
- Harness new skills and perspectives
Neurodiversity refers to a range of commonly co-occurring ‘conditions’ related to cognitive differences, and behavioural traits. It includes Dyslexia, Autism, ADHD, and more. Embracing neurodiverse people in the workforce creates an opportunity to incorporate a mix of talents, perspectives, and skills.
Employers should put their EDI initiatives into practice when considering how to support neurodiverse employees so that they feel able to thrive. This might mean taking a different approach to training. By asking trainees about their preferred methods of learning it can show that you understand that people think, and learn differently.
- Better staff retention
More and more people are realising that they don’t have to stay in a job where they don’t feel respected and safe, nor should they have to. The good news is that EDI can lead to higher levels of staff retention.
Employers could consider, for example, if there is a need to address unconscious bias. Unconscious bias is when we make snap judgments about people based on our background, experiences, stereotypes and cultural context. Bias can be triggered by gender, ethnicity, disability, body weight, names, and many other things.
To create a more inclusive and tolerant work culture, employers should take steps to eliminate unconscious bias. This can be a topic included in training. Leaving areas like this unaddressed can make your staff leave. Importantly, employees who are treated fairly will tell prospective employees, supporting recruitment.
- Improved Communication
Good communication is key and taking a different approach to EDI can put this into focus. Training Managers, Instructors, and Warehouse Managers must be trained to communicate respectfully with trainees. This enables successful training. In a diverse workplace, trainers can improve communication by choosing different words. Talking in a way that makes different training candidates feel comfortable is important.
Remember, communication doesn’t just mean conversations. Communication also covers written materials used around the workplace. Keeping EDI in mind when developing written documents will help create better conversations throughout the company. This can help improve employee engagement.
It’s time to create a respectful and tolerant culture in your business. Now is the time to embrace EDI and create a culture that breeds respect. Make it clear to everybody that the business will not tolerate certain language and behaviours. Remember a work culture starts from the top, so practice what you preach.
The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge
RTITB believes it’s time to act on diversity and acceptance. We are proud to be a supporting organisation of the Big Logistics Diversity Challenge (BLDC). BLDC takes place in Newark on 23rd June. It is a fantastic chance to bring teams together (that don’t work together every day), to boost performance and stay engaged. This in turn will make teams more productive. Investing in your employees goes a long way in the transport and warehousing industries.
The informal setting of the event brings logistics experts together to tackle diversity. There will be many industry-leading companies attending. The event offers the perfect platform for networking and team building. Pus we can discuss what the profession should do to be more inclusive.